Dom Silvaggio

Lady Gens eliminated from WECSSAA “AA” playoffs in semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens got to the WECSSAA “AA” playoff semi-finals but could advance no further.

The Lady Gens hosted the Sandwich Sabres last Tuesday night and won 40-31 to advance to the semi-finals Thursday night at Kennedy. In that Thursday night semi-finals, a second quarter surge by the Clippers doomed the Lady Gens and led to Kennedy defeating General Amherst 50-27.

The Lady Gens led 11-6 late in the first quarter but a pair of late three-pointers put Kennedy up 12-11 at the end of the eight-minute quarter. Those three-pointers were part of a 15-0 run the Clippers went on and that 15-0 run was part of an overall 24-2 run that closed the first half and gave Kennedy a 30-13 lead.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (22) lays in two of her nine points during last Thursday night’s
WECSSAA “AA” semi-final game against the Kennedy Clippers.

The Lady Gens played better in the second half but weren’t able to recover from the second quarter.

“I told them before the game that you can’t let them get on a run,” General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio said.

The last 30 seconds of the first quarter was the turning point of the game, he believed. The second quarter was a bad quarter and having a bad quarter per game was a problem this season for Amherst.

“In the second quarter, we just sucked. There’s no other way to say it,” he said.

The Lady Gens reverted to poor habits they were doing earlier in the season, including passes that would not connect. Silvaggio, who was coaching against his son Stephen in the Kennedy game, said his son told him that Kennedy wasn’t doing anything special in the second quarter but it was turnovers by Amherst that helped swing the tide towards the Clippers.

Lexi Dodds scored 12 points against Kennedy while Taja Holmes scored nine points.

The quarterfinal game against Sandwich saw Dani Brindley score 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott had ten points. Dodds and Holmes had eight and seven points respectively. Ramie Tytgat had five points.

“We played an excellent first half,” Silvaggio said after the Sandwich game. “In the second half, we didn’t have that extra step. Sandwich switched defenses and we didn’t run our offense.”

Brooklyn Prescott drives to the basket during the second half of the Nov. 2 playoff game at Kennedy.

The Lady Gens’ defensive intensity was better in the first half of the Sandwich game, Silvaggio added.

A positive sign from this season was a lot of players that received a lot of playing time, about six in total, will return next year.

“There are quite a few kids that improved a lot,” said Silvaggio.

The team will likely have more players to choose from next year and Silvaggio hopes for more consistency out of them.

“If we can get 32 minutes out of them, I think we’ll be good,” he said.

Silvaggio urged the players to work in the offseason at improving their games otherwise improvement will be stunted.

“If they are not going to put in the work in the offseason, we’re not going to get any better,” he believed.

This year’s Lady Gens were a respectful and good group to coach, he added.

Dani Brindley lunges after a loose ball during the fourth quarter of last Thursday’s WECSSAA semi-final game at Kennedy.

“I’d like to thank them for that,” said Silvaggio. “They were enjoyable for us to coach.”

Silvaggio, joined on the sidelines this season by Don Parks and Nicole Rusenstrom, believed that playing in WECSSAA Tier 1 was productive. They went 1-7 in the regular season but the caliber of play helped develop the players and should prove beneficial in the long run, he indicated.

“I am happy we played in Tier 1 this year, because even though we didn’t win many games, we were competitive in every game but one,” he said. “It also forced us to play at a quicker pace and we got to play a higher caliber of basketball, which will help us for the next couple of years. There was a big difference in the caliber of ball between the tiers.”

Lady Gens pick up first victory of the season

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team recorded its first victory of the WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season and hopes to build on that in the playoffs.

The Lady Gens were 0-7 heading into last Thursday afternoon’s game at Sandwich but the Sabres were also winless heading in. In the end, it was General Amherst coming away with a 53-41 win.

“We didn’t start out that well and trailed 10-2 at the end of the first quarter. We made a run late in the second quarter and closed the deficit to 18-17 by halftime,” said General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio. “We then played a strong second half and out scored them 36-23 to win 53-41.”

Taja Holmes had 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott, Lexi Dodds, Ramie Tytgat and Dani Brindley all had ten points each.

