General Amherst

Lady Gens looking forward to good season on the volleyball court

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even though the General Amherst Lady Gens are hosting the OFSAA “AA” girls volleyball championship this season, they want to earn their way there instead of just playing in it as the host team.

Head coach Jeff Miller is optimistic about the current season, as WECSSAA play begins this week. The Lady Gens, who will play in WECSSAA Tier 1, could be formidable this season.

“It is our best group of athletes in the last three or four years,” said Miller. “I’m hoping we’re in the top four in the Windsor-Essex area.”

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (4) hits the ball into the air during the Lady Gens’ 3-0 win over
the visiting Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex last Thursday afternoon.

By playing in Tier 1, it means the Lady Gens will be matched up against larger Windsor schools. When the playoffs come around in early 2019, the Lady Gens will be matched up against similar sized schools and Miller believes they will have a shot at a championship.

“I think it’s a legitimate goal to win (the WECSSAA) ‘AA’ senior title,” he said.

The Lady Gens have a lot of depth this season, with Miller stating they have players that have come up from junior plus numerous returning players.

“We have ten kids that I feel comfortable playing,” said Miller. “We haven’t had that for a couple of years.”

The increased depth allows the coaches to make in-game adjustments, he pointed out.

Miller said they want to enter the provincial tournament, which sees matches at General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex March 4-6, as champions.

“I think it would be nice to win Windsor-Essex and SWOSSAA and, even though we are hosting it, earn our way there,” said Miller.

Brynlee Ammonite (1, white jersey) spikes a ball back over the net during General Amherst’s win last Thursday afternoon.

Should they win WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, they would get a better seed at OFSAA, Miller stated.

The Lady Gens started the WECSSAA Tier 1 season in positive fashion last week, with a pair of wins. General Amherst swept all three sets in Kingsville by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-16. The Lady Gens returned home Thursday afternoon and swept Tecumseh Vista Academy by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-16.

The Lady Gens are on the road twice this week. Tuesday night’s game at Massey was played after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

General Amherst plays at Kennedy Thursday at 4 p.m.

Lady Gens start girls hockey season with win and loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens are back on the ice for another WECSSAA hockey season and the first week saw a win and a loss.

The Lady Gens played in a pair of 3-1 game, one being a win over Lajeunesse and the second a loss to Kingsville. In last Wednesday’s win over Lajeunesse, the Lady Gens got goals from Layne Sinasac, Cassidy Atkinson and Sydney Doyle.

“I was pretty happy to start off with a win,” said head coach Dan Pettypiece. “We have a young team, younger than last year.”

General Amherst’s Sam Connell (87, left) takes a shot during third period action against Lajeunesse last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

The Lady Gens are made up of one Grade 12 player, two Grade 11 players with the rest in Grades 9 and 10. Pettypiece said many of the younger players still have to “feel their way” through high school hockey and adapt to the speed of the game. He said the Grade 9’s are a “strong group” but they are still learning.

Much like last year, Pettypiece said the team is comprised of a lot of girls who are respectful and fun to coach.

“It’s a really nice group to work with,” said Pettypiece. “They are very respectful and attentive. I think we are going to have a lot of fun with them this year.”

Pettypiece said last year’s team helped re-energize the coaches and reminded him of his love of coaching.

“When it’s enjoyable, you don’t want to leave it,” he said.

The Lady Gens “took their lumps” in a tournament earlier this season, losing to Villanova and Sandwich before beating Kingsville. The Cavaliers returned the favour in league play last Thursday, in a game that had to be rescheduled due to a fog day earlier the week.

As the Lady Gens are young again this year, Pettypiece said they are tempering their expectations with them. They are learning game-by-game.

“For the most part, you have to be patient with them,” he said.

Cassidy Atkinson (67, right) fires home a second period goal last Wednesday
afternoon in the Lady Gens’ 3-1 victory.

Abby Laframboise said after last Wednesday’s victory over Lajeunesse that “I thought the girls did a really well for the first home game” but noted there is room for improvement.

“It’s nice to start off with a win,” said Laframboise.

Carlie Hayes thought they played well against Lajeunesse, but also agreed there was room for improvement.

“It was a good start for sure,” she said after last Wednesday’s game.

The Lady Gens now have five straight road games. They were in Tecumseh last Monday, after this issue of the RTT went to press, for a game against Tecumseh Vista Academy and play in Windsor versus Lajeunesse Dec. 3.

Their next game at the Libro Centre isn’t until Jan. 14 against the Essex Red Raiders.

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.