SACRAMENTO, CA–It took Gotham 33 minutes to break the century mark in their match-up against Denver, but once they hit that mark, there was no stopping them. They held Denver scoreless for seven of the first eight jams in the second period, opening up a 70-point margin with 20 minutes to play en route to a final score of 193-89.
Gotham were leading 8-4 when Vicious Van GoGo cut her way to the box, putting Wilhelm in position to take the lead for Denver, 15-8 with six minutes gone.
But the game immediately swung back the other way when Denver’s Sharpless landed in the box for a cut of her own, and Suzy Hotrod put Gotham back in the lead. Thunders then extended the margin yet further, as Quigley hit the box with the Denver star. That made it 38-15 Gotham with ten minutes gone.
Continued penalties for Denver jammers kept their scoring low, but in turn also managed to keep Gotham’s scoring contained, as the Mile High Club were free to focus entirely on the brutally grinding defense that has long marked their play.
That kept them within one big jam’s reach of Gotham, with about a 30-point margin for the first 20 minutes of the game, but the margin edged up over the ensuing minutes to make it 86-44 with four minutes left in the half as Gotham called and won their official review. That win saw Urrk’n boxed for a low block with Denver’s star, leaving Hotrod unopposed on the jam line.
Hotrod stretched the margin to 50 for Gotham, but Denver had a big opportunity as Bonnie Thunders landed in the box for a high block with just two minutes left in the half. Williams fought for every one of the five points she accrued there, as well as backing it up with a crowd-pleasing lead jammer call to close out the half with Denver trailing Gotham 96-57.
The first jam of the second half went Denver’s way but Gotham held them scoreless over the next seven as they scattered the Mile High Club’s blockers. The drought looked set to break in the fifth of those jams when Akers was passed the star to escape the pack, but Gotham secured lead jammer status, calling it 0-0. That precise move paid off in jam 9 when she put up two points to make it 140-63, Denver trailing, with 19 minutes to play.
The rest of the game delivered much of the same: Denver gave away power jams they could ill-afford but the larger issue, seemed to be their inability to contain Gotham’s jammers, who had clearly hit their stride, as Denver struggled to maintain their defensive walls when they dedicated a skater to offense. As with many of the weekend’s games, star passes figured heavily, primarily on the Denver side, and heavy hits resulted in big falls.
Gotham looked set to make their margin 100-points with nine minutes to go, the score at 172-73, but Denver scraped out three points. That simply delayed the inevitable, as Urrk’n landed in the box and Miss Tea Maven made it 177-76 before landing in the box herself on a forearm call. At the end of those duelling power jams, Gotham led 180-86 with six minutes to play.
The margin sat about there for the remainder of the game. Gotham skated off the track 193-89 victors, earning themselves a first-round bye at Championships. Denver will attend Champs as a second seed.
By BeckWise for Derby News Network
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