Dom Silvaggio

Sr. Lady Gens bow out of WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in the semi-final



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team progressed this season but that progress was stopped in the WECSSAA “AA” semi-finals.

The Lady Gens were matched up against an athletic Kennedy Clippers team last Thursday night and came out on the short end of a 68-36 score.

Dani Brindley and Lexi Dodds each scored eight points for the Lady Gens with Brynlee Ammonite adding six points, but Maddy Bishop had 27 points for the Clippers. General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio noted that the Lady Gens left Bishop uncontested for three-pointers early but got in her face after that and that didn’t stop her.

“There’s not much you can do,” said Silvaggio. “She had one of those nights.”

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens were able to play well in stretches but that is not enough against a strong team like Kennedy.

General Amherst’s Madison Pillon goes in for a layup during last Thursday’s game at Kennedy.

“We had some runs, but we have to play 32 minutes against them,” he said.

Silvaggio noted they were able to trim a 22 point deficit to 12 in the second quarter but reminded his team that the opponent will push back, something Kennedy did.

The Lady Gens advanced to the semi-final with a 56-36 win over previously undefeated Catholic Central last Tuesday in a game played at General Amherst. Dodds had 15 points in that game with Ammonite adding 14 points.

Silvaggio didn’t believe the Lady Gens had their best game, saying they weren’t aggressive enough in the first half and started to let the lead slip away in the third quarter before building it back up.

“It’s frustrating because you can see their potential,” he said after Tuesday’s win, “but we have to play 32 minutes.”

Playing while nervous looked to be an issue as they missed easy layups against Catholic Central. If they would have had hit the layups, Silvaggio believed they could have had as many as 75 points against Catholic Central.

Overall, Silvaggio was happy with the 2018 season. He said many games saw the Lady Gens in the mix before a bad stretch turned the game around but said the players improved throughout. He said they have the opportunity to improve in the off-season by putting in the time on the court on their own.

“I’m very happy with their progress,” he stated. “Now it’s up to them. It’s basically in their hands.”

Most of this year’s team is eligible to return next year although they do lose seniors Ramie Tytgat and Taja Holmes to graduation.

Lady Gens narrowly lose final game of regular season



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens ended the WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season end last Tuesday night with a loss.

Poor shooting from the free throw line was cited as one of the main reasons the Lady Gens fell 39-36 to the Sandwich Sabres in a game played last Tuesday night in LaSalle. The Lady Gens shot only 3-for-19 from the free throw line.

“That definitely didn’t help matters,” said General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio. “If we shoot 50 per cent from the free throw line, we win easily. You can’t go 3-for-19 and expect to win at senior basketball.”

Lexi Dodds was in foul trouble most of the game and would eventually foul out, he stated. Dani Brindley played well, Silvaggio added as she his crucial three-point shots in the game. Brynlee Ammonite led the Lady Gens in scoring against the Sabres with 12 points while Emma Pillon, who was called up from junior, had seven points in limited playing time.

Despite the loss, Silvaggio said the game meant little in the Tier 1 standings. He pointed out that he played most of the players equally in order to get everyone in the game.

Silvaggio didn’t know what to expect from his team come playoff time. The first game is Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at General Amherst against the visiting Catholic Central Comets.

“It’s hard to say because we’re so inconsistent,” he said of his team’s chances. The Comets were undefeated in Tier 2 while the Lady Gens were 2-8 in Tier 1 playing against larger schools.

If the Lady Gens advance past the Comets, they would run into a young and athletic team that already has beaten the Lady Gens this season.

Lady Gens show improvement in pair of games last week



By Ron Giofu


It was a productive week for the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team.

The second of the two games turned out to be the second win of the season for General Amherst, a 47-18 victory over the St. Joseph Lasers last Thursday evening in Amherstburg. The halftime lead was 14-4 for the Lady Gens and they put the game away in the third quarter and led 31-10 going into the final eight minutes.

The previous game was two nights earlier in Kingsville, a 56-53 overtime loss to a strong Cavaliers team. Lady Gens head coach Dom Silvaggio said they played well in Kingsville against one of the better “AA” level basketball teams.

“Lexi (Dodds) made a three (pointer) at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime,” said Silvaggio.

The Lady Gens would build a six point lead in overtime but Kingsville would come back and win the game.

General Amherst’s Abby Orchard battles for the ball with a St. Joseph player during the Lady Gens’ win Oct 25.

“We stayed right there with them,” said Silvaggio.

Against St. Joseph, the Lady Gens controlled the game pretty much throughout. Silvaggio said they lost to St. Joseph by eight points at a tournament earlier this season so they are showing signs of progress.

“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half. We missed a lot of shots,” he said.

General Amherst is still battling inconsistency, Silvaggio continued. Even against Kingsville, they had a three to four minute stretch where they didn’t play well.

“Other than that, we played with high intensity on defense, we moved the ball well and hit our shots,” he said. “It was a good week.”

The gradual improvement was good to see, he added.

“Depending on what team shows up, we can challenge anyone in the ‘AA’ playoffs,” he predicted. “If our shooting is on, we’re a handful.”

Dodds and Taja Holmes led the Lady Gens against St. Joseph with 15 and eight points respectively.

General Amherst closed out the regular season yesterday, after this issue of the River Town Times went to press, with a road game in LaSalle against the Sandwich Sabres.

Amherstburg natives inducted into Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame



By Ron Giofu


It was a big night for a number of people in the region’s athletic community, including two people with Amherstburg ties.

The Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame officially welcomed seven individuals, one team and one club at their induction ceremony Friday night at the Ciociaro Club. Among the inductees were Dom Silvaggio in the basketball builder category and Cheryll Damphouse in the golf athlete category.

