PHILADELPHIA, PA – Rat City Roller Girls (#18 in WFTDA) came into Championships after a hard loss to Montréal in the bronze medal game in Seattle. That weekend they played four games highlighted by a 16-point upset against Jacksonville. Regrouped and calm, they hoped to overpower another strong top ten team, this time against the #6 Texas Rollergirls. The Texecutioners prevailed, however, and took a 254-128 win.
In true Texas form, the first few jams did not go their way. The Texecutioners took time to find their rhythm and gave opportunities to score to #91 Alyssa Pray, one of their infamous aged up juniors, and #911 Luna Negra. It did not take long for Texas to find their stride and get rowdy.
#202 Freight Train put up 18 points to nearly tie the game and then, with edgework like a teenage dream, #03 Olivia Shootin John gained a quick 15 points. Rat City’s #90 CeeCee and #94 H. Botts helped to slow the onslaught, and only allowed 15 points over the next four jams. In jam 12, #33 Gravy, Baby! stepped up to the line to jam but after a star pass to Smarty Pants, Texas dunked 21 points into the score, causing a definite difference in the point spread, 88-55.
Rat City’s speed control loosened and Texas was able to take advantage of rolling two walls, breaking them up for with offense. When Rat would try the same trick against a rolling Texas, the Texies would hit their edges and stop dead, causing Rat City to miss.
#27 Peacewar and #16 Aja Gar were strong pieces of the Texas defense, effectively sucking jammers back into the scrum when they thought they had escaped. Texas had the upper hand going into the half, 110 to 75.
Coming out of the half, Luna Negra was gifted with a power jam which turned into a seven-point gain and the next time on the track, she turned in 16 points. Rat’s defense had started locking down at the end of the first half, and continued to keep it close at first, but a couple jammer penalties in Texas’s favor helped them to regain confidence. Olivia Shootin’ John looked nearly unstoppable all game. Even with a back block penalty in jam 8 against the incredibly agile Pray, OJ was able to win the jam by four points.
Halfway through the second period, Rat City started to see the result of a short jammer rotation. Luna Negra jammed three in a row. By jam 13 she was spent, forcing a pass to #12 Carmen Getsome, who had been the shoulder in the ribs of every Texas jammer thus far into the game. She was not as successful with the star as Rat had hoped. Freight Train ran over the defense to put up 19 points, and then Texas fielded OJ while three Rat City skaters watched from the box. OJ scored a quick 13 points before meeting #143 Amethyst on the inside line (who was kind enough to show OJ a closer look at the sport court).
We did not see Luna back on the track for four jams after her three in a row, where #420 StoneHer and #5 Smarty Pants locked her down. By this point, it looked like Rat City had checked out a bit. They still had hard plays and strong rotations, but not with the urgency of the first half. The “Rising Star” award might go to #55 R. Rickel for this game, as she continuously jumped apexes to catch jammers, sealed gaps, and used her aggressive shoulder blocks to bruise the Texas jammers.
Luna Negra earned top marks for Rat City, gaining lead status with her long steps 54% of her 11 jams, and gained 61 points. Olivia Shootin’ John was the superstar for the Texies, using her levels and edgework to earn lead a stunning 92% of her 12 jams and earning 82 points. It’s worth noting that fan favorite Freight Train wasn’t far off with a 73% lead jam over 11 jams and 81 points of her own.
With a 250 to 128 win, Texas’s reward is a Gotham Girls face off to open up Saturday at 10AM EDT. Rat City will play at 4PM EDT on Saturday against the loser of the Friday 8PM game between Denver Roller Derby and Angel City.
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