The Traverse City Toxic Cherries kicked off their 2014 roller derby season by defeating the Brighton Roller Dollz on the road with a score of 166-96. Scoring was at a premium in the first half, as the Toxics adjusted to playing on a wooden track (TCRD typically skates on concrete). But Brighton found things even more challenging as TC kept jams short and sweet by claiming lead jammer status and stopping play after one scoring pass early and often. This tactical advantage allowed the Toxic Cherries to carve out a 67-29 halftime lead. Play was a little more loose in the second half, but remained physically punishing. TCTC’s walls of blockers closed pack openings quickly and kept Brighton off the scoreboard early in the second half as the lead swelled to over 60 points. Brighton forged a minor comeback, pulling to within 40 points on the strength of a few power jams (a scoring phenomenon seldom seen in this bout, where surprisingly few penalties were called as a whole), but the Toxic Cherries pulled away to create no doubt in the final outcome.The Toxic Cherries’ blockers provided little daylight for Brighton’s jammers all night long, while they rode an attack of rotating jammers to gradually pull away in this low-scoring contest. The Toxics’ offense was paced by MVP Jammer Mace Hindu, while MVP Blocker Lizzy Luscious was an immovable force to be reckoned with. MVP Jammer and Blocker for Brighton went to Slippery When Wet and Vincent Van Ho, respectively. Next up for Traverse City Roller Derby is a doubleheader bout for the Toxic Cherries and Cherry Bombs against the Battle Creek Cereal Killers Roller Derby on Saturday, April 19. Find Traverse City Roller Derby on Facebook for more details!