Redwood Rebels roll in Derby Girls season opener

SANTA CRUZ >> The Santa Cruz Derby Girls kicked off their 2015 season Saturday at the Civic Auditorium with three 20-minute games to showcase their new home teams: Organic Panic, Steamer Janes, and Redwood Rebels. The league hopes the home-team structure will ensure competitive play throughout the season. Each team will battle for the first SCDG league championship.

Redwood Rebels 72, Steamer Janes 66 >> The first game was a back and forth battle between the Redwood Rebels and the Steamer Janes. The Rebels took an early lead with Ace Wenchura (Claire McCoy) leading the charge. Jammer penalties against both teams were a factor in the numerous lead changes. A penalty against the Rebels’ jammer allowed the Janes to tie up the game with only six minutes to go. What would have been the last jam ended with the Steamer Janes in the lead, but it was called off too quickly, allowing the Rebels enough time to call time out and extend the game by one more jam. The Redwood Rebels took advantage for the win.

Redwood Rebels 48, Organic Panic 31 >> The Redwood Rebels came out energized after their win against the Steamer Janes. The Rebels relied on jukey jammers to weave their way through Organic Panic’s defense.

Organic Panic found a different strategy, placing CoraZone (Cora Olsen), a blocker for SCDG’s traveling team — the Bombshells — as a jammer. CoraZone was able to push through walls and create her own holes without relying on much offense from her blockers, leaving Organic Panic to fully focus on the Rebels’ jammers.

Steamer Janes 72, Organic Panic 41 >> The final game of the night featured a lot of pivot-line starts and heavy one-on-one blocking.

Seeking revenge for their first-game loss, the Steamer Janes took an early lead over the Organic Panic. While the Janes never lost their lead, Organic Panic was able to close the gap by once again relying on CoraZone to power through the Janes’ wall.

There was a slight delay in the game due to blood on the track which stopped play with only 3 minutes to go.

Saturday was the final game for Kaela Dilley, aka Envy Atoms, and Nicole Junod, aka The Kid.

The next game is scheduled for March 14, when Organic Panic will take on the Redwood Rebels at the Civic.

**Article by Kristen Garfield as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Lauren Macadaeg ©2015**

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