Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Uproar on the Lakeshore - 3 stars (Unedited)

Fivepointgrandslam.com gives its three stars for each day of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association's championship tournament in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 5-7. 

For the third day, we'll actually give three stars for both the third-place and first-place game. We'll add the names of the third-day stars on Nov. 17, so check back for updates.

Day 1
Third Star - Rosie the Rioter
 Charm City's No. 100, along with Joy Collision, led a much of Baltimore's defense, delegating pack duties to her charges while working in tandem with Mistress May Eye to help shut down the opposing jammers. The pair stifled Lex'i Cuter, No. 187 for Minnesota, keeping her from making multiple scoring passes in Jam 10 of the first half. Rioter, an integral part of Charm's D-team, stalled most of the Minnesota blockers, preventing them from making multiple passes -- Minnesota had only 5 multiple scoring passes in 34 jams -- and blanking MNRG 11 jams in the bout.

Second Star - Femme Fatal
No. 18 for Oly stood out in the three jams she wore the star cover. She earned lead in two of those jams, but she had a 4-5-5-5 multiple pass in Jam 10 of the bout. The jam would go to two minutes after neither jammer secured lead, and Fatal would help extend a 50-8 Oly lead to 69-14 over Nashville. With Rambo Sambo in the box, Fatal would rack up four more grand slams in Jam 10 of the second half, putting up 20 more points to make the spread 100-plus points, 170-50. She ended the bout with a 43-6 jammer differential. 

First Star - Bloody Mary
Texas jammer Mary would pick up 2-0, 6-0, 10-0, 5-point jams, in the closest game of the tournment next to the Rocky-Oly final. The lead change would swing back and forth before 
Astronauty's mental error of calling off the jam with 27 seconds left on the game clock and no timeouts left, would be forced to give the game to Texas, 72-59.

Day 2
Third Star - Hoosier Mama

Windy City's defense would get its best test of the tournament against Oly, who's run-and-gun offense simply wears down their opponents. After a successful star pass from Athena DeCrime to Jackie Daniels in the second jam of the second half, WCR's defense would slowly get to work, trying everying they could to cut into the deficit. In Jam 7 of the second, Hoosier Mama, Deb Autry and Sargentina stacked the front of the pack holding back Oly's jammer, Harmony Killerbruise, and keeping her from getting much more than a grand slam, while Kola Loka exited and returned to the box in the same jam. In Jam 9 Mama would tease Oly jammer Scara 2 Death the A-line gap, only to shut the door on her. Death would earn lead that jam, but get boxed for a low-block major, to allow Varla Vendetta to score a 5-5 scoring pass in the last 37 seconds of the jam. Unfortunately Oly would still manage to beat the championship tournament hostesses 178-76.

Second Star - Rocky Mountain Defense

For a team known for its pack control, this was no where near as evident as their bout against Gotham City. Rocky's Frida Beater and Psycho Babble established a front wall with 15 minutes remaining in the second half to hold Bonnie Thunders to a 4 point jam, as Urrk'n Jerk'n finished serving time in the penalty box. Urrk'n managed to serve her time with 59 seconds left in the jam and complete her initial pass with 37 seconds remaining - forcing Thunders to call the jam to prevent the Rocky jammer from scoring any points. Gotham would be forced to call a timeout after only managing 8 points in 6 minutes and 11 seconds of the first half. Assaultin' Pepa (Rocky #86) had a good assist in Jam 19 to spring her jammer, Frida Beater, No. 202. With a significant lead, Rocky would settle for running out clock, thanks to Jam 6 in the second half going the full two minutes after lead Gotham jammer Swede Hurt would get boxed for a major back block. DeRanged would earn lead, completing her intial pass a mere 2 seconds before Thunders could complete hers, opting to just eat time before calling the jam, prompting boos from the crowd but giving the Rocky jammer a bit of a rest. With Frida Beater in the box with less than 4 minutes remaining in game, Rocky would offset a 4-2 pack disadvantage during a Gotham powerjam -- Amanda Jamitinya would hold Gotham jammer Suzy Hotrod in the back, trying to force a cut, meanwhile eating time on her two penalized blockers. Rocky would end Gotham's undefeated play 109-74 advancing to the first-place game on Sunday.

