Lady Gens off to OFSAA after capturing 9th straight SWOSSAA title

 

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst Lady Gens added the second jewel in their championship crown last Wednesday evening.

Amherst captured their ninth straight SWOSSAA championship, defeating the Sarnia St. Christopher Cyclones 52-43 in front of a boisterous home crowd.

“This feeling never gets old…never,” said Sarah Bondy, who scored a game high 22 points. “This is great, I love it.”

Nerves played a part in the early going.

The Lady Gens held a 14-10 led after the first quarter and held a 19-16 lead at halftime.

“This effort was there in the first half, we just missed a lot of easy layups,” said head coach Dom Silvaggio. ‘That kept them (Sarnia St. Christopher) in the game and gave them confidence.”

The Lady Gens made up for the lack of scoring in the first half by exploding for 16 third quarter points, while holding the Cyclones to 11.

In the fourth quarter, the Cyclones showed a little life as they started to battle back.

 

Sarah Bondy drives to the basket, scoring on a breakaway. Bondy finshed with a game high 22 points including several key free throws in the dying seconds of the final frame.

With 3:22 left in the game a Cyclone three-pointer brought the game to 39-31. With time ticking away, the Cyclones began to foul the Lady Gens, forcing the home team to win the game from the charity stripe.

Aleah Marton and Bondy answered the challenge, driving the nail in the coffin with every free throw made which eventually sealed the deal for the Lady Gens.

“Sarah and Aleah were unconscious from the free throw line,” said Silvaggio. “If they don’t make their free throws, we don’t win the game.”

Although the Lady Gens have plenty of players with championship experience, Amherst assistant coach Don Park said it was very evident the Lady Gens were nervous in the first half.

“Some of the girls were nervous and it affected their game but they worked through that and played an excellent second half.”

Silvaggio said during halftime he told his player to “relax” and  “let the game come to you.”

Marton admits the Lady Gens were frustrated in the first half.

“It definitely was not the toughest we’ve played this season,” said Marton, who finished   with 14 points.

Silvaggio mentioned having Lindsay Kondracki patrolling the middle made the Cyclones think twice about driving to the basket.

“Lindsay controlled the middle and they (Sarnia St. Christopher) had to be aware of her, which affected their game,” said Silvaggio.

Kondracki, who poured in 13 points said winning the SWOSSAA title at home is a little

2012 SWOSSAA Champs

emotional for her because it’s the last basketball game she will play on her home court.

“This means everything in the world to me because I won this championship with my second family,” said Kondracki. “Some of these girls I’ve been with since elementary school. We could have lost and I would have been just as happy but it’s so much better winning a championship and going back to OFSAA to try and win gold again.”

Silvaggio believes the Lady Gens will be one of the higher seeds in this years OFSAA tournament, held in Sault St. Marie.

“We will have our hands full this year and hopefully we can return with a ninth straight OFSAA medal,” said Silvaggio.

“I think we have a really good chance at repeating,” said Marton.

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