Cherry Hill, NJ – This past weekend, the Delaware Valley basketball league hosted it’s 2014 semi-final playoffs to a packed gym that left everyone on the edge of their seats throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Three of the four matches separated the winners from the losers by only a total of 5 points.
Girls: Evangelismos (Bustleton) vs. Holy Trinity (Egg Harbor)
Game one featured the fast paced Holy Trinity girls of Egg Harbor and the Big Girls from the Northeast, Evangelismos. A low scoring first half had both teams battling for the lead that Evangelismos controlled 7-6. In the second half, Holy Trinity applied a full court press that forced a lot of turnovers. By the end of the third quarter, they led 17-12. But the girls of Evangelismos put on a valiant effort tying the score at 19-19 in the final quarter. Holy Trinity could have put the game away early in the quarter, but couldn’t find a way to convert foul shots allowing the Northeast girls back in the game. Holy Trinity managed to score on a fast break in the final minute, taking the lead, holding off Evangelismos and advancing to the championship for the second straight year. Final score: Holy Trinity 26, Evangelismos 24.
Boys: Evangelismos (Bustleton) vs. Holy Trinity (Egg Harbor)
The second game brought together the two tough teams. They exchanged leads in the first two quarters, like the girls games by playing to their strengths. Bustleton worked their size on the boards and Holy Trinity ran the floor on fast breaks. Holy Trinity led at the half, 25-18. Holy Trinity then jumped out to a ten point lead in the third quarter, 30-20. But Evangelismos boys fought back and stayed close. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 34-32. The final quarter saw both teams battling for the lead, which again kept the crowd guessing who would pull away all the way till the final minute. Holy Trinity won and advanced to the championship again for the second year in a row. Final score: Holy Trinity 50, Evangelismos 48.
Girls: St. Thomas (Cherry Hill) vs. St. George (Media)
St. Thomas and St. George squared off in a heart attack affair. The double overtime match up felt like it couldn’t end. St. George held a surprising 18-15 halftime lead, by played a set up offense. While St. Thomas tried running fast breaks. St. Thomas closed the lead to 4 points in the second half by dominating the boards, 28-24. With regulation ending, St. Thomas tied the score 34-34. In the first overtime, just one bucket was scored by each team, making it 36-36 and forcing a second overtime. The final 3 minute overtime, was a toss up of exchanged buckets and fouled shots. A late steal secured the victory for St. Thomas and a trip to the championship. Final score, St. Thomas 40, St. George 39.
Boys: Annunciation (Elkins Park) vs. St. George (Media)
The last matchup was a complete run away for Elkins Park. Fortunately for St. George, it was the last game of the evening and snow had begun to fall, forcing people to leave early. The boys from Elkins Park seemed invincible. They jumped out to an early lead in the first half and never looked back. Last years champs looked completely unstoppable. They dominated the boards and their speed completely overwhelmed St. George. This team will be tough to beat and appears to be on a repeat and maybe even a three-peat. Final score: Elkins Park 55, St. George 35.