#12 Naptown steals victory from #5 Oklahoma, 235-174

#12 Naptown steals victory from #5 Oklahoma, 235-174 Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography. facebook.com/rollerderbyphotography

The #45-ranked Oklahoma Victory Dolls came out the gate strong this game, picking up the first points and mounting a lead over #53 Naptown Roller Derby in the first ten minutes. A combination of speeding packs and slow, determined defense kept this game interesting and Naptown showed they could keep up the endurance game that Oklahoma Victory set out to play.

Despite Oklahoma Victory having a slight edge on lead jammer status percentage and earning nearly half the total penalties of their opponent, Naptown was able to match points and put up enough big scoring jams to overcome. Naptown finished out the game on top, 235-174.

In the very first jam Oklahoma Victory picked up a grand slam while Scorpiopathic sat in the box with a track cut. Things quickly started to speed up and the packs started to look like pacelines as Oklahoma jammers tried to catch up for a few points. They added 21 points over two jams, however, when Scorpiopathic had to sit back in the box after leaving too early, they gave Oklahoma a power start. One more point in the next jam had Oklahoma leading 34-7. With the fast and loose gameplay, Oklahoma started to play too singularly, allowing Naptown to speed around for points.

After a 30-second fight in the next jam, Nuck L. Sammie picked up Naptown’s second lead status of the game and kick-started scoring for them. Despite Maiden America picking up her third penalty, the Naptown blockers slowed things down and kept Lil Shanksta from capitalizing on the situation. She ultimately passed the star, forcing the jam to run a full two minutes and by the end, it was 40-30 with Oklahoma still leading.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Each team traded power jams, but Maiden America was able to recover from her penalty by returning to the track and picking up 15 points to Lil Shanksta’s 9 with eight minutes left in the half.

Oklahoma often started the jam with one of their blockers wedged in the opposing wall which helped create some momentum for their jammer to push through on. As the first half went on though, Naptown was starting to find holes and sneak by the OKVD wall off the line, and when Czech 1-2 and Nuck L. Sammie got out at the same time, it became a race. Czech earned lead but let the jam go on as the pack raced away with the jammers making little progress to get away from it. The blockers finally slowed things down and it ended 3-2 in OKVD’s favor, bringing the score to 61-50.

After a few jams of fighting for points, things got a bit more chaotic after Emma C. Hammer got lead status for Oklahoma, and the pack tried to race away again. The OKVD blockers tried to hang back and let Emma push on the wall, but instead, Darth Blue flew by them for quick points and putting Naptown in the lead. The Oklahoma blockers had a hard time regrouping and as Emma took a seat in the penalty box, Darth Blue continued to add to their score. By the end of the two minutes, Naptown led the game 82-75.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

One more power jam for Naptown to end the half pushed them ahead 101-75 by the end of the half. Their momentum carried over the break and they were able to keep Oklahoma scoreless for the first five jams of the second half. Naptown only added in 14 in the first four, but the fifth jam after both jammers went to the box, Scorpiopathic managed a 20-point jam to push their lead to 135-75.

From here, when Oklahoma got lead status, they tried to go long and pick up as many points as they could even if the opposing jammer scored as well. With the pack speeding up again, it wasn’t always to their benefit though, and Naptown outscored them a few times. Nonetheless, it did close the gap to 167-130 with about ten minutes left in the half.

Both sides went on their own scoring streak, but as the end of the game neared, Oklahoma couldn’t make up enough ground to re-take the lead. In the final jam, Maiden America earned lead status which put them in control of the clock. After the period time ran out, she called it with 14 more points, making her personal total 87. Naptown secured a spot in the semi-finals first thing tomorrow morning against the #4 seed, Jet City.

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