West Region Playoffs: 7W Sacred City Escapes 10W Angel City, 136-111

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PORTLAND, OR — 7W Sacred City had to fight the whole game long to hold off a dogged challenge from 10W Angel City, but Angel City was only able to hold the lead on a single jam of the game. A 25-0 powerjam to Sacred City’s Four Closer with about 10 minutes left to play in the game proved to be the exact margin of Sacred City’s eventual victory, and Sacred barely avoided the first round upset with a 136-111 win.

The first jam got off to a very slow start as neither team seemed willing to concede the back of the pack — over 40 seconds went off the clock before jammers Ghetto Fabu-lez and Sacred’s Jamn Jewlz were released, but it ended up going 0-0 when Jewlz called it. Apparently not wanting to get into that stalemate again, both teams moved their pack starts back to right in front of the jammer line, and would do so for the remainder of the half. In that jam Angel City lost jammer Tyra Shanks to the box on a track cut and Sacred won the next two jams 5-0 to hold a 10-lead about 5 minutes into the game.

ACDG jammer Chica Go Lightning managed to get out first on jam 4 and picked up her team’s first 3 points before Sacred’s jammer escaped and called it off. Two jams later, though with the score 12-3 favoring Sacred, their jammer Colt 45 was able to put up a 9-0 with the help of Sacred blocker Slap Jack completely hammering ACDG’s Tyra Shanks. The next jam ended early on injury to key Sacred City blocker Shadow Soldier, favoring her right ankle as she was helped off the track, but the loss of Soldier didn’t seem make it any easier for Angel City jammers to put points on the board.

It was 29-5 Sacred with about 16 minutes in the first half before Angel City got their first big break, with SCDG jammer Spiller boxed; Angel City’s Tyra Shanks got a 9-0 and managed to ice Spiller in the box to start the next. That jam ended up being a nearly full-length 0-0, as both packs swarmed the jammers all jam long. With 12 minutes to go in the first half, Angel City was still hanging in the game, 29-14.

Angel City kept nicking away to a score of 38-30 at about the 5 minute mark, but even though Sacred City was almost constantly working from a significant pack disadvantage with their box nearly full, they were able to keep ACDG from closing the gap. Angel City’s Shiv went down on injury late in the half, apparently dazed after a hit to the face; Sacred was up 47-30 at that point, but on the jam reset, once again had a completely full box and a penalty queue. ACDG’s Black Star Heroine finally managed to make Sacred pay for their penalty problems by putting up a 15-0 that made it a very close game, 47-45 Sacred, at the break.

In the second half, Sacred regained the services of Shadow Soldier but not Shiv, who turned out to be concussed. Angel City had an opportunity slip away when they were on a first-jam powerjam but lost their own jammer Black Star Heroine; while they took the lead momentarily during the jam, Sacred managed to increase their lead by a point by the time it was all over at 57-54.

After 5 jams of barely holding Angel City off, Sacred got a big jam for Four Closer over Black Star Heroine in an 11-0 that would likely had been more if Black Star hadn’t gone down on yet another injury about halfway through; that gave Sacred a 76-60 point lead with 21 minutes. But, again, Angel closed that gap — three small jam wins to ACDG made it a one point game at 76-75 with 16:34 left in the game. Sacred continued to stay just a jam ahead of their opponents to a new score of 85-82 with 13 minutes to play, but Tyra Shanks finally took Angel City’s first lead with a 4-0 there to make it 86-85 Angel City.

That was the high point for Angel City, though. Their lead was instantly erased by a 5-0 to Jamn Jewlz, and the followup turned out to be the game winner for Sacred. ACDG lost their jammer Hitney Fears to the box and eventually filled it while key Sacred blockers Shadow Soldier and Slap Jack made huge holes for Four Closer; that jam went 25-0 to Four Closer, by far the biggest jam of the game. Angel City called their last timeout with 8:03 left in the game and Sacred holding their biggest lead of the game at 115-86.

ACDG was held off the board for three more jams, and it looked like it was overbut ACDG had one last chance with the score 124-86 and Sacred losing jammer Colt 45 to the box – ACDG’s Ghetto Fabu-Lez ran up a gutsy 20-0 and made it a 124-106 with just under two minutes to play, but Angel City had no timeouts left, meaning they had to make up at least 18 points in that next jam. Although Hitney Fears got lead and started a scoring lap, she picked up a major back block that snuffed out Angel City’s faint remaining hope; Four Closer won that jam 12-5 to pad Sacred’s margin of victory a bit at 136-111.

Sacred’s Four Closer was far and away the highest-scoring jammer with 86 points on 16 jams; Jamn Jewlz was the primary support with 36 points on 11 jams. Colt 45 (9 points) and Slingshot (5 points) contributed the rest. Ghetto Fabu-Lez led Angel City with 42 on 13 points, with the ACDG point scoring a little more evenly distributed — Black Star Heroine had 24, Tyra Shanks had 17, Chica Go Lightning had 14 and Hitnee Fears had 10. (All stats provided by Rinxter).

Sacred City goes on to play Rocky Mountain at 4:30pm Pacific.

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