“This game was typical of our season where we have one bad quarter, this game being the first quarter,” said Silvaggio. “The only difference was in this game we scored enough points to make up for the bad quarter. We hit six three-pointers which helped. We also starting taking the ball to the basket which helped us getting to the free throw line more than we normally do.”

Silvaggio said they received a bye for the first round of the playoffs and host Sandwich Tuesday at 5 p.m. The juniors also play Sandwich, with that game scheduled at General Amherst at 3:15 p.m.

“Sandwich was missing a very important starter last (Thursday) night, so for us to beat them again we will have to play like we did in the second half and can’t have a bad quarter,” said Silvaggio.

Lady Gens come close against Villanova in one of two games last week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens were close to their first victory of the season last Tuesday but fell just short.

The Lady Gens went to Villanova but were defeated 42-38 in overtime. The game saw the Wildcats take a 20-17 lead at the half with Amherst tightening it to 27-25 after three quarters. With four minutes to go, Dani Brindley put the Lady Gens up 32-31 with the fourth quarter going back-and-forth the rest of the way.

Villanova had a 38-35 lead but Ramie Tytgat’s three-pointer with five seconds left in regulation put the game into overtime. However, Tytgat’s three-pointer would be the last points the Lady Gens would score as Villanova outscored the Lady Gens 4-0 in the four-minute overtime period.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (35) drives to the basket during second half action last Tuesday at Villanova. The Wildcats defeated the Lady Gens 42-38 in overtime.

Lexi Dodds led Amherst in scoring against the Wildcats with 14 points while Brindley had 11 points. Tytgat scored nine points.

“There were crucial mistakes we made,” said General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio. “In the first half, our defensive rebounding was non-existent. Out of (Villanova’s) 20 points, 14 of them came on second shot opportunities.”

Silvaggio believed the Lady Gens did a better job rebounding in the second half but added they also had problems with their shot selection.

“I think it comes down to making the right decisions when to shoot and when not to shoot,” said Silvaggio, adding there were three shots in the overtime period the Lady Gens took when they shouldn’t have.

The effort was better in two of the last three games, he said after the Villanova game.

“They didn’t quit,” said Silvaggio. “That’s good to see.”

The Lady Gens dropped to 0-7 on the season two nights later in a game at first-place Holy Names. The Knights knocked off the Lady Gens 42-22 with Holy Names improving to 5-1 with the win.

Taja Holmes scored nine points in the game for the Lady Gens.

General Amherst’s last scheduled regular season game is Thursday afternoon at Sandwich. The Sabres were 0-6 at press time.

Sr. Lady Gens play better despite two more losses

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team showed signs of improvement last week despite a pair of losses.

The Lady Gens dropped to 0-5 in WECSSAA Tier 1 play, though played better in losses to Essex and Kingsville. The most recent game was Thursday evening against Kingsville and saw the Cavaliers come away with a 49-24 win.

While it was a 25-point win for Kingsville, the game was actually closer in three of the four quarters.

The game was tied 6-6 after one quarter with Kingsville taking a 12-10 lead by halftime. However, the third quarter proved to be the turning point as the Cavaliers outscored the Lady Gens 30-12 over the eight-minute period.

Emma Marshall (right) drives to the basket during General Amherst’s game against Kingsville last Thursday evening.

The fourth quarter was a bit closer, with Kingsville outscoring General Amherst 7-2.

Players on the Lady Gens knew the second half wasn’t their best.

“We need to rebound,” said Dani Brindley, who led the Lady Gens with seven points against Kingsville. “In the first half, we played really well. In the second half, we lacked rebounding and didn’t spread the floor.”

Teammate Madison Pillon also believed they had a let down in the second half.

“I feel we sort of gave up after the first half,” she said. “We stopped spreading out the floor on offense, stopped making good passes and rebounding. We’ve got to work harder in practice.”

Pillon added the “third quarter pretty much killed us” and believes they have to practice “more team stuff.”

“I think (the third quarter) pretty much ended the game,” added Brindley.

Brindley also said they have to work harder in practice and get everyone to come out.

