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The last time Gang Green took the track against the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes, they squandered a late lead and lost on the final jam to the A2D2 Brawlstars 220-207 in Milwaukee (WI).  In an exciting bout with six lead changes in the first half, it almost appeared history would repeat itself, but Gang Green pulled together and claimed the rematch 151-142 in front of 1000+ fans at the Lausche Building this past weekend.  The first half was a classic struggle between great Ann Arbor offense and great Gang Green defense.  Of the first half’s twenty-five jams, Ann Arbor was able to get lead jammer seventeen times compared to Gang Green’s eight.  That means A2D2 was able to control how long the jams would last twice as many times as their opponents.  However, it was Gang Green who held an 87-60 lead at the half!

The bout started well as Gang Green’s Paige Bleed scored first for Ohio, a 1-0 jam.  The first lead change came two jams later as Ann Arbor’s Battlecat put the Brawlstars ahead 4-1.  The Derby Dimes’ lead didn’t last long as on the next jam, Gang Green’s Burnadeath posted 8 to reclaim the lead 9-4.  Three jams later it was Battlecat once again tipping the scales back in Ann Arbor’s favor as she took the score to 16-12 with 21:30 remaining in the period.  Points were nickel-and-dimed over the next five jams but Ann Arbor held a 29-18 lead.  Jam 14 started with Brawlstar jammer Helen Killer in the box which left Paige Bleed unopposed on the jammer line.  Bleed took advantage of another Killer penalty, but found herself in the box as well for a track cut.  The damage had been done by Paige Bleed, as she was able to score 14 and move Gang Green ahead 32-29 with 13:00 remaining.

Two jams later, Ann Arbor’s Lezzie Arnaz posted a 14-0 jam and caused the fifth lead change to move the Brawlstars ahead 43-32.  Undeterred, Gang Green held strong and back to back double-digit jams by Shred Head (12) and Burnadeath (20) swung the scoreboard back in Gang Green’s favor 68-47.  A power jam to Burnadeath gave Gang Green a bit of a cushion, as she tallied 15 more in the final jam of the half, and took Gang Green into the intermission 87-60.

The fact that Gang Green only obtained lead jammer eight times was a true testament to how far their pack play and defense has come this season.  Once the Ann Arbor jammers broke free of the pack and obtained lead, Gang Green’s pack was also able to get their own jammers free.  The speed of Burnadeath, Shred Head, Bigg Rigg, and Paige Bleed enabled them to catch up to the Brawlstar jammers and force them to call the jam prematurely.  Led by Elektra Magneto, Nicold n Deadly, Pistol Whippin Wendy, and Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker, Gang Green’s defense held the A2D2 to an average of 3.5 points when the Brawlstars obtained lead, which included keeping them to only 9 points combined on two A2D2 power jams.

Gang Green found their collective groove in the second half as they obtained lead each of the first three jams and opened their lead to 94-60.  A staunch defensive struggle ensued as neither team was able to score more than five points in a single jam over the next twelve jams.  Gang Green’s Blitz Lemon, KloverKill, Pearl Rogi, and Tactigal did a great job as they held Ann Arbor to only eight points over the period’s first fifteen minutes.  Following a 20 point jam by Shred Head on the period’s sixteenth jam, Gang Green had nearly doubled-up on the Brawlstars and held a comfortable 134-68 lead with 13:15 remaining.

Ann Arbor would outscore Gang Green 13-6 over the next five jams and trailed 142-81 with 5:30 remaining.  The Brawlstars, led by jammers Helen Killer, Battlecat, and Lezzie Arnaz then went on an unbelievable run to attempt to snatch a victory in Columbus.  Helen Killer took advantage of a Paige Bleed track cut and posted 23 points which cut the lead to 142-104.  Battlecat followed with 4 points of her own and narrowed the margin to 142-108.  Lezzie Arnaz and Helen Killer then added 9 and 3 respectively which made the 143-120 deficit manageable as both squads took the track for the bout’s final jam.

Battlecat obtained lead for the fifth time in a row for A2D2 and made her way around for her first scoring pass.  Gang Green’s Paige Bleed also escaped from the pack and found herself eligible to score.  It became a race to score points as the 1000+ fans stood and cheered for a Gang Green victory.  Both jammers played clean and stayed out of the box as a penalty would have been detrimental.  However, they both continued to score and as the final whistle blew, Battlecat scored 22 points to Paige Bleed’s 8 points.  Ann Arbor had outscored Gang Green 61-9 over the last five jams but it wasn’t enough to steal the “W.”  Gang Green’s pack and their speedy jammers delighted everyone as they won 151-142 in the home finale.

Gang Green’s Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker and A2D2’s Michelle O’Bombya were named bout MVPs.

Jamming for Gang Green were:  Burnadeath (6-14, 57 pts), Shred Head (5-11, 44 pts), Paige Bleed (7-13, 39 pts), Bigg Rigg (2-12, 11 pts), and Blitz Lemon (0-1, 0 pts).  Gang Green obtained lead jammer twenty times and were on six power jams.

Jamming for the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes were:  Helen Killer (10-13, 56 pts), Battlecat (11-19, 45 pts), Lezzie Arnaz (9-16, 41 pts), Bex (0-3, 0 pts), and Michelle O’Bombya (0-1, 0 pts).  Ann Arbor obtained lead thirty times and were on three power jams.

Andrew Marron