SANTA CRUZ >> The Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ Redwood Rebels returned for the second installment of their home team season with a thrilling win over the Organic Panic at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday night.
The Rebels prevailed 135-134 in a bout that featured four lead changes, two in each half, and a nail-biting final jam.
It was the first full-length bout of the season. At the season opener, roller derby fans were treated to a round-robin format of all three SCDG home teams. The Rebels went 2-0, Steamer Janes 1-1 and the Panic finished 0-2. Those bouts count towards the overall record for the first SCDG Home Team Championship game June 27.
All three Santa Cruz teams feature skaters of various talent levels. The new format was implemented to allow derby fans to see all of the derby girls more regularly.
One of the stand-out performances Saturday was Rebels jammer Jennifer Berry, aka Cashmere, who got lead jammer status 12 of 16 attempts.
“I have some amazing blockers out there, they’re why I got lead jammer so many times,” Berry said. “I love the new home team format, I love that I have skated with so many of my teammates for several years, and I love my opponents, too. I had a great time and its such an amazing organization to be a part of and such a great city to skate for.”
Separated by only one point with one jam left and one minute on the clock, Panic jammer Courtney Scallan, aka Hazard, got lead jammer and subsequently took a penalty so the final jam went the distance. This gave both Scallan and Rebels jammer Ivy Lurz, aka Brave, the punishing task of trying to get through the opposing blockers for a full two minutes. Ultimately, both jammers made three passes each and each scored 11 points, and the exciting final jam ended with the Rebels’ one-point lead preserved.
Lurz came through with a huge performance to safeguard the lead.
“It was really intense and unexpected,” she said. “I just went out there thinking it was going to be a normal jam. I wasn’t lead and I couldn’t call it, so it went for the full two minutes. But it was the last jam and every point mattered, so I had to give it my all.”
Lurz was so intent on scoring she didn’t even know she had contributed to the victory.
“I looked at the scoreboard once to check the time remaining,” she said. “I just knew that it was really close and that I couldn’t stop.”
Panic captain Hazard also had a solid outing. All nine of her jams came in the second half. She also had both of the Panic’s double-digit jams.
The next SCDG bout will be April 18, with the Steamer Janes facing the Panic at 6:30 p.m.
**Article by Matthew Mednick as printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel**
**Photo Credit: Lauren Macadaeg ©2015**