senior girls basketball

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 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.

Lady Gens pick up first victory of the season


By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls basketball team recorded its first victory of the WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season and hopes to build on that in the playoffs.

The Lady Gens were 0-7 heading into last Thursday afternoon’s game at Sandwich but the Sabres were also winless heading in. In the end, it was General Amherst coming away with a 53-41 win.

“We didn’t start out that well and trailed 10-2 at the end of the first quarter. We made a run late in the second quarter and closed the deficit to 18-17 by halftime,” said General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio. “We then played a strong second half and out scored them 36-23 to win 53-41.”

Taja Holmes had 11 points while Brooklyn Prescott, Lexi Dodds, Ramie Tytgat and Dani Brindley all had ten points each.

“This game was typical of our season where we have one bad quarter, this game being the first quarter,” said Silvaggio. “The only difference was in this game we scored enough points to make up for the bad quarter. We hit six three-pointers which helped. We also starting taking the ball to the basket which helped us getting to the free throw line more than we normally do.”

Silvaggio said they received a bye for the first round of the playoffs and host Sandwich Tuesday at 5 p.m. The juniors also play Sandwich, with that game scheduled at General Amherst at 3:15 p.m.

“Sandwich was missing a very important starter last (Thursday) night, so for us to beat them again we will have to play like we did in the second half and can’t have a bad quarter,” said Silvaggio.

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.