The Lady Gens also lost two days earlier to Essex 43-27. Brindley said it was a similar game to Thursday as “we slacked in the third quarter.”

Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio said they were in the game against Essex, though missed layups and free throws put them down 12-2 after one quarter. The Lady Gens actually outscored the Red Raiders 10-6 in the second quarter and only lost to them by three in the third but Essex pulled away in the end.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes (left) brings the ball up the floor during last Thursday’s game vs. Kingsville.

“Essex is undefeated,” said Silvaggio. “We hung with them.”

Silvaggio said that they haven’t been able to put a full game together as of yet. He pointed out Kingsville’s 30-point third quarter sunk the Lady Gens in Thursday’s game. He said the coaches draw up plays in time-outs but those plays sometimes don’t get carried out.

“It gets frustrating,” said Silvaggio. “We call a time-out, we diagram something and they don’t go out and do what we just diagramed.”

The Lady Gens need to do a better job running their offense, he added. The Lady Gens spread out their offense in the first half but collapsed in during the second half and eliminated their passing lanes.

Kingsville was given credit for a strong third quarter, as they hit seven three-point shots, but Silvaggio said the Lady Gens shouldn’t have given up that many.

“We started chasing on defense instead of playing defense,” he said.

There are aspects of their game that still need work, continued Silvaggio, and hopes things will improve by the end of the year. He was encouraged that they have seen the best “AA” school in the area and have played well except for one quarter in each game.

Lexi Dodds and Taja Holmes had six points each against Kingsville.

General Amherst has a pair of road games this week. They played at Villanova at 4 p.m. Tuesday then play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Holy Names.

Lady Gens “terrible” in loss to St. Anne, better in loss to Lajeunesse

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens’ senior girls basketball game last Thursday night was a game that, suffice it to say, didn’t impress their coaches.

The players also left the court unimpressed.

“That was just terrible,” said head coach Dom Silvaggio, after losing at home 51-15 to the St. Anne Saints. “That was one of those games where there is nothing good to say about it. I don’t even know who that team was out there. That should have been a closer game.”

The game was close for the first five minutes, said Silvaggio, but then things fell apart. He didn’t recall seeing a team play that poorly in the last 15-20 years and wanted the players to quickly put it behind them and move on.

“They have to remember how embarrassed they got but wipe out everything else about that game,” said Silvaggio.

General Amherst’s Brooklyn Prescott (41, right) brings the ball up the court during second half action in last Thursday’s loss to St. Anne.

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens, who fell to 0-3 in WECSSAA Tier 1 play after the game, had a bad game and hoped they got it out of their systems. They couldn’t hit any outside jump shots and became frustrated. Silvaggio noted a key moment in the game was the last 90 seconds of the first half when St. Anne expanded their lead from 18-11 to 27-11 heading into halftime.

Rebounding was also non-existent during last Thursday’s game, he added.

“There’s no excuses for the lack of rebounding,” he said.

Ramie Tytgat had six points while Lexi Dodds had four points.

“I think we are just really out of shape,” said Tytgat. “We need to work harder in practice. We’re not ready for games.”

Tytgat agreed with her coach that rebounding was poor, adding that they didn’t control the ball well either.

“We weren’t in this game, it seemed,” she said.

Tytgat also said they need to remember the embarrassment and use it as motivation going forward.

“Hopefully it will put a fire under our butts to get us to play harder next game,” she said.

Last Thursday’s game was a step backwards in terms of progress, Tytgat added.

“This is by far the worst game we’ve played,” she said after the games.

The Lady Gens also played last Tuesday (Oct. 3) at home versus Lajeunesse and lost 41-28. Silvaggio said that was a better effort, noting it was 16-16 at the half, but doomed themselves by shooting one-for-18 from the free throw line.

The game was within seven points in the fourth quarter but an offensive run by Lajeunesse in the fourth quarter sealed the deal. A key sequence was when the Lady Gens missed an easy layup with Lajeunesse going up the floor and hitting a three-pointer to seize momentum.

“We played well,” Silvaggio said of Tuesday’s game. “We kept fighting.”

General Amherst hosted Essex Tuesday at 4 p.m. They also host Kingsville Thursday at 5:30 p.m.