Upper Darby, PA – The Wolfpack took home the PGBL 2016 Championship last night against the Kings, and they did it with consistency. Trailing at the end of the first half by 7, they came back early in the second half. They took the lead and brought home their first championship after playing a near perfect season of (15-1).
The Kings came out with a run and gun attack, knocking down three point shots and showing great ball movement in the first. They caught the Pack standing flat footed and the crowd looking on in awe as they cruised to an early lead. At one point, it seemed that the Kings were going to runaway with the championship. They led by as much as 12 points midway through the first half, before the Wolfpack was able to regroup and close the gap to 7 at halftime.
But anyone who knows the Wolfpack understands that this is a team with the ability to stay the course. All season long this team has kept a steady pace and maintained a balanced attack, that’s why the Pack sat at the top of the PGBL all season. Lou Karapanagiotidis has played a key role in leading his team with that philosophy throughout the season and on many teams he’s played for along the way. On this night he did the same.
But the big difference of the Wolfpack victory was the effort of some key players that came through when needed, Lou Sarris Grau and last night’s MVP George Vlahos. The Kings were unable to stop Grau from dominating underneath the boards at both ends. He made his presence known throughout the game and managed to score 18 of his team’s points on offense. George Vlahos sank the opening bucket and kept attacking inside the paint all evening. When forced outside, he dropped several three pointers as well. He led all scores with 31 points.
For the Kings, it’s a repeat. Two years in a row now, they’ve gotten to the championship and lost. In fact, they’ve been here 3 of the last 5 years and have been unable to bring it home. Last week, they showed off their high performing and scoring offense by beating two time champions Danny’s boys.
All year long they’ve proven why they are contenders and will be again. This is a team with a lot of heart and ability, and I am sure we’ll see them back in the finals looking for that ever elusive championship. They surely deserve it. When that moment happens for these guys, especially Bill Zonios of the Kings, it will be the sweetest.
The Wolfpack played their game last night as they did all season long. They did not deviate from what got them close two years ago and this year. They are a team with a lot of class, love and respect. Last night, they showed it as they carried the moment.
Congratulations to both teams on a great night performance.
Final score: Wolfpack, 82, Kings 78.