As we reach the halfway mark of the 2014-2015 Del Val GOYA basketball season, week 5 marked an action-packed day of action, as all eight parishes were in action across the Delaware Valley. What better place to focus in on the week’s action than in Upper Darby, where on the girl’s side, the defending champions from Egg Harbor look to continue their hot streak. On the boy’s side, a pair of games featuring three of the four teams in the bottom half of the standings were on tap, with teams scrapping for vital wins in the hopes of punching a ticket to the playoffs this January.
Also, Mr. GOYA would like to applaud the DVYC for promoting good sportsmanship across the board in an effort to preserve and instill a sportsmanlike and Christian mindset in our kids and our community. A great message sent out to all.
Girls: Holy Trinity Egg Harbor – 31, St. George Media – 24
No Despina Lianidis? No problem for the girls in blue. Noticeably short-handed without their standout point guard, the girls from Egg Harbor did not miss a beat on the day as they looked sharp as ever with an impressive win over the girls from St. George.
Led by guard Aggie Potiris, along with another big performance from Samantha Rhodes, Holy Trinity weathered an early storm from St. George before figuring out a way to win without their MVP on the court. Give the girls from St. George a lot of credit, they came ready to play today.
The Media girls, led by the Bourantas sisters Corina and Christina, hung tough for most of the game, keeping it close with some impressive shooting, before ultimately falling short at the end.
With the win the Holy Trinity girls sit atop the league as the sole unbeaten at 4-0 heading into next week’s game vs. St. Luke, while the loss drops St. George to 0-3 with some time off ahead, but let’s not forget this team started off 0-3 last year before rattling off an impressive winning streak to make the playoffs and within a basket of the championship.
Boys: Annunciation Elkins Park – 52, St. Luke Broomall – 43
In what turned out to be the game of the day in Upper Darby, the boys from Elkins Park, shorthanded once again without big man Georgio Koulouris as well as young talent Christian Zoubroulis, managed to scrape out an impressive win against the youngsters from St. Luke in a seesaw battle that saw several ties and runs from both teams on the day.
Led by Jimmy Armentani, who Mr. GOYA thinks is playing like a top candidate for league MVP at this stage, the boys from Elkins Park attacked the basket at will on the day, breaking open several double-digit leads. Also impressive on the day was George Karidas, whose much-improved scoring touch has been vital to the success of Elkins Park, who in a down year league-wide offensively, have managed to average over 50 points on their three-game winning streak.
A lot of credit has to be given to the resilience of the Broomall boys, however, as they battled back from three separate double-digit deficits to tie the game late in the third quarter, and kept it close late until Elkins Park was able to ice it at the free throw line.
One of the young stars in the league, Greg Vlassopoulos, was not his usual self from outside on the day, but I was really impressed with the youngsters maturity in attacking the basket and finding another way to keep his team alive. His efforts, along with a big game from fellow youngster Chris Palmieri, nearly enabled the boys from St. Luke to pull off the upset.
The win, along with league-wide action, has the boys from Elkins Park in familiar territory atop the league tied for first place with a 3-1 record heading into a huge matchup with St. D’s next weekend, while the loss drops St. Luke to 1-4 and into a must-win game on the road at Egg Harbor in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Boys: Holy Trinity Egg Harbor – 49, St. George Media – 25
The late game featured a size versus speed match-up with huge playoff implications on the line, as the boys from Holy Trinity and St. George, both coming off of losses last week, looked to secure a win to improve their playoff chances. On the day it was all Holy Trinity, who used their distinct speed advantage and defensive pressure to generate a high volume of turnovers and fast break opportunities on the day.
Anchored by speedy big man Athanasios Mertis, the boys in blue ran up and down the court, breaking open a 20+ point lead early in the third quarter and never looking back. Young guard AJ Aivozoglou and the twin towers of Christos Moscharis and Greg Daskalopoulos did all they could to keep the boys from St. George in the game, but give credit to Egg Harbor’s undersized big men (specifically John Liacopulos), who did a fantastic job in keeping the big tandem at bay on the day.
With the win, the boys from Egg Harbor improve to 3-2 as they head home to play St. Luke next week, while the loss drops St. George to 1-3 with a few weeks off to work out the kinks before taking on Holy Trinity of Wilmington on November 23rd.
Stay tuned to Cosmos Philly for all league action, including reports from Cherry Hill and Wilmington action later this week.