With just two weeks to go in another exciting GOYA Basketball season here in the Delaware Valley, and with teams vying for the last few available slots in this year’s postseason, we take a brief look at this week’s action, with an eye towards playoff scenarios going in to the final two weeks of the season.

Girls Roundup

Evangelismos (PHI) – 35, St. Luke (BRM) – 25
St. George (MED) – 28, St. Demetrios (UPD) – 14
St. Thomas (CHL) – 31, Holy Trinity (WIL) – 15

In girl’s action this week, three games with large playoff implications took place in the Delaware Valley. In Upper Darby, the day kicked off with Evangelismos coming out with a big win over St. Luke’s Broomall, by a score of 35-25. Alexis Nakos and Francesca Bogiatzis led the way for the girls from the Boulevard, improving their record to 2-2 on the year, and effectively clinching a playoff spot with the win. The loss drops the St. Luke’s girls to 3-3 to close out their season, which is also good enough to secure a spot in the final six come January.

Later in the day at St. D’s, the girls from Media, riding the momentum of their first win of the season, doubled up the host girls from Upper Darby by a score of 28-14. Led once again by Corina Bourantas, the girls from St. George controlled the game wire to wire in earning their second win of the season, and improving their record to 2-3 on the year. The girls from Upper Darby fought hard, led by Stephanie Paras, but ultimately fell short. The loss drops St. D’s to 1-4, and would have the girls in blue scoreboard checking the action across the Delaware to see if they would get some help from their sisters in Cherry Hill in order to secure a playoff spot.

Meanwhile in South Jersey, the defending runners up played host to the girls from Holy Trinity Wilmington, in a game with large implications for both sides. For the home team, a win would keep them in control of their own destiny for a first round bye in the playoffs, while for the girls from Delaware, a loss would drop them out of the playoff picture altogether. Unfortunately for the youngsters from Holy Trinity, St. Thomas was not to be denied on the day, winning by a final score of 31-15. Lead once again by Maria Kokolis, Cherry Hill earned a decisive victory to take their record to 4-2, thus clinching a first round bye in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. For the newcomers from Delaware, the future looks bright with a young cast of girls who fought hard in their first season back in league play. Holy Trinity finishes their season at 1-5, but can hold their heads up high as they look to build towards next season.

Playoff Standings – 12/7/2014

1. Holy Trinity (EHT) z – 6-0
2. St. Thomas (CHL) y – 4-2
3. Evangelismos (PHI) x – 2-2
4. St. Lukes (BRM) x – 3-3
5. St. George (MED) x – 2-3
6. St. Demetrios (UPD) x – 1-4
7. Holy Trinity (WIL) e – 1-5

z – Clinched Top Seed in Playoffs
y – Clinched First Round Bye in Playoffs
x – Clinched Playoff Spot
e – Eliminated from Playoffs

Boys Roundup

On the boy’s side of the ball, there were two games on hand being played almost simultaneously in Cherry Hill and Upper Darby. With such a wide-open league this year, three of the four teams at the bottom of the standings were on hand fighting for the final two playoff spots to be had. We will start in Cherry Hill, where the boys from St. Thomas, like their sisters, were playing with an eye on getting a first round bye come January as they took on Holy Trinity of Wilmington. For the boy’s from Delaware, also like their sisters, a loss would find them eliminated from playoff contention. On the day there was no upset to be had, as the host boys, led by John Nutaitis, carried the day, coming away with a 44-30 victory. The win puts Cherry Hill in a first place tie with Annunciation of Elkins Park at 5-1, setting up a titanic (dare I say championship preview?) matchup in two weeks as the top two teams with battle it out for the top overall seed. For the boys from Holy Trinity, who just a few weeks ago were towards the top of the table with a 2-1 record, a series of bad luck games and unfortunate injuries ultimately were their undoing as they finish with a record of 2-5, and due to tiebreakers, find themselves eliminated from contention. Like their sisters however, there is a lot to look forward to as they head into tournament play and prepare for their second season back in the league. Dino Matulas is certainly an up-and-coming player in the league, and with a year of league experience under their belts, I can certainly see this team being a force to be reckoned with next season, as they proved this year that they are capable of hanging with any team in the league.

Back in Upper Darby, the host boys from St. D’s looked to right the ship, as their 2-0 start had been followed by a November slump with them dropping 3 in a row heading into the day. St. George also was looking to stop a losing streak of their own, as they had dropped their last four games following an opening day victory in Wilmington. With such huge playoff implications for both teams on the line, it is no wonder that this game turned into one of the regular season classics on the year, with St. Demetrios coming away with a heart-stopping, overtime victory, winning by a final score of 37-36. Led by Anastasios Gjedede, St. D’s rallied to a huge victory, which punches their ticket to the playoffs and takes their record back to .500 at 3-3, heading into a big matchup against Evangelismos in two weeks. The boys from St. George showed why they were an early season sleeper pick of mine, fighting hard to earn a victory that would keep their playoff hopes alive. Unfortunately for Media they came up just short, and with the loss they drop to 1-5 on the year. Panos Skoutelas led the way for Media, who now find themselves all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention with one game remaining against Evangelismos next weekend. With a young core of boys I can expect this team to make a huge leap forward next season.

The big winners on the day, without even playing, hail from west of the city, where the day’s activities leave St. Luke’s in prime position to sneak into the final playoff spot, with their 2-5 record still being good enough, with tiebreakers, for 6th place as we head into the final two weeks of the season.

Playoff Standings – 12/7/2014

1. Annunciation (EP) x – 5-1
2. St. Thomas (CHL) x – 5-1
3. Holy Trinity (EHT) y – 5-2
4. St. Demetrios (UPD) x – 3-3
5. Evangelismos (PHI) – 2-3
6. St. Luke (BRM) – 2-5
7. Holy Trinity (WIL) e – 2-5
8. St. George (MED) – 1-5

z – Clinched Top Seed in Playoffs
y – Clinched First Round Bye in Playoffs
x – Clinched Playoff Spot
e – Eliminated from Playoffs

As always, in between Christmas shopping of course, stay tuned to Cosmos Philly for all the league action as we watch and wait to see just who will earn those final two playoff spots in the boy’s league, as well as who will be seeded where heading into January’s DVYC Playoffs.