In their second match of the year and first Philly Roller Girls intraleague game, the Hookers overcame a 31-point deficit to beat the Broad Street Butchers, 145-123, at University of Pennsylvania's Class of 1923 Arena. It was only the Hookers' second Home Team victory since 2009.
“We kept things positive during each jam,” said Hookers' blocker R2DCup. “We went into each jam starting at zero-zero. We had great teamwork and strategies and we were able to get in their heads.”
The start of the match didn't look so promising for the Hookers, who trailed 39-8 about five minutes into the game. But the Hookers began chipping into the Butchers' lead thanks to a few successful runs by jammer V-Diva.
“I knew I was going to be going head-to-head with (Butchers' jammer) Persephone,” V-Diva said. “We were able to frustrate her with some great blocking. It was amazing. Everyone was pushing each other.”
Hookers' blockers Trixie Trauma and Heavy Flo hold back Butchers' jammer Persephone
A penalty-filled jam turned a 53-42 Butchers' lead into a 65-53 Hookers' advantage with two minutes remaining in the first half. The teams exchanged a few minor points and the Hookers took a 69-56 halftime lead to the locker room.
After the intermission, the Butchers nearly saved their bacon by closing within 11 points with 18 minutes left, but the Hookers responded with the next 17 points and led by as many as 40 in the second half. Mary That Motha OH GOD!, who made her return to the Butchers' lineup after missing the last year, pieced together an impressive final run, scoring 14 points, thought not enough to avoid the upset, just a month after the Butchers dominated the defending champion Philthy Britches with a 120-point win.
“The penalties killed us,” said Butchers' jammer Antidote. “When you send that many players to the box, your walls are shorter and they were able to destroy what little walls we had.”
Antidote said the Butchers were comfortable trailing in the game, but just weren't able to assemble any substantial runs in the second half.
“Being down 30 points isn't a big deal,” Antidote said. “It's a couple good jams. But we are still learning each other and trying to build some trust with so many players in and out of the lineup. We are going to regroup and hopefully we will see them in the championship.”
The Hookers were also sporting a different look lineup as many key contributors, including team captain Goldy, Teflon Donna, and Roxy Elbowa were sidelined with injuries. Hookers blocker, The Cycrone!, said her team was stronger mentally heading into the bout.
“I think we disrupted them mentally as they probably expected to walk all over us,” she said. “But we were able to hold it together and play OUR game. I've never been so happy with a win.”
(photo by Gefilte Fists)
In the first half of the double header, the Philly Roller Girls rookie squad, the CheeseSkates, rolled to an impressive 164-86 victory over the Lehigh Valley Special Vixens Unit. The CheeseSkates seized control immediately and converted a 33-point halftime lead into a big 78-point win. CheeseSkates bench manager Teflon Donna said she was thrilled with the inexperienced team's performance.
“Some of these players just graduated (Fresh Meat training) at the end of February, so for them to work so well together is really great to see,” Tef said. “Their walls were strong, their blocks were great. They were spot-on.”
CheeseSkates' Co-Captain KickAsh credited Lehigh Valley with being a strong challenge, but she said her team was well prepared to take on a more experienced squad.
“They fought hard and their jammers were really good,” KickAsh said. “We had a lot of fun out there today and we couldn't have asked for a better opponent.”
Rican, who also led the CheeseSkates as Co-Captain said bouting as a team of rookies was much different than competing on her league team, the Britches.
“I think I was a little nervous last month because I didn't want to let the vets down and I let my jitters get the best of me,” Rican said, recalling her team's loss to the Butchers at the Season Opener on April 14. “But you can see the time and effort we have put into our training is really paying off.”
Teflon Donna hinted that the team is maturing quickly.
“We've really asked them to step up and do what is asked of them and they have exceeded expectations,” Teflon said. “Getting out there and getting a taste of competition is going to make them hungrier for more.”