Ben Pelger

Bulldogs drop to 0-4 after loss to Villanova

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior boys basketball team went into the Christmas break 0-4 after a 40-35 loss to the Villanova Wildcats.

The Wildcats looked to have the game well in hand in the first half, as they built a 11-5 lead after one quarter and a 22-8 halftime advantage. However, a lively third quarter saw General Amherst score 20 points in those eight minutes alone as they outscored Villanova 20-11 in the quarter to make it a 33-28 lead going into the fourth quarter.

However, Villanova held off General Amherst and came away with the win.

Sebastian Hebert, one of the General Amherst captains, said it was a fast-paced game and said they had “a good comeback” in the third quarter.

“It was really back-and-forth,” said Hebert. “We played good defense.”

Hebert attributed the third quarter surge to a boisterous fan base.

Villanova’s Ben Diab (30) attempts a shot over General Amhest’s Kale DeCarlo during the Bulldogs’ most recent home game. Villanova won 40-35.

“We had a good crowd and a lot of support,” he said.

Hebert added they shot the ball better and made better passes in the game against the Wildcats.

General Amherst coach Ben Pelger said he knew it was a rivalry game and that both enjoy playing one another.

“Our team had a slow start,” he said. “Then we really came together as a team.”

The Bulldogs were hamstrung by the fact they lost three players to foul trouble late in the game.

“No excuses,” Pelger stated. “(Villanova) played great.”

General Amherst’s Joe Leroux (55, left) drives to the basket during first half action against the Villanova Wildcats. Defending Leroux is Villanova’s James Hanlon (20). Villanova won the senior boys basketball game 40-35.

Pelger also pointed out the fan support, adding “we started making shots.” He said they got more aggressive in the third quarter but that led to the foul trouble.

Villanova also got the win in the junior game, which preceded the senior game. The Wildcats won 64-29.

“They are improving every game. They came out aggressive today,” said Pelger. “They had a good third quarter and proved they can play with other teams.”

The junior Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season 24 hours later when they travelled to Windsor and downed Westview Freedom Academy 71-25.

Both teams resume play Jan. 9 when St. Joseph comes to town then play at Belle River two days later.

Bulldogs lose home opener to Cardinal Carter

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs took to their home court for the first time this season last Tuesday but dropped a 70-34 decision to Cardinal Carter.

The senior boys basketball team trailed 37-17 at the half with the visiting Cougars extending their lead further in the third quarter. Cardinal Carter outscored General Amherst 25-12 over the third eight-minute quarter.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 0-2 in WECSSAA Tier 2 play.

“It was a tough game,” said General Amherst coach Ben Pelger. “We competed against a team that should be playing Tier 1.”

Pelger said the Bulldogs looked “a little bit rusty” against Cardinal Carter.

“Hopefully we can raise our game and have better games in the future,” said Pelger.

General Amherst was able to take a lot of shots against Cardinal Carter, but Pelger added that not enough of them went in.

“We still need to do a lot of work defensively and rebounding,” said Pelger.

General Amherst’s Jackson Campbell dribbles under the Cardinal Carter basket during last Tuesday’s senior boys basketball game in Amherstburg. Cardinal Carter won the game 70-34.

The Bulldogs are aiming for a 5-5 season, said Pelger, noting the team is both a mix of new and experienced players. Pelger said there are three returning seniors, four players that moved up from the junior team and five new players.

Pelger also coaches the junior boys team, which also dropped to 0-2 last Tuesday night after a 50-26 loss to Cardinal Carter’s junior team. The juniors are also hoping for a 5-5 record this season.

“That’s a really promising team,” said Pelger. “They are playing hard every game. It’s a good group of guys. The Grade 9 and 10’s get along well. They are all there to improve and get better for the future.”

The two teams are trying to get General Amherst back to a championship level on an annual basis, Pelger added.

The teams played Monday at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The senior team lost to the Vortex 54-34 while the junior team fell 56-36.