Lady Gens

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.

Lady Gens drop to 1-3 after pair of losses last week

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team dropped to 1-3 after a pair of losses last week.

The Lady Gens dropped a 41-18 decision last Thursday evening at home to Lajeunesse. However, General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio wasn’t overly disappointed with a loss to the 4-0 Lajeunesse team.

“I was really proud of their effort tonight. (Lajeunesse) is the first place team,” he said.

Ramie Tytgat (foreground) brings the basketball up the floor during the first half of General Amherst’s loss to first place Lajeunesse last Tuesday evening.

General Amherst actually led 9-7 after the opening eight-minute quarter and trailed by only two points – 16-14 – the half. However, things unravelled for the Lady Gens in the third quarter when they were outscored 19-0.

Silvaggio said the Lady Gens ran their offense in the first half but got rattled in the third quarter.

“We couldn’t handle their pressure,” he said, adding new FIBA rules regarding timeouts diminished his ability to call timeouts when he wanted to.

The Lady Gens were missing some players, he added, including starter Lexi Dodds. Silvaggio said “that definitely hurt” but the players in the game didn’t stop hustling throughout. He added that the game was relatively even with the exception of the third quarter.

The Lady Gens were in Essex last Tuesday night and lost 40-23 to the Red Raiders.

“We played probably one of our worst games,” he said, “but we were still in the game at halftime. We made too many turnovers.”

General Amherst’s Dani Brindley looks for room to dribble during the first half of last Thursday’s WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls basketball game against Lajeunesse.

Silvaggio said the coaches were not happy with the effort against Essex.

“Essex is a good team but we definitely didn’t play one of our better games,” he said.

Silvaggio added he is still happy the Lady Gens are playing in WECSSAA Tier 1 as they will learn more, develop better and be better prepared when the WECSSAA “AA” playoffs come around.

Ramie Tytgat led the Lady Gens in scoring against Lajeunesse with eight points while Dodds led them against Essex with 11 points.

The Lady Gens were at home versus St. Anne Tuesday night after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They are in LaSalle Thursday night to battle the St. Thomas of Villanova Wildcats.

Lady Gens split first two games of regular season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens picked up their first win of the WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season last Thursday evening but their head coach sees a lot of room for improvement.

While a 43-18 win over Massey seems like a good game, Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio was not impressed with the play on the court.

“We ended up winning but we didn’t play very well,” said Silvaggio. “I wasn’t happy with our performance.”

Silvaggio said they should be playing better defensively “and we’re not” and said they simply have to work harder.

“We want to see them put forth a better effort and show some intensity and improve on what they can do,” he said.

The Lady Gens took a while to get a field goal against Massey and the score was only 4-2 after one quarter. General Amherst pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 15-0, but Silvaggio said scoring may be an issue again this season.

The Lady Gens lost 41-17 in the regular season opener at Holy Names last Thursday night. Silvaggio said they were only down 14-12 at the half but were outscored 18-2 in the third quarter.

“That game, I was happy with the effort in the first half,” he said.

General Amherst has to work harder in practice and not go half-speed in drills, he said.

“They’ve been doing a lot of running in practice because they don’t want to go full-speed,” he said. “Every time we play in a game, they revert back to old habits.”

The Lady Gens competed the previous weekend at a tournament at the University of Western Ontario and lost all three games they played.

“We didn’t play very well,” said Silvaggio. “It was not a good weekend at all.”

The girls will be in Essex Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. before returning home Thursday for a 4 p.m. game versus Lajeunesse.

Outlook improved for General Amherst senior girls basketball team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Wins have been tough to come by for the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball the last couple of seasons but things appear to be looking up.

Bolstered by an increased number of girls trying out, the team appears to be heading back in the right direction. Head coach Dom Silvaggio said the players that have tried out all have basketball experience.

“Our depth is going to be better than the last few seasons,” said Silvaggio. “Now we have to get them to the next level and get them used to a level they’re not used to playing at.”

General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio speaks to the senior girls basketball team at a practice last week.

The first couple of weeks of the season will be used to help define where people will play with Silvaggio stating that the increased depth gives him increased options of who to put on the floor.

“It’s a step back to where we used to be,” said Silvaggio. “People will have to earn playing time. We’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

The increase in players means practices are more competitive as well, he continued, and that they can work on more things. Silvaggio added that a difference can be seen in the players who have been turning out to practice consistently.

“I see a dramatic improvement in the kids that have been coming out,” said Silvaggio.

There are six players back from last year’s Lady Gens team – Taja Holmes, Ramie Tytgat, Lexi Dodds, Emma Marshall, Dani Brindley and Maddie Pillon – with Holmes and Tytgat being Grade 12 players. The bulk of the team is made up of Grade 11 players, though there are some Grade 10 athletes.

The Lady Gens will compete in the WECSSAA Tier 1 division again this season and while they were 1-7 in league play last year with an additional playoff win, Silvaggio said many of the games were competitive.

Ramie Tytgat takes a shot during a senior girls basketball practice at General Amherst High School Sept. 6.

“Hopefully, we’ll take one more step this year and see if we can earn a few more wins,” he said.

When playoffs roll around and the Lady Gens are matched up with their “AA” level counterparts, Silvaggio believes they will be in the mix with Essex, Kennedy and Kingsville for a title.

“It’s going to be a dogfight between those four teams,” he said.

