Sports

Jr. Lady Gens advance to WECSSAA “AA” final but lose to Kingsville

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens junior girls basketball team made it to the WECSSAA “AA” final but came out on the short end of a 39-26 decision.

The Kingsville Cavaliers walked away as this year’s champions but there was not a lot of disappointment on the General Amherst side as this year’s team exceeded expectations.

“We said before the game about how many thought we’d make it this far,” said Greg Scott, who coached the team this year with Ben Pelger. “No one thought we would.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens made it to the WECSSAA “AA” final but lost 39-26 to Kingsville.

The Lady Gens kept it close in the first eight-minute quarter but the Cavaliers led 11-7. Kingsville would expand their advantage to 21-14 at the half and widened their lead further in the third quarter as they led 35-16 after three.

“It’s a great accomplishment to make it to the championship game,” said Scott. “You never know if you are ever going to make the championship game again so we told them to leave everything on the floor. We’re proud of the way things went. Ben and I enjoyed coaching the girls. They were a real pleasure to coach.”
Scott said the junior Lady Gens were polite and fun to coach, as the players went as far as to thank the coaches after practice. He said that while Kingsville plays together all year, the Lady Gens did well for only playing together in September and October.

The junior Lady Gens had three Grade 10 players and eight Grade 9 players and are hopeful for success next season if they get the eligible returning players to come back.

“We hope we can get back here again,” said Scott. “For the amount of time we had to work with them, they did a great job.”

Emma Pillon, who led General Amherst in the finals with 11 points, said they didn’t play as well as they could have early on but was happy with how the season went.

Emma Pillon (23) splits two defenders as she puts up a shot against Kingsville Sunday at St. Clair College.

“Overall, I thought we had a really good season,” said Pillon. “We went further than we thought we were going to go. We did really well.”

Pillon admitted it would have been better if they would have won Sunday’s game against Kingsville, played at the St. Clair College Sportsplex, but still was proud of how the junior Lady Gens performed.

“We grew a lot as a team this year,” said Pillon. “I thought we did very well.”

General Amherst got to the finals thanks to a pair of close wins on their home court last week. They defeated Catholic Central 27-22 in Thursday night’s semi-final while held on to beat Herman 26-24 last  Tuesday in a game where Herman mounted a comeback but saw the Lady Gens fight them off at the end.

Sr. Lady Gens bow out of WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in the semi-final

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team progressed this season but that progress was stopped in the WECSSAA “AA” semi-finals.

The Lady Gens were matched up against an athletic Kennedy Clippers team last Thursday night and came out on the short end of a 68-36 score.

Dani Brindley and Lexi Dodds each scored eight points for the Lady Gens with Brynlee Ammonite adding six points, but Maddy Bishop had 27 points for the Clippers. General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio noted that the Lady Gens left Bishop uncontested for three-pointers early but got in her face after that and that didn’t stop her.

“There’s not much you can do,” said Silvaggio. “She had one of those nights.”

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens were able to play well in stretches but that is not enough against a strong team like Kennedy.

General Amherst’s Madison Pillon goes in for a layup during last Thursday’s game at Kennedy.

“We had some runs, but we have to play 32 minutes against them,” he said.

Silvaggio noted they were able to trim a 22 point deficit to 12 in the second quarter but reminded his team that the opponent will push back, something Kennedy did.

The Lady Gens advanced to the semi-final with a 56-36 win over previously undefeated Catholic Central last Tuesday in a game played at General Amherst. Dodds had 15 points in that game with Ammonite adding 14 points.

Silvaggio didn’t believe the Lady Gens had their best game, saying they weren’t aggressive enough in the first half and started to let the lead slip away in the third quarter before building it back up.

“It’s frustrating because you can see their potential,” he said after Tuesday’s win, “but we have to play 32 minutes.”

Playing while nervous looked to be an issue as they missed easy layups against Catholic Central. If they would have had hit the layups, Silvaggio believed they could have had as many as 75 points against Catholic Central.

Overall, Silvaggio was happy with the 2018 season. He said many games saw the Lady Gens in the mix before a bad stretch turned the game around but said the players improved throughout. He said they have the opportunity to improve in the off-season by putting in the time on the court on their own.

“I’m very happy with their progress,” he stated. “Now it’s up to them. It’s basically in their hands.”

Most of this year’s team is eligible to return next year although they do lose seniors Ramie Tytgat and Taja Holmes to graduation.