Silvaggio was honoured for his ongoing coaching legacy at General Amherst High School that includes over 600 victories, 26 championships at the local WECSSAA/ECSSAA level, 13 SWOSSAA (southwestern Ontario) championships and ten straight OFSAA medals with the school’s senior basketball team. Of the ten straight OFSAA medals with the Lady Gens, five of them were gold including four straight provincial titles between 2004-07.

Silvaggio also founded the Amherstburg Basketball Club and headed that for 22 years, teaching both boys and girls the fundamentals of the sport.

In his induction video, Silvaggio credited everyone he has ever coached with, noting Dave Scott, Ross Scott and Mike Nedin got him into coaching. He noted he has coached a long time with Greg Scott and Don Parks with his local coaching peers also including Nicole Rusenstrom, Karl Wightman, Frank Palumbo, Vic DiNardo, Jim Belcher, Dale Prisley, John VandeBovenkamp, Tim Dodds, Amy Bondy and Brad Bondy.

The Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame induction class of 2018.

“Coaching with my son was a big deal to me,” said Silvaggio, as his son Stephen shared the General Amherst sidelines with him and is now the head coach of the Kennedy Clippers senior girls team.

Silvaggio, joined by wife Susan as well as his son Stephen and daughter Kim as well as a group of fellow coaches, family members and former players for the ceremony, said in his induction video that “rewards are not easy” and urged that people “don’t take things for granted.” He also credited his parents for instilling in him his work ethic.

“My family has been amazing,” said Silvaggio. “Without their support, I couldn’t have done this.”

Silvaggio told the RTT after the ceremony that “it’s just awesome. To be here with family, friends and former players means a lot.”

Silvaggio added that he received congratulations from parents from other schools as well as other coaches from around the region.

Cheryll Damphouse was one of the 2018 Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame inductees.

“It’s a special night,” he said.

Silvaggio emphasized that he shares the award with his fellow coaches, including from the elementary and club system.

“They all share a part of it,” he said. “It’s a whole team effort.”

For Damphouse, who was honoured for a golfing career that started as a result of illness when she was in Grade 4. Her talents blossomed as a member of the Kingsville Golf and Country Club as she was club champion nine times and the Essex-Kent District Ladies Champion five times.

Damphouse also won the Ontario Match Play Championship twice and qualified for LPGA tournaments including the DuMaurier Classic, the Lady Stroh’s Tournament and competed in France at the Ladies International Stroke Play Championship. Her biography also notes that she played in the Ladies British Open and was the 1989 Canadian Ladies Amateur Champion.

Domenic Silvaggio (pictured with son Stephen, wife Susan and daughter Kim) was among the honourees at the induction ceremony.

Damphouse was also named twice to the Ontario Senior Ladies’ Provincial team and was a five-time member of the Ontario Ladies Amateur team.

“When I got the call (about being inducted), I was very surprised and very humbled,” she said. “to be inducted with all these wonderful athletes and builders.”

Damphouse added that “it’s quite an honour to be compared to these people I’ve looked up to over the years.”

Noting she didn’t see the honour coming, Damphouse added that anyone who plays sports or who puts their children in sports learns “there is no better environment to grow up in.” The values one learns by learning to compete and to win and lose is important and learned through sports, she said.

Also inducted were Richard Shaw (basketball athlete), J. Paul Reddam (thoroughbred racing builder), Paul Carter (basketball builder), Andy Delmore (hockey athlete) and Don Marrin (wrestling builder). The Tecumseh Baseball Club was also inducted as was the University of Windsor Lancers women’s basketball team from 2011-15. The latter includes Amherstburg’s Korissa Williams, who was unable to attend as she was working Friday night as a member of the Peel Regional Police.


Lady Gens fall 41-25 to visiting Kennedy Clippers



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens are still looking for a consistent effort throughout the court in a WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls basketball game.

The Lady Gens played well in portions of last Tuesday evening’s 41-25 loss to the Kennedy Clippers, particularly in the third quarter, but are still searching for that effort in the entire game. The Clippers led 13-2 after one quarter and 20-7 at the half before the Lady Gens got back into it in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors 13-7 over that eight minutes.

However, Kennedy pulled away for the 16 point win during the fourth quarter.

General Amherst’s Emmery Lucier goes in for a layup during last Tuesday’s WECSSAA senior girls basketball game against Kennedy. The Clippers won 41-25.

“It’s the same old, same old,” said General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio, who coached against his son Stephen in last Tuesday’s game. “We can’t put 32 minutes together.”

After the first quarter, Silvaggio felt the teams were pretty even until turnovers allowed Kennedy to pull away near the end. He added they have to make their layups and free throws in order to stay in games.

“When we give up 41 points to one of the top teams, that’s pretty good defense,” added Silvaggio.

The Lady Gens are still struggling offensively, he said, and they are going to have to work on their layups and shooting. When the games are slower paced, Silvaggio said they tend to play better but they have to work on releasing the ball quicker for up tempo basketball games.

Silvaggio praised his son’s program, noting there are a lot of Grade 9 and 10 players on the Clippers but many of them are great athletes. He also praised his own players, in particular Maddie Pillon who had a 90 second sequence where she got a steal, a blocked shot, three rebounds and a layup. That sequence showed what Pillon is capable of, said Silvaggio.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (left, white jersey) lunges for a ball during Oct. 16 WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls basketball action versus Kennedy.

The Lady Gens did win the consolation championship at a tournament in Stratford the previous weekend, with Silvaggio stating they lost the first game but won the next three including some convincing victories.

General Amherst was in Kingsville Tuesday, after this issue of the RTT went to press. They are back home Thursday evening for a 5:30 p.m. game versus St. Joseph.