D1M: #9 Detroit outlasts #8 Sun State, 204-180

D1M: #9 Detroit outlasts #8 Sun State, 204-180 Photo Credit Matthew Becker
MONTREAL, QC – In game 2 of the first Division 1 bracket, #8 Sun State Roller Girls’ Swarm (Brisbane, AU) met #9 Detroit Derby Girls All-Stars to decide which team would advance to face #1 London later in game 5.

Sun State, coming off a 3-2 win/loss over the season, may have been ranked higher, but Detroit was afforded 5 more power jams over the course of the game. The team ultimately used this advantage, along with their experience (despite the notable absence of Sarah Hipel who reportedly was unable to travel), to win the game 204-180.

In the first jam, Sun State quickly obtained lead status via jammer Jambi, as Olympic speed skater Jileanne Rookard for Detroit escaped the pack to limit scoring to 1-0. After several single scoring pass runs, this would be Sun State’s last lead on the scoreboard, since in jam 3 they lost 4 of 5 skaters, including their jammer Trauma Junkie, to the box as Detroit’s Racer McChaser capitalized with a 15-0 run – opening the game score up in their favor to 19-2.

Detroit pulled away in the first 8 min of play due to two power jams provided by Sun State, with especially big jams contributed by Feta Sleeze and Rookard. Ten minutes into the period, Sun State took an appropriate time-out to reset, and returned to trade lead calls and close the score to 67-55, still favoring Detroit. However, this momentum was somewhat short-lived as Detroit limited their scoring over the remaining jams to close the period at 109-69.

During the first half of play, Sun State committed to a 4-person cube defense, while Detroit appeared more flexible in their formations – relying on a braced two-wall with a floating offense when pack numbers allowed it, but also being comfortable in a flat defensive wall. Detroit packs were at times a bit looser with more individual play, while Sun State remained more organized in their 4-defender box.

Both teams shared almost exactly a 50/50 lead jam designation, though Sun State accumulated 20 penalties, versus Detroit’s 13. With 7 power jams against, it’s easy to discern why Sun State trailed at the half, despite showing equitable game play when fielding a full compliment of skaters.

Photo Credit Duane Baker

Photo Credit Duane Baker

Period 2 kicked off with Rookard getting lead, but being boxed after her first scoring pass. However, solid Detroit defense limited damage and ultimately forced Jambi into a cut, resulting in a 15-0 for the lower seed.

Ten minutes into the period featured Sun State on a much-needed power jam opportunity against a boxed Feta Sleeze to close the score gap with a 15-0, to 137-105 Detroit. Detroit immediately answered back with a 17-8 as Rookard ran the jam long while her blockers locked down Chop Chop.

With Detroit dominating the score board, Sun State started to close the gap with 8 min left of play, to 171-147, when Detroit called a team time-out. With the clock on their side, Detroit appeared content to maintain their lead while Sun State tried to pick up quick points and call the jam again and again to preserve time.

While the Australians were able to close the gap to 180-159, by jam 22 in the second period, an unfortunate twist of fate for the Swarm gifted Detroit jammer Racer McChaser a 15-0 power jam with less than 3 minutes left on the clock, essentially nailing the coffin shut with the score at 195-159 and 1.27 on the period clock.

In the last jam, an opportunity to come back from a 36 point deficit was afforded Jambi, for Sun State, as Racer headed to the box, but after Jambi scored 15 she cut the track and went to the box herself, and the game was decided. Final 204-180, Detroit.

Photo Credit Duane Baker

Photo Credit Duane Baker

 With power jams ultimately deciding the upset win for Detroit, jammer Rookard led their scoring mission with 84 points over 16 jams. While Sun State were led by Jambi at 73 points, over 18 jams. Sun State’s total penalties tallied at 39 compared to Detroit’s 32, with SX and Janosaurus Wrecks fouling out for the Swarm.

Detroit advances to meet #1 London at 6 p.m. EST today.

Return to Montréal Central throughout the weekend for scores and recaps and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for pictures and updates as well.

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