Admirals continue to “Burn(s)” opponents

 

 

By Christian Bouchard

 

The Amherstburg Admirals were busy this past weekend.

Amherstburg had their biggest test this weekend as they played four games in five nights.

The Admirals completed a weekend series which included a road game against second place Dresden Jr. Kings Friday and back-to-back home games against the Blenheim Blades and defending league champions, third place Lakeshore Canadiens on Saturday and Sunday. The Admirals were also on the road to play first place Essex Tuesday night.

“It shows us what we got, playing in a short span against some of the top teams in the league,” said Burns “It’s a measuring stick weekend to show us where we are. I truly believe we’re up there and a game like that shows even when we don’t have our best stuff, we find ways to win.”

The Admirals had a strong third period Friday as they thumped Dresden 6-2. Cory Burns led the offensive explosion as he had three goals and two assists.

Burns continued his scoring touch Saturday as he would score the lone goal for the Admirals, despite their 46 shots on Blades goalie Chris Dewulf.

Max Clifford scores a third period goal vs the Lakeshore Canadiens Sunday night.

Amherstburg would bounce back Sunday night against Lakeshore with a 2-1 victory. Max Clifford tied the game in the third period, setting the scene for a Cory Burns overtime goal with three seconds remaining.

As of Sunday night, Burns has a 6-game point streak which includes 2 hat tricks, a goal in 6 straight games, 10 goals and 15 points.

Burns credits his teammates with getting him the puck in good spots, which is allowing him to capitalize on his opportunities.

Cory Burns battles Lakeshore’s Brendan Soto for the puck during the Admirals 2-1 victory Sunday night.

Amherstburg capped off their series of games against top teams in the league with a game in Essex Tuesday night. That game was played after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

After Sunday night’s game, the Admirals are now 11-4-0-2 on the season, good for 24 points. According to Burns, as the Admirals approach the halfway mark in the season, the team is right where they need to be.

“We got games in hand and we just keep proving we’re one of the top teams in the league as well,” added Burns.

The Admirals will host the Mooretown Flags Sunday night at the Libro Centre at 7 p.m.

 

 

Montreal Canadiens Alumni lineup set for Dec. 1 charity game

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Montreal Canadiens Alumni lineup is set for the Dec. 1 charity game.

The Alumni will battle a group of police officers, firefighters and business owners from around the community who will be representing the Rotary Club of Amherstburg. The Rotary Club is presenting the game at the Libro Centre with proceeds going to Amherstburg Community Services (ACS).

The Canadiens’ lineup will feature players from the 1980’s, 1990’s and the 2000’s, some of whom have won Stanley Cup championships with the team.

Former Vezina Trophy winner Richard Sevigny will be in goal for the Montreal alumni with other players set to include one of the first Russian-born players to play for the Habs, Oleg Petrov. Keith Acton, who played part of his 15-year career with the Canadiens, is also scheduled to be in Amherstburg that Saturday night as is Pierre Dagenais, who called Montreal one of his homes during his NHL career.

Gilbert Delorme, the Habs’ top pick in the 1981 draft, is also scheduled to appear, as is Sergio Momesso, a member of the 1986 Stanley Cup championship team and current colour commentator for Habs’ games on TSN 690 in Montreal, is also listed as one of the players scheduled to attend.

Another 1986 Stanley Cup champion and TSN 690 personality, Chris Nilan, is also scheduled to play that night. Nilan, a renowned enforcer, holds the NHL record for most penalties in a single game with ten during a 1991 contest.

Mike Weaver, who played the final two seasons of his 14-year NHL career in Montreal before retiring in 2015, is also scheduled to be at the Libro Centre that night. Another former Hab defenseman, Marc Andre Bergeron, is also listed as coming to town.

Patrice Brisebois, the recipient of the Jean Beliveau Trophy in 2009, spent 18 seasons in the NHL, most of them with the Canadiens where he won a Stanley Cup ring in 1993. Brisebois is also scheduled to attend, as is Guillaume Latendresse, who played four of his seven NHL seasons with the Canadiens and is now a hockey analyst on the French sports network RDS. Latendresse was also part of the gold medal winning Canadian team at the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship.

The coach of the team that night will be Yvon Lambert, who scored more than 200 goals in his eight seasons with the Canadiens and won four Stanley Cups. Perhaps his most famous goal was the overtime winner in Game 7 of the 1979 Stanley Cup semi-finals to eliminate the Boston Bruins.

