As the outside temperatures crept up the thermometer, the intensity inside the Sportsplex arena began to multiply on the third and final day of East Coast Derby Extravaganza action.
Teams from Toronto, Lehigh Valley, Central New York, Norfolk, Denver and Maine rolled into the win column during the early bouts on Sunday while the home squad was unable to come up with a victory.
The Philly Roller Girls' Liberty Belles gave Denver's Mile High Club all it could handle through the first half before ending up on the losing end of a 227-130 final. The Belles ended the weekend winless, but kept their spirits high in anticipation of a tough schedule in the near future.
"We set this tournament up to be tough," said Belles' jammer Teflon Donna. "We don't want to lose but you have all these great teams coming from all over and you want to be able to play them. We learned a lot of new things and we are going to keep working on it."
Philly led 24-11 through the first six minutes before Denver quickly rallied to take its first lead at 25-24. Denver added to its lead with a nine point jam before V-Diva tied it up at 35-35 with 10 points of her own. The Mile High Club regrouped with a 19 point session and looked to its strengths to pour more gasoline on the fire.
"We knew we needed to stay disciplined," said Denver blocker Sage. "We figured if we could keep our heads and stay out of the box against such a physical team, we could win. Sometimes the little things decide who's better."
The Belles brought energy to the second half after trailing 113-70 at halftime. But the team's aggressiveness equated to a few extended sessions in the penalty box.
"It's touh to play a team like Denver because they bring strength and good strategy," Teflon Donna said. "You have to really have a balance of mental and physical strength."
Midway through the second half, the Mile High Club had extended its lead to 171-97, and it played shutdown defense until the final whistle. Denver finished 1-1 on the weekend including a tough loss to the Gotham Girls on Saturday.
"At the end of the day, we feel pretty good about ourselves," sage said. "There's nothing wrong with losing to the No. 1 team in the world and we were pretty happy to come out with a win over Philly. They are tough and you can never take them for granted."
In early afternoon action, Lehigh Valley erupted for a 198-75 victory over Hudson Valley. After taking a 120-18 lead through the first 30, minutes, Lehigh Valley cruised to a win. Both teams finished 1-1 in the tournament.
Toronto, ranked No 15 in the North Central Division, continued an impressive showing with its second straight win of the tournament. The Canadian team bested Harrisburg, 375-60 after carrying a 152-41 halftime lead.
Central New York avenged a Saturday defeat with a 210-94 victory over the Jersey Shore Roller Girls on Sunday. The bout was tight through the first half as neither team cracked 100 before halftime.
New Hampshire, No. 24 in the East came from behind to upset No. 16 Dominion in a 175-152 thriller. Dominion led through most of the first 20 minutes before New Hampshire captured the lead late in the first half. The two teams were separated by just six points with 10 minutes remaining before the New England club could put the game away.
In other action, Maine defeated Ithaca, 225-108. Maine led 126-65 at the half and continued the punishment by taking 28 of the next 34 points to clamp down on the win. Maine, ranked No. 11 in the East, finished 1-1 on the tournament by handing unranked Ithaca its first loss of the tournament.