Rollercon: #9 Philly Denies #13 Minnesota, 189-149

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Coming off surprisingly dominant wins against Rocky Mountain on Friday and Rose City in the Saturday noon bout, Philly closed out their Rollercon action with a 3-0 record by handling Minnesota by a final of 189-149 on Saturday afternoon.

Once again, unstoppable jamming from V Diva and clever, effective blocking from Shenita Stretcher, Olivia Face and Heavy Flo led the Philly crew to victory; Juke Boxx, used primarily as a blocker in this outing, had some very flashy pack work in a losing effort for Minnesota.

Minnesota leapt out to a quick lead as Lexi Cuter, who hadn’t been available for Minnesota’s Friday game against Rocky Mountain, used a leadoff power jam against V-Diva to put Minnesota up 14-0 — though there was an lengthy technical-difficulties official timeout following jam 1 as the scoreboard wasn’t functioning quite yet. When action restarted, Diva got out of the box and took lead before Minnesota’s jammer Medusa was boxed herself — the resultant big point swing put Philly in front 19-14 after just two jams.

Extraordinary work in the pack from Juke Boxx kept Philly’s jammer locked up long enough for Minnesota to tie the game at 19-19 next, but Philly went on a solid run 34-3 over the next five jams with a little help from a second Minnesota jammer penalty, pushing Philly to a 54-24 lead about 12 minutes into the game. A small-ball Minnesota rally over the next seven jams got them slowly but consistently closer at 56-45 with about 10 minutes left in the first half — Minnesota never got a big jam during the sequence, but took enough lead jam calls to control the margins.

Philly blockers Shenita Stretcher and Olivia Face worked over Minnesota’s jammer on the next jam, though, giving V-Diva enough time to run up a 9-0 that made it a 20 point game at 65-45. That jam seemed to short-circuit the Minnesota comeback, as Philly continued to ride the V-Diva freight train and solid defensive work from Heavy Flo and Face to a palindrome score of 84-48 with about five minutes left in the half.

Late in the half, Minnesota got some traction during a significantly lopsided jam that saw Philly momentarily get reduced to just one blocker on the track, allowing Harmony Killerbruise to claim 10-0 and make it 86-58. Philly called their first timeout there with 2:28 in the half, and two jams later, the teams hit the locker room with the score 101-74 favoring Philly.

Minnesota led off the second half with back to back jam wins for Lexi Cuter and Medusa, cutting the Philly lead to 20 points at 101-81. V-Diva got just a 1-0 for Philly next, but Harmony Killerbruise took advantage of excellent defense work from her pack to run up a key 14-0 that made it just a 7 point game at 102-95 with 25 minutes to play in the game.

Minnesota narrowed it to just 102-100 with a grand slam next, and stayed right on Philly’s tail to a new score of 111-109 with 20 minutes remaining after three more low-scoring jams. But yet again, it was V Diva shrugging off blocks to open up a little bit of daylight for Philly at 115-109; Goldy picked up a big power jam win on the next with a 13-0 that made it 127-109 with 16:24 to play.

Philly continued to slowly increase their lead and was up 156-112 with 10:25 to play; Philly called their second time out there. Minnesota got a power jam opportunity with eight minutes left and the score 163-116, but when Harmony Killerbruise was boxed during her unopposed time, it was a crippling blow to Minnesota’s comeback hopes. Although Juke Boxx finally took the line with about 5 minutes left in the game and lit up the crowd with a 14-0 that made it 167-141 with 3 minutes to play, that was as close as Minnesota could get in the final ten minutes; Philly claimed the last two lead jam calls of the game and worked the clock very effectively to claim a 189-149 victory.

In their first-ever appearance at Rollercon, Philly is already assured the best all-time record in Rollercon history by going 3-0; Minnesota, 0-2 on the weekend after narrowly losing to Rocky Mountain on Friday, gets one more shot at a win when they play Denver on Sunday at 12:15 Pacific.

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