By Thomas Gerbasi / Additional reporting by Hewlett Smackard
For 30 minutes at John Jay College on April 13, it was business as usual for longtime Gotham Girls Roller Derby rivals Brooklyn and Manhattan. Three lead changes, back and forth battles, and tension running thick in each jam.
But then Manhattan flipped the script in the final 30 minutes, going on a second half run that not only allowed them to take control early on, but to keep that control as Mayhem cruised to a 175-132 victory in the 2019 season opener for both squads.
“The difference was that in the second half we trusted each other more,” said Manhattan MVP Malory. “We trusted each other, our abilities, and our skills, and that really showed in the second half. That was the difference.”
“I know that we dominated the first half, and then the second half, Mayhem got the jump on us,” added Brooklyn MVP Yeti or Not, Here I Come. “We just couldn't bring it back in time.”
Known for their nip and tuck nailbiters throughout the years, the Bombshells and Mayhem delivered on that reputation throughout the first half, much to the delight of the sold out crowd. And while a 16-point jam by the game’s leading scorer, Manhattan’s Giles, sent an early message, perennial GGRD All-Star Miss Tea Maven kept the Bombshells close, which was an impressive feat considering that they brought six new skaters to the track.
“We really came together,” said Yeti. “Even though we had six new folks, we definitely did a really good job of team cohesion.”
“It was very difficult to play against them,” added Malory. “Their team communicated a lot and I noticed the connection that they have as a team.”
Brooklyn went into the locker room with an 81-76 lead, but by the second jam of the second half, Manhattan was up 90-81 and it just got worse as Giles poured in the points and penalties began to rear their ugly head for the Bombshells. And while Brooklyn left John Jay with a loss, it was a loss filled with lessons while Mayhem got 2019 off to an impressive start.
“We occasionally lost our heads a little bit,” said Yeti. “We did learn that even amidst chaos, both intentional and unintentional, we were able to keep a really positive bench and still support each other and be real happy about the opportunity and privilege that it is to play a Gotham home team game. We definitely learned that we're resilient, and we will be doing some new strategies to the next time.”
BROOKLYN vs. MANHATTAN STATS
Brooklyn MVP – Yeti or Not, Here I Come
Manhattan MVP – Malory
Leading Brooklyn Scorers
Miss Tea Maven – 92 points (16 jams)
Switchcraft – 32 points (13 jams)
Sweets McBacon – 4 points (8 jams)
Leading Brooklyn Blockers
D.A.R.Y.L. – 23 jams (+7)
Lady Fingers – 21 jams (-49)
Shadow – 20 jams (+6)
Leading Manhattan Scorers
Giles – 100 points (14 jams)
Kid Vicious – 38points (10 jams)
Malory – 17 points (9 jams)
Leading Manhattan Blockers
Roxy Dallas – 24 jams (+37)
Bonita Apple Bomb – 22 jams (-6)
Spork Chop – 17 jams (+49)