D1J 1st Place: #1 London controls #3 Jacksonville, 272-126

D1J 1st Place: #1 London controls #3 Jacksonville, 272-126 Photo by Louis Keiner. www.tsunamiphoto.com

JACKSONVILLE, FL-London and Jacksonville met at WFTDA Playoffs in Evansville last year, but that time it was a semi-final fight for the 1st place game, whereas this time they were taking each other on in the final game of the weekend. This comes after both teams have had impressive records in the year since then. London took a couple losses at Champs, but has been undefeated since then. Jacksonville got shut out of Champs last year after their loss to Texas, but has won every sanctioned game since then except against Angel City.

Ranked #2 on Flat Track Stats, London took hold of the game in Jam 2 and never looked back, beating the host league 272-126. Jacksonville often matched London’s heavy defense, but ultimately couldn’t consistently match Brawling’s big jams to close the point spread.

Strong defense by New Jax City was what helped Jackson to push out the front for the first lead status, and then go on to score 9 points while Lexi Lightspeed’s commitment to taking the edges worked against her. London came back with a huge 25-point jam by Stefanie Mainey, who also benefitted from her team’s defense as they held Krispy Kreme-Her until she passed the star and then contained Patti Smithereens until the completion of the 2 minutes.

The third jam saw both Rogue Runner and Jamsterella hit the penalty box briefly with track cut penalties, making this jam also go a full 2 minutes. After Jamsterella’s signature spin move took her to the box the first time around, she used it again and again to get through the pack and add 13 points to Rogue’s 4. Trisha Smackanawa filled out London’s 4-jammer rotation and added 1 more point, putting the score at 30-22.

Photo by Louis Keiner.

Photo by Louis Keiner.

London then went on a 3-jam run taking advantage of 3 jammer penalties by Jacksonville. First, Krispy Kreme-Her picked up a low block which started London’s power jam, but she ended up back in the box by the end of the jam which let Lexi end the jam with 29 points and a power start for Mainey. Mainey was able to earn 15 points while Krispy returned and passed the star to Noam Bombsky who promptly cut the track and headed to the box. Jacksonville’s defense held tighter to Rogue Runner who added just 8 points and the star pass to Patti Smithereens helped in the point run. With under 17 minutes left in the first half, London now had a strong 60-point lead over Jacksonville 82-22.

A couple jams later Jacksonville got a power jam of their own after Jackson got out of the pack first but not with lead. Despite Lexi scoring when she came back from the box, Jackson used her power and quick feet to put up New Jax City’s biggest jam of the game with 26 points. That brought it to a 40 point game, but London still had many large jams to come.

Stefanie Mainey and Lexi Lightspeed were the ones to put up most of London’s sizable jams. Mainey ended the game’s top scorer for Brawling at 108 points and Lexi with 98. For Jacksonville, Jamsterella was able to come out the highest scorer with 52 points total while last year’s tournament MVP, Erin Jackson, added 47 to their total. New Jax City mostly kept to a rotation of 3 with Krispy Kreme-Her rounding it out.

Each team picked up 2 more jammer penalties a piece, but London took better advantage of these opportunities and at the half they led 141-83. Both teams utilized star passes when they were stuck, but London was able to clamp down on these pivot-turned-jammers to further trap Jacksonville.

While Jacksonville trailed by 58 points, it seemed doable that they could stage a comeback in the second half. London ensured that wouldn’t happen however, as they shut out the home team for the first 7 jams while they extended their lead to 199-83. None of these were power jams, they were just able to pick up lead and keep control of the pack to let their jammers put up multiple scoring passes. London did this with a diamond defense, expanding and compressing to follow the jammer, keeping them at the edges. Jacksonville stuck to tripods and braced 3-walls but got caught up with offense while their jammers were trapped.

Photo by Louis Keiner.

Photo by Louis Keiner.

Jacksonville was only able to pick up 3 lead jammer calls in the second half, 2 of which were by Erin Jackson, this meant they could only add 43 points to their total, while Brawling put up 121 more. London committed more jammer penalties this half, but Jacksonville’s pack committed 22 penalties in the second half to London’s 13. Having more blockers in the pack reinforced London’s defense and control of the game, giving Brawling 1st place with their 272-126 win against the #3 seed Jacksonville. They did play with just 13 however, as Captain Shaolynn Scarlett was seen as the 14th skater with her team, but did not play possibly due to a previous leg injury.

Jacksonville’s Legs R Us, Atomic Mel-Down, and Stephanie Gentz spent a lot of time holding down defense in the pack, and Legs came dangerously close to fouling out with 6 penalties. London’s defense was strong with last year’s late transfer Kid Block who ended the game with 5 penalties, but Arocha, Die Die, and Juke Boxx were standouts as well. Die Die, caught the attention of so many in fact, that she took home the MVP award for this tournament.

Catch up on all the game recaps, scores, and completed bracket at our Jacksonville Central.

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