Upper Darby, PA – The first round of the GOYA basketball league playoffs were hosted this weekend at Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox church. The community was treated to four match ups, that kept folks cheering on for their churches while praying for a trip to Cherry Hill (Saint Thomas) for the semi-finals next week.
Girls: St. George vs. St. Luke
In the first game, St. George took on and beat St. Luke to advance. Both teams featured good ball movement throughout the game in this local rivalry. St. Luke applied a lot of half court and full court pressure, while pushed the ball up court trying to capitalize on their speed. The first half ended 9 to 9 with a three point shot by St. Luke. St. Luke managed to stay close and even took the lead briefly, but turnovers throughout the game hurt. A few key foul shots and three point shots by St. George made the difference as they pulled away in the final minutes. Final score, St. George 32, St. Luke 24.
Boys: St. George vs. St. Demetrios
In game two, St. George and St. Demetrios played a tough physical match. Both teams worked hard inside the paint featuring their size and strength. St. Demetrios applied a lot of half court traps and kept close through the first half, 19-15. The third quarter was a disaster though for St. Demetrios who only scored 3 points, while St. George powered the boards and piled on 13. A late run by St. Demetrios got them within 7 points, but St. George held on and stuck there foul shots. Final score, St. George 45, St. Demetrios 33.
Girls: Evangelismos vs. St. Demetrios
The third match up featured Evangelismos vs. St. Demetrios in a low scoring game that Evangelismos was heavily favored. Both teams appeared to be out of sync and in need of some leadership on the floor. Saint Demetrios zone defense was solid and in control of the boards on defense. They held Evangelismos to one basket in the third quarter, which kept the game close. But their outside shooting and penetration to the basket was no match for the Bustleton girls who blocked their path. Final score, Evangelismos 16, St. Demetrios 8.
Boys: St. Thomas vs. Evangelismos
The final match brought together St. Thomas and Evangelismos. This was anyone’s game to win because it went down to the final seconds. The game was plagued with a lot of missed opportunities on both sides, including missed foul shots, turnovers and fast breaks. Throughout the first half, they exchanged baskets as they entered the second half. The third quarter ended with St. Thomas leading 22-19, but then allowed Evangelismos to take the lead in the fourth quarter. They finally tied the score again 26 to 26 with less than a minute left in the game. With only 7 seconds left, they committed a shooting foul which sent Evangelismos to line one last time . They stuck their first shot, but on the second that missed, St. Thomas blew the rebound by knocking the ball out of bounds and lost it’s final opportunity. With just two seconds left, Evangelismos scored a final bucket, closing the door on St. Thomas and advancing to the semifinals. Final score, Evangelismos 29, St. Thomas 26.