Ramie Tytgat

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 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.

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.

 

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.

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.