League action heated up this week in the unofficial center for the Del Val GOYA league in Upper Darby, PA this Sunday. The day’s action featured a triple-header of varsity action, with two of the three contests coming down to the wire.

St Luke’s Broomall Girls – 17, St. Demetrios Upper Darby Girls – 16

What a heart-stopper this game was! Both teams, coming off tough losses in their openers last week, were hungry and eager to get their first win of the season today and it showed. St. Demetrios jumped out to an early lead and held a six to eight point cushion for most of the game in a defensive struggle. In the fourth quarter though the girls from St. Luke’s stepped up their defensive pressure, forcing key turnovers to mount a stunning come-from-behind effort.The came was capped off by clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to earn a hard-fought road win for the girls from Broomall against St. Demetrios. Both teams can certainly be proud of their efforts on the day as this definitely had “game of the week” potential. The girls from St. Luke’s will head home next week to host St. George Media.

For the girls from St. D’s, a tremendous effort for the whole game came up just short at the end but there is plenty for this team to be happy about going forward, having played a very tough St. Luke’s team down to the wire. St. Demetrios will have four weeks off to practice and prepare for their next game on November 16th against St. Thomas of Cherry Hill.

St. Demetrios Upper Darby Boys – 45, St. Luke’s Broomall Boys – 28

Two weeks in, and there does not appear to be a stronger team out of the gate than the St. D’s boys, as they turned in a total team effort against the youngsters from St. Luke’s on their home court today. The UD boys weathered an early shooting storm from St. Luke’s, and relied on heavy defensive pressure and quick transition scoring to pull away in the second half. A total team effort for the home team for sure, with their veteran core, led by Anastasios Gjejede, overpowering the youngsters from St. Luke’s down the stretch. Like their church sisters, the boys from St. D’s will have a long time to reflect on their 2-0 start as they prepare for their mid-November showdown with the boys from St. Thomas.

For the boys from St. Luke’s, there is a lot to be happy about from the youngsters. Led by the shooting of Greg Vlassopoulos, whose range seemed to extend to the parking lot today, the boys in red hung tough for most of the first half before running out of steam in the third quarter. Still this team’s 0-2 start is more a reflection of the tough competition they have met than it is their efforts. St. Luke’s will have an opportunity to right the ship next week at home against the boys from St. George Media.

Holy Trinity Egg Harbor Boys – 41, Annunciation Elkins Park – 36

The Primetime game this week featured a rematch of the last two boys championship games, as Annunciation from Elkins Park began their title defense right where they left off last season, taking on the boys from Egg Harbor. Despite a lot of new faces on both sides of the court, this game featured all the same intensity that these matchups have featured over the past few years. In the end it was the boys from Egg Harbor who would prevail in a closely-fought game by a score of 41-36. In an interesting tactic the boys in blue deployed a full court press for the entire game. Led by senior guard Alex Malaspina, Egg Harbor appeared to wear out the defending champs, generating several turnovers and transition opportunities. The boys in blue also flipped the script from the past two years in winning the battle of the boards, which proved to be the key factor in gutting out the win. Holy Trinity will look to ride their momentum into next week’s contest as they head on the road to take on St. Thomas of Cherry Hill.

First off let’s congratulate Annunciation Elkins Park on the winning streak they had built up over the last two years, not losing a game since their opener in 2012 is certainly an impressive feat. Junior guards Jimmy Armentani and George Karidas did all they could to keep the defending champs in the game, both attacking from inside and out on the day. In the end the defensive pressure was a little too much for Annunciation on the day, but let’s not forget this team lost their opener two years ago before rebounding to going two years without losing immediately after. Elkins Park’s road to a four-peat does not get any easier next week, as they take on the team they beat in their first of three championships in Evangelismos Philadelphia in Cherry Hill next Sunday.

As always stay tuned to Cosmos Philly for action around the league as competition heats up in the 2014-2015 Del Val GOYA Basketball season.

Written by Mr. GOYA