General Amherst Lady Gens

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 battle St. Anne and Villanova on the court



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens are still a work in progress after dropping to 1-5 last week.

The Lady Gens most recent game was a 36-23 loss at Villanova, a game in which was possibly their most frustrating effort of the season. The Lady Gens trailed 16-6 at the half and head coach Dom Silvaggio couldn’t grasp why the Lady Gens played so poorly in the opening 16 minutes of play.

“I was at a loss for words,” he said.

Recalling their better effort versus top teams like Holy Names and Lajeunesse, Silvaggio was hoping his team would have shown the same type of effort against Villanova. They played better in the third quarter, even tying the game at 18 at one point, before Villanova went on a run to take a 24-19 lead after three quarters.

The third quarter showed what they are capable of, he said, but the play fell off a bit in the fourth quarter.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes drives to the basket during an Oct. 11 WECSSAA senior girls basketball game at Villanova.

Silvaggio pointed out they weren’t good from the free throw line, either. The Lady Gens shot six-for-28 from the charity stripe.

“We’re going to struggle offensively,” he said. “What bothered me (Thursday night) was the lack of defensive intensity.”

The game was “very, very frustrating” at points and believed they had a shot to beat Villanova, whom he believed was a relatively evenly-matched opponent.

“There were so many unforced turnovers,” he added. “This is a game we could have won. If we played better in the first half, would the result have been different?”

The previous game was a 54-18 loss at home to the St. Anne Saints.

One player hit seven three-point shots, said Silvaggio, stating that they didn’t play well enough defensively against her.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (35) tries to dribble away from a Villanova defender during the Oct. 11 game.

“There was no one in her face at all,” said Silvaggio. “That was the most disappointing part of that game.”

The Lady Gens played well in spurts against St. Anne, he added, but they couldn’t string an entire game together.

General Amherst hosted Kennedy Tuesday night after the print issue of the RTT went to press in what is the only game this week for the Lady Gens.

Lady Gens compete at University of Western Invitational


Special to the RTT

The General Amherst senior girls’ basketball team took part in the 32-team University of Western Invitational this past weekend.

In their opening game Amherst ended up on the short end of a 46-41 score in a highly competitive game against St. Thomas Aquinas from London. Lexi Dodds hit 13 of 14 of her free throws and ended up with a game high 31 points. Also scoring for Amherst were Ramie Tytgat with five, Dani Brindley with three and Taja Holmes with two points.

In their next game against Brantford Assumption, General Amherst trailed only by three at the half but had trouble finding the bottom of the basket in the second half and lost 38-25. Tytgat and Dodds had five points each in the game followed by Hannah Bauer with four and Holmes, Brindley and Emma Marshall all had three points each. Alyssa Herd rounded off the scoring with two points and Madison Pillon led the team in rebounds.

In their final game of the tournament, General Amherst led 31-11 after three quarters and coasted to a 39-21 victory over Waterloo Collegiate. Taja Holmes played a strong defensive game and led the team in steals. Lexi Dodds paced the scoring with 19, Dani Brindley had six, Emma Marshall had five, Madi Pillon had three and Taja Holmes, Breana Farias and Hannah Bauer all had two points each.

Amherst will have an exhibition game this Thursday against Brennan at home at 4:15 p.m.

Busy week concludes for Lady Gens slo-pitch team with a win


By Ron Giofu


It was a busy week for the General Amherst Lady Gens slo-pitch team as they lost two games but won another.

The Lady Gens kicked off the week with a 30-18 loss at Villanova last Monday afternoon. The girls looked to rebound from that loss 24 hours later in Essex, and took a 3-0 over the Red Raiders after five innings. However, Essex scored one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to tie the score.

After General Amherst got out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh, the game went to extra innings and Essex took advantage of a pair of Lady Gens’ errors to win it 4-3 in the eighth inning.

“We definitely didn’t get the offense going,” said Jackie Wismer, after Wednesday’s game. “Our defense was spot on for sure. We couldn’t get the offense going to compete with them.”

Wismer believed the Essex game was a game they could have won, but weren’t able to.

“They are definitely a team we can beat. I guess today wasn’t our day,” she said.

Carly Renaud tags the base in front of an Essex runner during  WECSSAA girls slo-pitch action May 16.

Carly Renaud tags the base in front of an Essex runner during
WECSSAA girls slo-pitch action May 16.

The game against Villanova was the opposite way, she stated, as the offense was “amazing” but the defense not as good.

The loss against Essex was the Lady Gens’ fourth in a row, causing Wismer to conclude “we’ve got to fight a little harder.”

That fight appeared to be there last Thursday, as the Lady Gens defeated the visiting Sandwich Sabres 28-15 at Wigle Park.

The Lady Gens allowed two runs in the top half of the first inning but Reese Jones got the offense going with a three-run home run in the bottom half of the inning. Amherst scored nine in that inning and added two more in the second inning.

The Lady Gens pulled away from Sandwich in the third inning as they tacked on 13 more runs. The highlight of that inning was a Brooklyn Prescott grand slam.

General Amherst scored four more in the fourth before the game was called after the top of the fifth due to the mercy rule.

“We got it together today,” said Jones, after the Sandwich game.

Jones said their attitude was the major difference as they came out ready to play.

“We wanted to come out and win and play like the team we can,” she said.

The infield and outfield both played well, Jones added.

As for her home run, she said she wanted to hit the ball hard.

“I just wanted to go up and hit the ball as hard as I can and do the best I can for the team when I’m up,” said Jones.

The Lady Gens had a play-in game Tuesday after this issue of the River Town Times went to press

Lady Gens lose in WECSSAA Tier 2 volleyball semi-finals



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team had a stronger than expected regular season but could advance no further than the WECSSAA Tier 2 semi-finals.

The Lady Gens were eliminated from the playoffs last Tuesday afternoon by the Kingsville Cavaliers, with visiting Kingsville winning 25-12, 25-21 and 25-12. Despite the loss, the Amherst coaches weren’t overly surprised with the outcome given the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.

General Amherst’s Jackie Wismer (3) hits the ball during WECSSAA AA semi-final volleyball action last Tuesday afternoon. Kingsville came to town and swept the Lady Gens in three straight sets.

General Amherst’s Jackie Wismer (3) hits the ball during WECSSAA AA semi-final volleyball action last Tuesday afternoon. Kingsville came to town and swept the Lady Gens in three straight sets.

“It was what I expected,” said Amherst head coach Jeff Miller.

“We would have had to have been perfect,” added assistant coach Mary Ewer.

Miller said they were hoping to steal a set, something they almost did in the second set, and put pressure on Kingsville but they were ultimately unable to change the momentum of the match.

“(Kingsville) got a couple of kills and a couple of good serves,” said Miller.

Even though they lost in the semi-finals, the coaches were still happy with the season.

Head coach Jeff Miller discusses strategy with the General Amherst Lady Gens during the Feb. 14 WECSSAA semi-final match that was eventually won by Kingsville.

Head coach Jeff Miller discusses strategy with the General Amherst Lady Gens during the Feb. 14 WECSSAA semi-final match that was eventually won by Kingsville.

“Overall, I’d say the season was a success,” said Miller, noting they were 9-1 in the regular season. “I never thought we would have made it to the final four in AA.”

Ewer called this year’s Lady Gens a dedicated group of girls to coach.

Miller believed that when General Amherst hosts the OFSAA AA volleyball championship in two years, the Lady Gens will be a true contender. He envisions next year being similar to this year in that it will be another year of building up the volleyball program and getting athletic students experience at playing the sport.