By Rachel Rotten
SACRAMENTO, CA — #8W Angel City traveled north on Saturday to take on long-time rivals #7W Sacred City, in what proved to be an epic barn burner of a game for two teams that meet often and consistently produce close results. Sacred made up almost all of a 75 point deficit in the second half, but fell two passes short of fully closing the gap, and Angel City took the win 143-137. The game marked the first time Angel City had managed to defeat Sacred City after 4 previous attempts over 5 years.
The first 5 minutes of the game saw multiple lead changes and a tie at 19 points, but that was the closest the game would get until the final 5 minutes. Angel City patiently pulled away from Sacred one jam at a time, and Sacred answered with consistently strong blocking and persistent jammers. At the half, Angel City led 73-43.
In an effort to not repeat history, Angel City started the second half much like the first: trying to hold back fierce Sacred jammers Jamân Jewlz and The 4Closer who would surely erase Angel City’s lead if given the chance.
Jammer penalties were frequent in this game, with both teams’ jammers serving an unnerving number of penalties, especially odd for the usually clean 4Closer (Sacred) and Ghetto Fabu-Lez (Angel City).
By 10 minutes into the 2nd half, Angel City’s strong blocking and nimble jamming had put up 45 unanswered
points, and they had pulled ahead 118-43. Three scoreless jams and a few 1- and 2-point jams later, Jewlz finally put points on the board for Sacred, followed by 25 points by 4Closer when Angel Cityâs jammer Fifi Nomenon was sent to the box, bringing the score to 122-75.
The Sacred City comeback gathered steam as the game entered its final ten minutes; Colt 45 and 4Closer continued to put points on the board for Sacred while their teammates Slapjack, Miss Behaved and Axle Breaker skillfully tied up the Angel City jammers with relentless recycling and well-timed blows. Their collective efforts brought the score to 141-100 with only 5 minutes left to play, and Sacred kept coming: a power jam for Jamân Jewlz in Sacredâs favor brought the score to 143-113 with 3:10 left to play, and the reliable 4Closer put up 9-0 to make it Angel City 143, Sacred City 122 with 33 seconds left on the clock.
Veteran blockers Shiv and Breakfast slowed down 4Closer, and held the Angel City line together as best they could against the powerful jammer who proceeded to put up 15 points, but time ran out before she could squeeze in one last pass, leaving Sacred City with 6 points of victory margin at a final score of 143-137.
After a team timeout for Sacred, both teams fielded full packs for the last jam, Angel City well aware that their current 21-point lead could be as easily erased by penalties as the rest of their lead had been. As if the sky had opened up and heard Sacred’s roaring and infuriated fans, the Angel City jammer Chica Go Lightning was sent to the box, leaving the 4Closer more than a minute to close the gap.