D1 Champs: London takes down Angel City, 158-126

D1 Champs: London takes down Angel City, 158-126 Photo by Donna Olmstead

ST. PAUL, MN — The last time #3 London and #6 Angel City met, it was on ACDG’s hometurf and London finished with nearly a 100-point win. It looked like it was going to be another London dominated game as they got off to an early lead, but Angel City slowly chipped away at their lead before taking it over with a 57% lead status advantage in the first half.

London resumed the lead before the half, but Angel City assured that it would be anyone’s game until the very end. Blocker penalties ultimately diminished Angel City’s effectiveness and London Brawling secured their advancement in the tournament with a 158-126 win over the Hollywood Scarlets.

In the first jam of the game, London took the pivot line to give themselves plenty of room for their braced quad formation, which held Satan’s Little Helper while Lexi Lightspeed earned the first lead. Lexi was able to quickly put up 9 points while three of Angel City’s blockers made their way to the box.

With just Hunnie Brasco on the track for the start of the next jam, Stefanie Mainey was able to easily double their score to 18-0. Both teams were quickly losing their blockers to the box however, and a 2:1 pack was a reccuring theme on the track. London got their third lead jammer status in a row and kept adding grand slams, but ACDG’s Soledad was sure to make it hard for Trisha Smackanawa by catching her at the front of the pack and running her back.

With all four blockers on the track finally, Ghetto Fabu-lez picked up Angel City’s first lead of the game that started an 11-jam run in which they picked up 10 leads and 49 points to London’s 17. ACDG also worked to foil London’s comfort zone at the front by taking the pivot line and putting pressure on their quad formation. With space off the jam line, it worked for Satan’s erratic footwork and Chica Go Lightning’s speed.

Scoring came in small increments for ACDG during this series of jams, and even with Trisha Smackanawa taking the first jammer penalty, London’s constant rotation and run backs kept Ghetto Fabu-lez to just 3 points. Brawling’s first lead after 5 jams was aided by Satan sitting in the box next, but impressive knockout hits by Soledad and Hunnie Brasco kept Rogue Runner exhausted and to just one grand slam.

Photo by Donna Olmstead

Photo by Donna Olmstead

Finally Chica Go-Lightning put Angel City in the lead with meticulous footwork and pushes with her shoulder to ensure she didn’t use her forearm. Her blockers held tightly to Lexi Lightspeed who started the jam in the box and ultimately forced her to pass the star, but it was too late as Chica added 20 points to put ACDG up 54-45 with 11 minutes left in the half.

Angel City extended their four jammer rotation to include Darby Danger who earned lead and 4 points while Rogue Runner played the pushing game against the pack. Mainey took the line next, and her powerful jamming helped her bash her way through the pack, including Soledad who had done bashing of her own earlier, and got 8 points that tied up the game at 58 with 5 minutes left.

Blocker penalties began to pour in again, and after Lexi Lightspeed stole the lead back for London with 1 point, they extended it to 72-58 by half-time.

The second half began with 4 points for London, but then Angel City resumed their slow upward crawl to close up Brawling’s lead. Individually or together, blockers such as Ima BlowBya and Rachel Rotten contained jammers and worked solidly together to hit them out and run back. With the help of a power jam, ACDG brought the game to one scoring pass, and then took their lead back with a 9 point jam by Micki Krimmel.

Juke Boxx, Olivia Coupe, and Arocha tightened their grip on the jammer in the next jam, and as things got more physical, a hit to Ima Blowbya took her to the ground and foced the jam to end. As the medics tended to her, Die Die was also escourted off the track after accruing her 7th penalty. With 20 minutes left in the half, London managed to tie the game at 89 points.

Photo by Ryan Quick

Photo by Ryan Quick

As the game wore on, London stayed ahead in the score but Angel City closed it to a 1 point game. The intensity and focus on defense amped up as the minutes ticked away, and this took it’s toll on the jammers as a rash of power jams filled the last ten minutes. With most of them going London’s way, they added 49 points while Angel City could only pick up 18. Mainey’s lead status and calm, patient jamming in the final 2 minutes gave them the win, 158-126.

After a brilliant game of blocking, Hunnie Brasco and Soledad didn’t see it to the end after picking up 7 trips to the box and three more of ACDG’s blockers finished at 6. Their team total of 56 penalties took it’s toll, handing London the control in the second half. Brawling will play again at 6:30pm CST in a semi-final game against Rose City.

For more recaps and scores from the weekend, head over to our Champs Central.

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