Another exciting week is in the books in the Del Val GOYA league. With seven of the eight churches in action around the league, and with Mr. GOYA out of town this weekend (sorry everyone), we will take a look around the league to see where we stand in the girl’s and boy’s divisions as we inch ever closer to the playoffs in January.
In the girl’s league, we start in Upper Darby, where the defending runners-up from Cherry Hill went on the road and secured a decisive victory against the girls from St. Demetrios. The win takes the girls from Cherry Hill to 4-1 and in control of their own destiny for the second first-round bye with one game to go against Holy Trinity of Wilmington, while the loss drops the girls from Upper Darby to 1-3 on the year, setting up a potential win-and-you’re-in game versus St. George Media on December 7th.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, the girls from Evangelismos looked to keep some pressure on at the top of the standings as they took on Holy Trinity of Wilmington, in a scrappy game that saw the girls from the Boulevard emerge victorious on the day. Standout guard Francesca Bogiatzis carried the load for the girls on the day, leading her team to a win and a 1-1 record, which is good enough for third place at this stage in the game heading into a tough top-of-the-standings matchup with Holy Trinity of Egg Harbor next weekend. The loss drops Holy Trinity of Wilmington to 1-3, heading into a huge matchup with St. Luke next weekend.
Finally, girl’s league action was on hand down the shore as well, as it was business as usual for the girls from Egg Harbor. Taking on a tough St. Luke’s team, the Holy Trinity girls earned a decisive victory on the day. Give credit to the girls from Broomall, who Mr. GOYA heard fought back from an early 20-point deficit to cut the lead in half late, but the size and speed combination from the girls in blue proved to be too much to handle on the day. The loss drops St. Luke’s girls to 2-2 heading into next week’s contest against Wilmington, while the win leaves Egg Harbor as the lone unbeaten in the league at 5-0 as they close out their regular season next week versus Evangelismos.
If you did not believe me when I said this is the craziest year of boy’s basketball in recent memory, this weekend would certainly change your mind. In Upper Darby, Mr. GOYA’s early-season pick to reach the championship suffered a huge setback, as St. Demetrios of Upper Darby, playing a too-cruel double-header against two top-level teams in Annunciation of Elkins Park and St. Thomas of Cherry Hill, dropped both contests, taking them from 2-0 two weeks ago, to 2-3 after this Sunday’s action. Without standout guard Chris Dawson, who suffered an injury a few weeks ago (we wish him a speedy recovery), the boys in light blue struggled to defend the perimeter shooting of Elkins Park, and also struggled with the immense size advantage of St. Thomas on the day. Meanwhile, with each team gaining a win, Annunciation and St. Thomas climb to the top of the standings as the final two one-loss teams at 4-1 and 3-1 respectively (with Elkins Park clinching a playoff spot with the win as well), as they both look poised to position themselves for the ever-important first-round byes if they keep this up. Mark your calendars as these two teams seem set on a collision course for a final week matchup on December 21st, in a game that may very well decide the top seed in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, down the shore, the only team to beat the top-two seeds in the boy’s division was in action, as Holy Trinity of Egg Harbor looked to punch their ticket to the playoffs as well as they took on a St. Luke’s team that has been in every game this season, but has struggled to get that final push. Mr. GOYA heard through the grapevine that Broomall was without star guard Greg Vlassopoulos (rumors are that he too suffered an injury, which if true, we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery as well), which may have proved to be the difference, as a hard-fought, back-and-forth game finished with Holy Trinity mounting a come-from-behind five-point win to go to 4-2 on the year, as they punch their ticket to the playoffs as well. St. Luke’s drops to 1-5 with the loss, but still has a faint glimmer of hope for the playoffs, with an absolute must-win game against Wilmington on the horizon next week.
Speaking of Wilmington, league action was on hand in Delaware as well, as Holy Trinity of Wilmington looked to ride the momentum of a two-game winning streak against Evangelismos. Unfortunately for the home team, Boys from the Boulevard came ready to play. Led by big man Antonio Nakos, Evangelismos rallied with a short-handed roster to knock off Holy Trinity and put both teams at identical 2-2 records. For the boys in black, the win sets up a huge game next weekend against Holy Trinity of Egg Harbor, in a rematch of last year’s heart-stopping semi-final contest.
It’s getting good as we head into the holidays folks. As always, stay tuned to Cosmos Philly for all league-wide action!