Bleeding Heartland Squeaks by Derby City, 97-95

BLOOMINGTON, IN — Bloomington, Indiana’s Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls hosted Louisville Kentucky’s Derby City Rollergirls on their infamously slippery basketball court in Bloomington’s Sportplex—the same floor where the B-team from regional powerhouse Cincinnati, the Silent Lambs, had gone down to defeat only weeks prior. In a bout that seemed to last minutes, featured a late-game scoring controversy, and culminated in a heart-stopping final score of 97-95, it was not immediately clear who the winner was between these well-matched squads.

Derby City brought their best game–both mentally and physically prepared for the bout with a few new faces on the roster, including jammer Jensurgency (a transfer from River City Rollergirls in Richmond, Virginia), and a new Interim Coach, former speed skating champ Mo’Jo Sensei.  DCRG was eager to bring a little schoolin’ to this sleepy college town on a hot summer night, and everyone walked away with a wealth of experience.

Spectators were extremely vocal all night, reflecting the amazingly close see-saw score, as each team took turns getting as far as 15 points ahead of the other, before turning on the juice and coming back to even the score.  This was a 2 period bout using a hybrid ruleset, which may have put DCRG at an additional disadvantage, but both teams handled the challenge with commitment and tenacity. Bleeding Heartland maintained lead jammer status through most of the first period, with DCRG only finding their stride on the slippery track toward the end of the first.

Flatliner jammers Ka Ka Caliente and Badd Mudda Trucka performed as if they were born on their floor, and consistently slipped through the pack at the second turn, leaving DCRG’s jammers fighting to pick up as many points as possible in a defense-heavy game.  Still, with scores closing in on the 100 point mark, both teams were running great offense, as well.  DCRG’s temporary loss of two starting players, including the league founder Bad Penny (who spent the evening screaming for DCRG to “put them in the suicide seats!” from her wheelchair), meant that jammers were filling in for blockers—and it was a strategy that quite nearly worked.

By the time Flatliners captain Margles McNasty was passed the star by Badd Mudda Trucka near the end of the second period, Bloomington fans were at such a fevered pitch, you’d think it was a reshoot of the movie Hoosiers.  (Yes, Indiana, there is a new sport taking hold in the land of basketball.  We’re in ur court, jammin ur pointz.)

A controversial jam score in the second half led to a lengthy conference between refs and captains, as there was apparent disagreement on whether a opening pass had been incorrectly credited. In a bout so close, every point would prove critical. While Derby City fought valiantly through the final minutes, they couldn’t quite close the gap, falling achingly short at 97-95 — but making the Bleeding Heartland fans go wild for their victorious girls.

(Post-game, bucking the trend of contested scores getting in the way of good sportsmanship, the stats folks and refs from both teams worked together remotely to review video tape and discern whether or not points were inaccurately awarded to BHRG when no jammer was on the floor.  The matter was taken care of swiftly, cementing good relations between both teams.  Both teams look forward to a rematch on DCRG’s home track!)

Badd Mudda Trucka was BHRG’s high scoring jammer with 37 pts. Jensurgency was DCRG’s high scoring jammer with 45 pts.  Overall MVPs of the night as voted on by the Flatliners went to Spynn for BHRG and Dixie Dieway for DCRG.  Carrie A Glock, the powerful pivot from Derby City, injured her knee during the bout and was on the receiving end of a lot of support from fans of both teams.  As of this recap, her doctor has confirmed there will be no long-term damage to her knee, and she should be skating again in a matter of weeks.

Derby City Rollergirls host WFTDA’s Dixie Derby Girls of Huntsville, AL this weekend in Louisville, July 26 at 7 PM at the Fairgrounds.  The Flatliners take on COMO of Columbia, Missouri on August 23 for a rematch—and a double-header, as the Midwest Men’s Roller Derby team hosts the New York Shock Exchange.

Additional reporting: Biker Dave
Photos: Ron Nehrig