Ohio’s Defense Stifles Cincinnati 306-83
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Ohio’s Defense Stifles Cincinnati 306-83

Playoff-bound Ohio took full advantage of the Black Sheep’s difficulties while posting a 306-83 drubbing on Saturday. The Cincinnati Black Sheep have struggled through a season of personnel turnover, but their aggressive blocking showed signs that the Cincy team has what it takes to rebuild.

The bout featured dazzling displays by the Ohio jammers. The Smacktivist alone outscored the Black Sheep by 55 points en route to a 19 jam, 138 point outing featuring their usual array of spins and jukes. No one can cut an edge quite like Mack. Burnadeath showed off her cat-like agility in the thirteenth jam of the first half when she neatly side-stepped a steam-rolling Cincinnati blocker; the blocker whiffed and Burna slid by to take lead. Bigg Rigg had the play of the bout in the second jam of the second half when she flew over the apex, passing the startled Black Sheep defense and stealing four points from the Cincinnati jammer, who called off the jam too late.

For all of the offensive fireworks, however, the name of the bout was defense. The Cincinnati jammers simply could not find a seam in Ohio’s wall. Ohio’s jammers scored nearly at will, but the MVPs of the bout were the blockers. In the sixth jam of the bout, for instance, Ohio jammer Burnadeath pushed to the lead while Cincinnati’s Anne Bones was stymied by Ena Flash and Amy Spears. Bones finally fought free of them just to get pushed out of bounds by Bigg Rigg, and had to start all over. By the end of the full two-minute jam Burna had scored 20 points and a frustrated Bones was in the penalty box.

In the seventh jam of the first half Amy Spears simultaneously cornered the Black Sheep jammer and opened the outside lane for Ohio jammer Lora “Outa My” Wayman to take lead. Bigg Rigg then forced a Cincinnati star pass, but by the time the Black Sheep cleared the pack, Wayman had already weaved her way to 20 points. Ohio jammer TactiGal also had a stellar game, plowing through the Cincy packs despite some tough blocking by Cincy’s MirderHer, Sailor Scary, and Hannah Barbaric.

Overall, Cincinnati had only one jam of at least 20 points, while Ohio had six of them, highlighted by a full-strength jam by Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker midway through the second half. Cincinnati jammer Anne Bones could not get by Sk8 Crime and Jesse “Ava Tarr” Fox while Wayman cleared a hole on the inside line big enough for a smart car; Chainsaw cruised to a 24-0 jam.

In a season filled with ups and downs, Saturday’s bout showed an Ohio defense that is rounding into playoff form at just the right time. The countdown to Champs begins in two weeks, after Ohio’s home finale against Steel City. If Saturday’s showing is any indication, Ohio seems poised to duplicate or improve on last season’s tournament run.

Photos courtesy of Dorn Byg (full set) and Joe Mac.