Lady Gens optimistic about upcoming basketball season

By Joel Charron

If you’re going to play Lady Gens basketball, you’re going to have to put up with the high expectations that come along with it, and this year is no different.

Try-outs haven’t officially started but that’s not stopping players from attending an early bird shoot around last week as they prepare for the 2011 season.

“We always have high expectations,” said head coach Dom Silvaggio. “We expect a lot and we usually get a lot.”

The Lady Gens will not have a fifth year student on the roster as Amherst lost anumber of players to graduation.

Stepping into Grade 12 and a more of a leadership role will be Christine Belcher.

“I think there will be a few who step up but Christine is definitely one of them,”

Ready and able, the Lady Gens prepares for the 2011 girls basketball season.

said Silvaggio.

Belcher, who has been a part of mulitple OFSSA medal winning Lady Gens teams said she is ready for a leadership role but will handle it in her own way.

“I’m ready to step up and be a leader for this team but I’m not really that vocal so I’m going to try to lead by example,” said Belcher.

She won’t have to do it alone. At the end of last season Katie Breault seemed to find her stride in the senior game and hopes that will follow her into the new season.

“This summer allowed me to take a break from basketball, last year I did too much and played all year,” said Breault. “Now I’m ready to get back into it.”

The Lady Gens will add one more weapon to their arsenal as Jaylin VandeBovenkamp is set to return to the lineup after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

The thought of having Belcher, Breault and VandeBovenkamp on the court on the same time has the players excited.

“We have always done well together,” said Belcher. “All three of us know what each other is thinking on the court. I hope good things come from that.”

Silvaggio said this year’s squad will be the biggest that Amherst has seen in the past few years.

Try-outs officially begin the first Tuesday that school is back in session. It won’t take long for the Lady Gens to see action, Silvaggio said they are scheduled to play in the University of Windsor tournament a few weeks later and the University of Western Ontario tournament the week after that.

“After those tournaments I will have a better idea where we will be,” said Silvaggio.

The long time Amherst coach added he believes the Lady Gens will be near the top with St. Anne’s and Kingsville nipping at their heels.

Silvaggio said the WECSSAA season should start near the end of September.

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