Wilmington, DE – Both girls and boys GOYA championships were meaningful in their own way. The Holy Trinity (EHT) girls topped off their perfect undefeated season with a championship. And for St. Demetrios (UD), they gave us a thriller and their seniors a memory for the future.
St. Demetrios (UD) 36, Holy Trinity (EHT) 34
It was an all-around effort by St. Demetrios that game them their first championship in six years. Their discipline and hard work all season paid off as they took home the victory over Holy Trinity. Laz Louca led his team and gave his seniors the dream of a championship they had never had as GOYA members. The big match up between the two teams promised and delivered a great game that kept you on the edge of your seat into the final seconds.
Both teams came out playing a zone defense that kept the scoring low in the first period, 5-3. St. Demetrios paid special attention to Trinity’s Saki Mertis, their big forward who loves to attack the basket on both ends. The St. Demetrios defense closed down the lanes and collapsed on Mertis just about every time he got the ball inside the paint, which forced Trinity to work their shot selection from the outside more often than they wanted. But St. Demetrios struggled offensively early on. Turnovers and few missed free throws plagued St. Demetrios through much of the first half. Credit Chris Dawson of St. Demetrios, who filled in all over the court, bringing down rebounds and running the floor when needed. He controlled the tempo and managed to get his team under control.
Holy Trinity seemed frazzled late in the second period as Mertis looked to break his team out from a 9-9 tie. The period ended on a three point shot by Dimitri Stergiou, that gave St. Demetrios the lead 12-9. And that’s when St. Demetrios came alive. Following half time, Dimitri Stergiou dropped a few more three pointers and gave St. Demetrios the lead by as much as 7 points. Laz Louca pushed the fast breaks and St. Demetrios started to penetrate the baseline on their offensive attacks. But Trinity fought back. A late run in the third period brought them within three points that ended – St. Demetrios 27, Trinity 24.
St. Demetrios got into some foul trouble early in the fourth quarter and started to put Trinity on the foul line. Both teams battled hard and displayed a scrappy effort going after every loose ball. Turnovers on both sides gave each team an opportunity to take control. As the minutes ticked down, Trinity was forced to foul St. Demetrios to get the ball. But one critical foul would seal the victory for St. Demetrios.
With less than two minutes to play and both teams separated by just one bucket, St. Demetrios’ Alex Nicolaides stood in the path of Saki Mertis who drove to the bucket to attempt to tie the game for Trinity. He plowed through Nicolaides who dropped to the ground. Mertis had committed an offensive foul and fouled out of the game. That left Trinity without their best player. Trinity continued to apply a full court press, but St. Demetrios was able to work through it and control the rest of the game. The victory gave St. Demetrios their eleventh who hold the record with the most in league history.
Holy Trinity (EHT) 36, St. George (M) 24
A perfect (10-0) season for the Holy Trinity girls was completed with a decisive championship. Trinity, led by Marianna Papazoglou & Samantha Rhodes, the twin towers as their known took charge of their team the whole season, outplaying their opponents as an offensive scoring machine. Last night in Wilmington Delaware, along with their teammates, they stopped St. George in the championship with a box and one defense on MVP Christina Bourantas.
Holy Trinity jumped out to a 6-0 lead before Christina Bourantas got her team on the board with a bucket and two foul shots. Bourantas kept her team within a point that first quarter until Trinity’s defense shut St. George down. But the second period proved to be too much for St. George, as Trinity went to work scoring bucket after bucket. The baseline drives and penetration in the middle proved to be too much to stop for St. George in the second quarter. As Trinity jumped out to a 20-10 halftime lead.
A confident and well paced offensive attack in the second half brought home the championship for Trinity. This was Trinity’s fifth trip to the championship in six years and they continue to be a formidable dynasty for years to come.