Lady Gens high on talent, low on numbers heading into this season

 

Olivia Starling takes a shot during a General Amherst Lady Gens practice last Thursday  afternoon. Starling is one of the returning players to the Lady Gens’ lineup this season.

Olivia Starling takes a shot during a General Amherst Lady Gens practice last Thursday
afternoon. Starling is one of the returning players to the Lady Gens’ lineup this season.

General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio speaks with his players during a Sept. 4 practice.

General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio speaks with his players during a Sept. 4 practice.

By Ron Giofu

 

There are a number of talented players returning to this year’s General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team but its head coach would have liked to have seen more.

Lady Gens head coach Dom Silvaggio said they are struggling with getting a lot of players out this year as some players from last season’s junior squad elected not to make the jump to senior while a trio of players from last year’s senior girls team also decided not to play this season.

“Right now, our numbers are kind of low,” said Silvaggio. “We have possibly ten players but we’re not sure right now.”

Returning players include Aleah Marton, Kayla Daguerre, Olivia Starling, Dani Leroux, Sydney Emerson, Maddie Turner, Emma DeLuca and Chelsea Thistle. Silvaggio said Grade 10 players Hannah Daguerre and Gracie Clifford have shown an interest in playing senior basketball while the team awaits word from the WECSSAA league whether Rachel Wightman, a transfer student from Villanova, will be allowed to play this season.

The team may the shortest in recent memory as well, said Silvaggio, as the tallest player is 5’10”.

“It’s definitely our shortest team we’ve ever had since I’ve been coaching,” he said.

Silvaggio added the team will have to make up for any size differentials through aggressive, intense play.

Three starters are back, however, and Silvaggio believes the team is solid. He said the talent and skillset is there to succeed.

“It all depends on how bad they want it,” he said.

The Lady Gens play in tournaments at the University of Western Ontario this weekend and the University of Windsor the following weekend with Silvaggio stating they will get a handle on how good they are based on those tournaments. The regular season schedule hasn’t been finalized.

Being the Lady Gens, the goals are still high. General Amherst has won 11 straight WECSSAA titles, ten straight SWOSSAA championships and have captured medals at ten consecutive OFSAA tournaments, the latter including a bronze medal at last year’s provincial championship.

“We’d like to get back to OFSAA,” said Silvaggio. “It’s going to be tough.”

Chatham John McGregor features a girl that plays on the Canadian junior national team, with that school being a possible opponent should the Lady Gens advance out of WECSSAA.

“They are going to be tough,” said Silvaggio, “if we get out of WECSSAA.”

OFSAA is once again in the area, he added, with this year’s provincial tournament being hosted in Kingsville. The 2013 OFSAA tournament was in Windsor.

 

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