Lady Gens earn ninth straight OFSAA medal

 

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior basketball returned from Sault St. Marie with an OFSAA silver medal hanging around their necks and a sour taste in their mouth.

The Lady Gens were defeated in the OFSAA gold medal game Saturday night by St. Francis of Ottawa.

The OFSAA silver is the Lady Gens ninth straight medal at the provincial level.

The road to the OFSAA final wasn’t easy according to head coach Dom Silvaggio.

In the Lady Gens’ first two games against Oakwood and St. Marks, Silvaggio said he wasn’t happy with their early performance but managed to win 44-30 and 47-26 respectively.

Once the OFSAA jitters were out of their system Silvaggio said the Lady Gens “picked up their game.”

In the quarterfinals the Lady Gens eliminated Centennial, 49-34 and moved onto the semi final where fourth seeded St. Michael was waiting.

According to Silvaggio, the Lady Gens turned in one of their best performances of the year, easily defeating St. Michael 46-18.

“We made a good team, who won a big game the night before, look very ordinary,” said Silvaggio. “Everything clicked. We were great on offense, we were great on defense, we had great ball movement, it was really fun to watch.”

The semi final win set up a number one seed versus number two seed in the OFSAA final.

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens started “very tentative” in the beginning and found themselves down 18-5 in the second quarter. However an 11-0 run helped the Lady Gens claw their way back and trailed 18-16 at the half.

Amherst took the lead by one heading into the final frame.

With less than three minutes left, St Francis rebounded a Lady Gens shot and passed to the outlet to start their break.

The St. Francis rebounder turned around and ran into Amherst point guard Aleah Marton, sending her to the floor.

The official called Marton for a flopping technical foul, sending St. Francis to the free throw line with two shots and the ball back.

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens had a few chances in the final minute to win the game, however the ball couldn’t find the bottom of the basket.

Silvaggio said he is “extremely happy” for his squad for winning OFSAA silver, however he admits he was a little frustrated on how the final game played out.

“Winning a silver medal at OFSAA is awesome. I am very happy for the girls,” he said. “We went through some tough times this year and the girls kept on battling. They are a great, great group to coach.”

St. Francis was sent to the free throw line 21 times. Amherst was sent to the line only once.

“I feel like we didn’t lose that game…it was taken from us,” said Lady Gens center Katie Breault.

Despite the controversial finish, Breault noted the Lady Gens season was a success.

“We won two tournaments, won WECSSAA and SWOSSAA. I’ve played with these girls all of high school and most of them even longer,” said Breault. “Our team was so close, everyone was excited to see each other every practice. Just an amazing season and basketball career with these ladies.”

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