As of press time, the 2018 WECSSAA Tier 1 schedule had not been posted on www.wecssaa.com.

 

Local coach to be inducted into Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A coach who has led General Amherst High School basketball teams to numerous boys and girls championships is getting a significant honour himself.

Domenic Silvaggio will be inducted into the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame this fall. The news went public last week that Silvaggio will be part of the class of 2018.

Silvaggio got the word in late-June that he was likely to be inducted this year and the official word came last week. He will be inducted as part of the builder’s category.

“It was kind of nice to hear, that’s for sure,” he said.

Silvaggio added he was at a “loss for words” when the call came that he was a soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

“There’s been quite a few people asking me about it (in past years),” he said. “I said it’s something I have no control over. If it comes, it comes.”

Now that the honour has come, Silvaggio is sharing it with many of his peers. That includes many coaches within the elementary and the Amherstburg Basketball Club system especially those who were involved with both systems including Karl Wightman, Frank Palumbo, Vic DiNardo, Jim Belcher, Dale Prisley, John VandeBovenkamp, Tim Dodds, Amy Bondy and Brad Bondy.

Among those that helped him along the way have also included Ross Scott, Mike Nedin and Dave Scott.

“These guys were influential in getting me into coaching,” he said.

Nicole Rusenstrom was also thanked for her help with teams in recent years.

Special thanks was given to Greg Scott and Don Parks, who were recognized for their many years of coaching with Silvaggio. He also recognized his son Stephen, who both played and coached with him and now has his own basketball program at Kennedy.

“All the coaches should be sharing this with me as well,” he said.

General Amherst coach Dom Silvaggio (centre) goes over a play during a timeout of a Nov. 2017 game against Kennedy. Silvaggio’s accomplishments over his coaching career have landed him a spot in the Windsor-Essex County Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be in October.

Fundraisers for the local basketball programs have included Ross Scott, Parks, Greg Scott and Palumbo plus the many players and parents that helped out.

Parents have also been of great help over the years.

“They always had my back, driving the kids to all parts of Ontario,” he said.

The players were also thanked, with Silvaggio noting that none of the championship teams he has coached would have been possible without the hard work of the players. He recalled championship teams that would win a tournament on a Saturday and come home and want to practice on the Sunday.

“That’s the dedication and drive they had,” said Silvaggio. “Without that, you aren’t going to win anything.”

While the dedication of players and parents were pointed out, so too were the efforts of his fellow teachers and administrators as well.

“It makes my job a heck of a lot easier when you have that,” he said.

Silvaggio gave special thanks to his family, including wife Susan, son Stephen and daughter Kim. Kim also played for her father during her time at General Amherst.

“Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to put in the time,” he said. “There were a lot of weekends away, that’s for sure.”

Among the accomplishments on Silvaggio’s resume include 26 WECSSAA/ECSSAA championships between boys and girls basketball teams. He has coached 13 SWOSSAA championship teams and the senior girls program he has overseen won ten consecutive medals at OFSAA at either the “AA” or “AAA” level, including five gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals at the provincial championship tournament.

Silvaggio’s teams have also won two gold medals and one silver at the senior boys Ontario District High School Championships and two golds in Division 2 at the Basketball Ontario Cup boys championship with the Amherstburg Basketball Club.

Silvaggio has won the most basketball OFSAA championships and medals as a coach in the Windsor/Essex area. His league and playoff win totals at the high school level top 600 and that number swells to 1,000 overall wins when tournaments are factored in.

The 2006 General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls team was selected as the top high school team of the year regardless of size by a committee of coaches and administrators from throughout Ontario.

In 2007, the senior girls won the Super 12 tournament which included the eventual OFSAA “AAAA” gold, silver and bronze medal winners as well as the OFSAA “AAA” gold, silver and bronze medal winners for that year. The Lady Gens won the “AA” gold that year.

From 2004-2013, the General Amherst senior girls basketball team had a record of 197-9 in WECSSAA, SWOSSAA and OFSAA league and playoff games. Silvaggio said most of those were at the Tier 1 level after WECSSAA started the tier system. Those teams had a 45-5 record in OFSAA play during that time span to go along with their ten straight medals.

Silvaggio was one of the founders and president for over 20 years of the Amherstburg Basketball Club. He said the Amherstburg Basketball Club was started to enhance and promote the game of basketball for the youth who lived in the Amherstburg area.

One of the teams Domenic Silvaggio (far right) coached to an OFSAA basketball championship were the 2011 General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls team (File photo – Special to the RTT)

“There were hundreds of children who played either house league or travel or both,” he said. “Many of the youth who were a part of this program probably would not have played basketball at the competitive and house league level if not for this club.”

Silvaggio believes he is one of only three high school basketball coaches to go into the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be Oct. 19 at the Ciociaro Club.

Since the news went public, Silvaggio added he has been receiving many messages of congratulations.

“It’s nice,” he said. “It’s an honour but I’d like to share this with all of the other coaches.”

Other inductees into the Windsor-Essex Sports Hall of Fame include Paul Carter (basketball), J. Paul Reddam (horse racing) and Don Marrin (wrestling) in the builder’s category; golfer Cheryll Damphouse, boxer Mary Spencer, hockey player Andy Delmore and basketball player Richard Shaw going in as part of the athletes category.

The Tecumseh Baseball Club and the 2011-15 University of Windsor Lancer women’s basketball team will be inducted under the club and team category.