Lady Gens set sights on OFSSA repeat

 

By Joel Charron

Another season of General Amherst Lady Gens basketball is upon us and with it comes another season of lofty expectations.

The Lady Gens opened camp last week with head coach Dom Silvaggio at the helm for another season.

This season the Lady Gens are chasing an unprecedented tenth straight WECSSAA title, but to Silvaggio, it’s just another year.

“I treat it as just another year,” said Silvaggio. “We always play to win and hopefully we do but I treat each year separately as they come.”

 

Katie Breault will be looked upon to help carry the Lady Gens to another championship.

The Lady Gens will have a different look this year with Jaylin Vandebovenkamp and Rebecka French out for the year with knee injuries. Silvaggio said the strategy has changed slightly but will be looking for his players to fill the void.

“Some other kids are going to step up and pick up the slack,” stated Silvaggio. “We’ve done that in the past so I don’t expect it to be different this year. We have enough people out here that should be able to fill in.”

Silvaggio added there is no replacing VandeBovenkamp, last years Miss Basketball but mentioned, “if everyone does their role they will be ok.”

Fifth year player Christine Belcher agreed with her coach.

“It’s going to be different without Jaylin, she was our leading scorer, so the rest of us have to score more points,” she said. “It’s something that we can definitely do. Aleah (Marton) has improved a lot and Katie (Breault) and I know what we have to do.”

Belcher added the team’s goal is to win OFSSA gold.

“I want to win an OFSSA gold medal,” stated Belcher. “That’s what we are pushing for but first we have to win WECSSA and SWOSSAA then we can think about OFSSA.”

Belcher noted that winning Amherst’s tenth straight WECSSA girls’ basketball title would be a great accomplishment and would be a testament to Silvaggio’s dedication to the Lady Gens basketball program.

“Ten is a big number but it’s not so much for us than it is for Silvaggio,” said Belcher. “He’s been the one person that has been through all those championships. We want to win it for him.”

The majority of the team will be made of Grade 12’s and fifth year players and two Grade 10’s.

Although the start of the season has yet to be determined, the Lady Gens will kick off the 2012 season by participating in the University of Western Ontario Tournament in London on Sept. 14-16.

Silvaggio said it’s still too early to “tell what’s what” but the long time Amherst coach mentioned that he would like to see his squad be quicker this season.

“I would like to pick up the tempo of the game a little bit,” he said. “Go back to our fast break tempo. I think we can be quicker so we will look to push the ball more than we did last year.”

 

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