General Amherst

Jr. Lady Gens advance to WECSSAA “AA” final but lose to Kingsville

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens junior girls basketball team made it to the WECSSAA “AA” final but came out on the short end of a 39-26 decision.

The Kingsville Cavaliers walked away as this year’s champions but there was not a lot of disappointment on the General Amherst side as this year’s team exceeded expectations.

“We said before the game about how many thought we’d make it this far,” said Greg Scott, who coached the team this year with Ben Pelger. “No one thought we would.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens made it to the WECSSAA “AA” final but lost 39-26 to Kingsville.

The Lady Gens kept it close in the first eight-minute quarter but the Cavaliers led 11-7. Kingsville would expand their advantage to 21-14 at the half and widened their lead further in the third quarter as they led 35-16 after three.

“It’s a great accomplishment to make it to the championship game,” said Scott. “You never know if you are ever going to make the championship game again so we told them to leave everything on the floor. We’re proud of the way things went. Ben and I enjoyed coaching the girls. They were a real pleasure to coach.”
Scott said the junior Lady Gens were polite and fun to coach, as the players went as far as to thank the coaches after practice. He said that while Kingsville plays together all year, the Lady Gens did well for only playing together in September and October.

The junior Lady Gens had three Grade 10 players and eight Grade 9 players and are hopeful for success next season if they get the eligible returning players to come back.

“We hope we can get back here again,” said Scott. “For the amount of time we had to work with them, they did a great job.”

Emma Pillon, who led General Amherst in the finals with 11 points, said they didn’t play as well as they could have early on but was happy with how the season went.

Emma Pillon (23) splits two defenders as she puts up a shot against Kingsville Sunday at St. Clair College.

“Overall, I thought we had a really good season,” said Pillon. “We went further than we thought we were going to go. We did really well.”

Pillon admitted it would have been better if they would have won Sunday’s game against Kingsville, played at the St. Clair College Sportsplex, but still was proud of how the junior Lady Gens performed.

“We grew a lot as a team this year,” said Pillon. “I thought we did very well.”

General Amherst got to the finals thanks to a pair of close wins on their home court last week. They defeated Catholic Central 27-22 in Thursday night’s semi-final while held on to beat Herman 26-24 last  Tuesday in a game where Herman mounted a comeback but saw the Lady Gens fight them off at the end.

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.

Palumbo wins gold at SWOSSAA tennis tournament

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A General Amherst High School student has captured gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament.

Matteo Palumbo captured the gold medal after winning all three of his matches at the regional tennis tournament in Chatham. He won his matches 8-2, 8-4 and then 8-4 again in the finals.

Palumbo said he worked hard over the summer and that has paid off for him now as he is now representing his school.

“It was a little challenging but I was able to play pretty well,” said Palumbo, of the recent SWOSSAA tournament as it was played in sometimes windy conditions.

There is a gap between now and OFSAA, as the provincial tournament doesn’t occur until June.

“I’ve got a couple of months outside to play before OFSAA,,” he said, adding he will also play indoors with his coach Nancy Loeffler-Caro.

Matteo Palumbo won gold at the recent SWOSSAA tennis tournament in Chatham. (Submitted photo)

Palumbo said he started playing tennis when he was young at a court across from his house. He estimates he was about eight-years-old when he first started playing.

“I’d just go out and hit against a wall and play against my dad,” the Grade 11 student stated. “I didn’t play a lot competitively until I got to high school.”

Palumbo said he likes the fact that “it’s all on you” in tennis.

“I like the workout,” he added. “You are always moving. You’ve got a lot of court to cover.”

Quickness is the name of the game for Palumbo.

“I’m not the most powerful guy around but I can place the ball and play strategically,” said Palumbo.

Palumbo believes he will be seeing some of the same players he has seen in previous competitions when he goes to OFSAA, he knows it will be a tough test regardless of who he plays.

“It’s going to be a lot of good tennis and there will be some really good tennis players,” he said.

In addition to thanking Loeffler-Caro, Palumbo also expressed his thanks to the tennis team’s teacher representative Stephanie Melcher.

Bulldogs improve to 6-0 with shutout win vs. Riverside

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Six games, six wins for the General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team.

However, the most recent win wasn’t one of their prettiest.

The Bulldogs defeated Riverside 21-0 last Thursday night in a game played at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The game was scoreless at the half with General Amherst being stopped twice on third down plays in addition to turning the ball over three times in the half.

General Amherst’s Canyon Gooder (59) and Cole Brown (57) pursue the Riverside quarterback.

The offense got going in the third quarter when Emmitt Rosati and Brayden LeClerc each scored touchdowns, both of them being 11-yard runs. Levi Reaume added the Bulldogs’ third touchdown of the second half with a two-yard run in the fourth quarter.

LeClerc believed they came out “flat footed” in the first half and didn’t play as well as they are capable of.

“We focused more. We were more motivated in the second half,” he said. “We brought the sauce.”

The offensive line blocked well and allowed him to get the touchdown, LeClerc added, believing the line is playing well this season.

As for the 6-0 start, LeClerc said “it feels good, especially since we didn’t get a win last year.”

General Amherst head coach John Rudak said he spoke with his Riverside counterpart with the belief was that the Rebels had their best half of the season in last Thursday night’s football game. Rudak said it showed in their performance.

“They came out to play,” he said.

Calvin Cribley returns a punt for General Amherst during the Bulldogs’ 21-0 win over Riverside Oct. 25.

The three first half turnovers were “very costly,” said Rudak, and helped change momentum. However, the Bulldogs were able to take over in the second half.

“As the game wore on, we wore them down,” said Rudak, crediting the offensive and defensive lines.

“We had great lateral pressure from our linebackers and safeties to stop their run game,” he added.

Ben Sutherland is brought down after making a second half catch against Riverside.

The Bulldogs return to Tecumseh Vista Academy Friday at 5 p.m. to battle the host Vortex in a battle of 6-0 teams. It is the final game of the season for both and the winner will be division champions.

“The guys are very fired up,” said Rudak. “Vista ran it up on us last year. The guys on that team remember that. They are going to use it as incentive for this year’s game.”

Rudak said they are going to try and do what they do best, which is run behind the line and wear the other team down.