Tickets are available at snapd.com and will be available at the door, unless the game is a sell-out beforehand. Tickets are $20 each. There is a family pack (four tickets) available for $70 and $75 VIP tickets are also available.

Bulldogs capture WECSSAA Tier 3 football title with thrilling victory

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team finished atop the WECSSAA Tier 3 division thanks to a 21-16 win Friday night.

The Bulldogs finished the season a perfect 7-0 after defeating the Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex, the latter team also entering the game undefeated. The game, played in Tecumseh, saw the Bulldogs arrive late due to a busing issue but when they arrived, they were more than ready to go.

General Amherst scored on their first two possessions, the first set up by a bad snap on a Tecumseh Vista Academy punt attempt which allowed the Bulldogs to start the drive on the Vortex 23 yard line. That drive was capped with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Emmitt Rosati.

The second drive, also in the first quarter, was finished by running back Levi Reaume, who found the end zone from one yard out. That drive began after the Bulldogs defense stuffed the Vortex on a third down play and caused the ball to be turned over on downs.

General Amherst’s Levi Reaume celebrates after a first quarter touchdown Friday night at Tecumseh Vista
Academy.

After a four-yard touchdown run by Tecumseh Vista Academy in the second quarter made it a 14-7 game, the Bulldogs restored their 14-point advantage thanks to Rosati’s second touchdown of the night, this one being a one-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone.

Preston Muzzin converted all three Bulldog touchdowns.

Tecumseh Vista Academy tried to come back and put up nine points in the third quarter. The first two points came via a safety as General Amherst committed a holding penalty in their own end zone. Shortly after that, Vista got a two-yard touchdown run of their own to make it 21-16.

Though the home team could get no closer, they did make it interesting. After Vista’s offense and General Amherst penalties moved the ball deep into the Bulldogs’ territory with just under four minutes to play in the game, the Bulldogs were able to recover a fumble to stall Tecumseh’s drive. Big runs by Reaume not only moved the ball the other direction, but also helped to run out the clock and clinch the win and the division title for General Amherst.

“It’s a terrific feeling,” Reaume said after the game.

Reaume noted they rebounded after a tough 0-6 season in 2017 to a perfect season this year.

Brayden LeClerc breaks tackles of Tecumseh Vista Academy defenders after making a catch.

“It goes to show what happens when we work hard, focus and are dedicated,” he said.

The Bulldogs wanted to make sure they finished the job, he indicated, and Reaume also pointed out that it was the last drive of their high school careers for the senior players.

“This is what you are going to remember,” he said. “You are not going to remember 6-1.”

Defensive co-ordinator Joel Charron also pointed out it was a great win for the Bulldogs, especially for those players who suffered through last season.

“It’s a great win for them,” said Charron. “It’s great for the players. I’m really happy for the kids.”

Charron was pleased with how the defense played and noted they ran the ball well on offense as well.

General Amherst quarterback Emmitt Rosati gets hit as he throws during the Nov. 2 win over Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Head coach John Rudak, sopping wet after the game after having the bucket of ice water dumped on him in celebration, said the team dubbed the game the “Dave Scott Bowl,” in memory of the legendary General Amherst coach who died in Sept. 2017.

“It turned out really well. I hope he was watching,” said Rudak.

The strong start resonated on the Bulldogs’ bench, as Rudak noted the players were feeling good about themselves. However, he knew that Tecumseh Vista Academy “had a lot left” and that showed in the second half. Rudak said the Bulldogs seemingly tried to lose the game at some points with the number of penalties they took but the turnover late helped salvage the win.

This year’s Bulldogs senior team was a combination of senior and junior players and Rudak hopes to restore both junior and senior teams as early as next season. That will help make the football program more sustainable at General Amherst.

“Hopefully the enthusiasm of winning brings more players out,” he said. “That’s our objective – to play at a high level.”

The General Amherst Bulldogs celebrate after a 21-16 win
Friday at Tecumseh Vista Academy (above). The win gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 record and the division title.

Whether there will be one or two teams will be known next August, Rudak added, stating he can field a senior team if there are at least 25 players.

This year’s team saw fewer missed practices by the players, he added, as only work and school commitments kept them away.

Rudak also thanked his coaching staff for their work this past season, stating it was the largest staff he has ever had as a coach.

“I value all of their insight,” said Rudak.

For more photos from the football game between General Amherst and Tecumseh Vista Academy, please visit our Facebook album.