MOUNT VERNON — For the majority of its first-ever home match at Mount Vernon Academy against another all-star travel team, the Central Ohio Roller Dolls did not play like its 0-2 record would indicate.
Even though the Roller Dolls played their best game of the season, they still fell short at the final whistle.
A late 55-0 run gave the visiting Hades Ladies of First Settlement Derby Dames from Marietta a nail-biting 204-196 victory at MVA’s gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
“It was a really competitive game,” said Roller Dolls head coach Micha Grubaugh, also known as Akillah The Fun. “It was a great game to be a part of and it could have gone either way at any time.”
Samantha Erb, also known as ShaSam, led the team with 48 points after the first period, and she was disappointed with how the contest ended.
“I thought we had it until the last five minutes,” Erb said. “They were able to come back with their power jams, and that is what did it for them.”
A huge crowd was in attendance for the Roller Dolls home event, and that was something that really pleased Erb.
“I did not think we would have this many people show up to the game,” ShaSam said. “When I saw that we would have a full crowd, I knew we would have a good show and we did.”
The win gives Hades Ladies a 2-2 record so far this season. Their other win came against Pennsylvania Underground Roller Rebellion by a score of 218-198. In its second home match on July 7, the Roller Dolls will host the Roller Rebellion.
“I think the biggest improvement we have to make between now and our next home game is in our power jam execution,” ShaSam said. “If we are able to get the jams, we will be able to control the game.”
In the early stages of the contest, the visitors had control of the game. A 12-point jam by Candy Flip Her handed Hades Ladies a 24-8 lead with six of the 30 minutes in the first period gone. A 9-point jam by Thrash Gordon extended the lead to 33-8 with 22 minutes left.
Hades Ladies kept up the pressure with another 12-point jam, this time by Lovette Ruff, and her effort gave the visitors a 54-22 lead with 16:20 left until halftime.
Despite being down by as much as 37 points in the first half, Grubaugh and his team did not panic.
“It is part of the game,” he said. “Being down by 40 or 50 is not insurmountable. When you get to the 100-point mark, that is when the game gets tougher. We did not freak out when they made the quick start to the game.”
When the home team was at its lowest point, ShaSam came to the rescue. Her 29-point jam brought the score within eight at 60-52.
After ShaSam’s incredible run, captain Green Hell-Ana executed an 18-point jam to give the Roller Dolls its first lead of the game at 70-60.
A 15-point jam by Hell-Ana handed the Roller Dolls a 101-84 lead at halftime.
In the second half, PB SlammHer’s 24-point jam extended the Roller Dolls lead to 146-115. Late in the second half, ShaSam performed a 19-point jam and gave her team a 185-136 lead.
“I knew I had to keep pushing,” Erb said of her performance. The power jams are where teams get a lot of their points. It is either a chance to come back or a chance to extend your lead.”
Hades Ladies knew they had a mountain to climb, but little by little, they were able to come back. A 15-point jam by Ruff, a 30-point jam by Hysterika and a 10-point jam by Thrash Gordon gave the away team a 195-188 lead.
In its last possession, PB SlammHer was unable to obtain the lead jam for the Roller Dolls, and as a result, their record fell to 0-3.
“Without getting the lead jammer, there was no way we were going to win,” Grubaugh said. “We had to get the first one through and stretch them out long enough to score enough points to win.”
Contact Bez SaciriEmail
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.