As we head into December, and with three weeks left to go in another exciting GOYA Basketball season. Thanksgiving weekend featured three matchups at Holy Trinity Wilmington, with three teams at the top of the standings taking on three teams near the bottom in their respective leagues. If you think these games went perfectly as expected, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention to how wild and unpredictable this season has been.
Annunciation Elkins Park Boys – 47, Holy Trinity Wilmington Boys – 37
In a game featuring the team at the top of the table against the host boys desperate for a win to punch a ticket to the playoffs, Holy Trinity came out firing, led by Dino Matulas, taking an early advantage that they would carry for three quarters. Unfortunately for Wilmington, the defending champs would just simply not go away. Led by Jimmy Armentani, Annunciation battled back, showing the resilience of a team that has won three straight championships, and emerged with a 47-37 victory on the day. For the beasts from the Northeast, the win takes the defending champs to 5-1, currently good enough for first place in the boy’s division heading into their final game; a possible championship preview on December 21st against St. Thomas of Cherry Hill. For the boys from Wilmington, a third straight tough loss has them currently sitting at 2-4, and firmly in a dogfight at the bottom of the standings for one of the final playoff spots to be had. They will close out their season looking for a playoff-clinching win against St. Thomas of Cherry Hill next weekend.
St. George Media Girls – 20, St. Thomas Cherry Hill Girls – 11
Of all the tight games that occurred last year, who could forget the double-overtime semi-final thriller between St. Thomas of Cherry Hill and St. George Media? Certainly not the girls in blue it seems, as St. George, hungry for their first win of the season, stepped into the gym and took a vital game from the defending runners-up, winning by a score of 20-11. Led by a big effort from youngsters Christina Bourantas and Alexa Terris, St. George locked down the St. Thomas attack and did just enough offensively to pull away late in earning their first win of the season, taking them to 1-3 on the year. For the girls from St. Thomas, nothing came easy offensively on the day. Young guard Maria Kokolis did all she could to lead her team back into the game, mounting a mini-comeback cutting the lead to 6 late in the 4th, but it was ultimately too little too late. There isn’t much need to panic for the Cherry Hill girls though, as the loss takes them to 3-2 and still in control of their own destiny for a first round bye in the playoffs should they take care of business next weekend against Holy Trinity of Wilmington to close out their season.
St. Thomas Cherry Hill Boys – 46, St. George Media Boys – 25
In the final game of the evening, the St. Thomas Boys looked sharp as ever in a decisive win over St. George Media, winning wire to wire with a final score of 46-25. John Nutaitis is a matchup nightmare for teams across the board, and today was no exception, but it was Giorgios Karadonis who led the way offensively with some smart attacking drives to the basket and lockdown defense. When this team is clicking on all cylinders, as they have been these past few weeks, they appear to be emerging as possibly the team to beat in the boy’s division this year. With two games left against Holy Trinity of Wilmington and Annunciation of Elkins Park down the stretch, the boys from St. Thomas will have control over their own destiny for the top spot in the playoffs should they win out. For the boys from Media, a hard-fought effort saw them cut the lead close a few times before running out of steam late in the game. Nick Kaloudis led the way with a few key buckets and some tough defense against the bigger Nutaitis, but ultimately the St. George boys struggled to get much going offensively on the day. The loss drops St. George to 1-4 on the year, but with two games remaining they still control their playoff destiny should they be able to win out against St. Demetrios of Upper Darby and Evangelismos of Philadelphia to close out their season.
As always, stay tuned to Cosmos Philly for all league-wide action as we head into crunch time here in December.