First Star - Bonnie Thunder
After a less than stellar first-half performance against Texas in the first bout of the Day 2, Thunder (340) for Gotham City, would earn lead in all 8 jams in the second half. Thunder would also successfully call each of her lead jams, avoiding the box and mental mistakes. Thunder scored 24 points, four grand slams and earned lead in only 2 of her six jams in the first half. In the second half Thunder warmed up, playing Texas' small-ball philosophy against them, settling for five points in her first five jams of the second frame. She would go on to finish her turns with the star by earning a five-point grand slam in one jam, and 4-4 scoring passes in her last two jams of the game, finishing her second half point total with 29 points, for a game total of 53 points. All of her grand slams would would come against a scoreless opponent, adding to her jammer differential 25-0.

Day 3: 
Gotham versus Philly

Third Star - Suzie Hotrod 
With the exception of a few mental errors, Hotrod (55) put on a show for the Gotham fans at the UIC Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 7. Fans cheered on one of Gotham's most recognizable stars in what was rumored to be her last WFTDA game with the New York City team. The Gotham and Philly blockers were out to prove they knew about positioning and pack control, demonstrating the tactics that earned them first and second place respectively in the East Region tournament. In the fifth jam of the game, the pack killed off 1 minute, 5 seconds of the jam before releasing jammers Hotrod and Shenita Stretcher (Philly). Hotrod would earn lead within 17 seconds of the jammer whistle and manage a full grand slam before Stretcher could complete her initial pass. The Gotham pack would maintain control in the ninth jam releasing the jammers at the 1:47 mark of the jam clock. Hotrod would take 30 seconds to break through the pack without earning lead and make a 5-4 (committing a forearm minor preventing an extra point) scoring pass before accidently trying to call the jam off, earning her fourth minor and being directed to the box. In an almost comical fashion, Hotrod touched her hips twice and pleading with her jam ref that she didn't mean it. Gotham's defense would take the jammer penalty kill cue and shut down Philly jammer Elle Viento (22). With Bonnie Thunder (340) doing most of the heavy lifting in the first half, Hotrod managed earning lead only twice in five jams, and getting boxed at least twice while wearing the star cover. In those five jams though she did manage to score optimum points, earning grand slams in three jams, while earning 4 points in her last jam of the half. In the second half, Hotrod would earn lead 100 percent in five jams, with 18 points (one grand slam), to help carry her team into a third-place finish for the 2010 WFTDA season.

Second Star - Teflon Donna
Donna (85) was the paramount work horse of Philly's Liberty Belles. The all-around player for Philly was often seen in all three positions: blocking and pivoting in the pack while occassionally wearing the star as her team's jammer. Gotham may have held her scoreless, but her presence on the jammer line dictated how New York's defense played, trying to trap her and keep her out of scoring range as much as possible. I don't remember seeing her sit out more than one jam, constantly taking playing time on the track in the Gotham-Philly grudge match for second-place.

First Star - Bonnie Thunder
If Thunder (340) put up great numbers against Texas, her efforts in the third-place game versus Philly were astronomical. Much like Texas' second-round matchup, Thunder would take much of the first half to warm up, scoring 8 points in the first five jams and only earning lead twice. Something inside Thunder woke up, only going scoreless in one more jam in the last 10 jams of the bout, and managing multiples scoring passes in seven of those 10. Thunders would amass 15 grand slams throughout the game, to bring her total points up to 108, achieving her personal best record. Thunders would improve upon her 50 percent lead jammer average in the first half with a nearly perfect average in the second, not earning lead in one of seven jams, and only dropping 3 points in that jam. Her last two jams, she faced off against Persephone (15) of the Liberty Belles, managing a 5-5-5-5 and 5-5-5-4 scoring passes after Persephone was boxed in both jams for major track cuts.

Day 3 - Rocky Mountain versus Oly

Third Star - Deranged
Deranged (27, Rocky) started picking up more and more playing time as Urrk'n Jerk'n and Pscyho Babble fouled out in the course of the game. Her defense as a jammer more than made up for Deranged's mediocre jam numbers, twice stalling the opposing Oly jammer to kill penalty minutes for her boxed teammates. Deranged started the bout with a 5-5-2 jam earning lead and calling it before 2 Ton Heffer could score any points, mostly because the pack held her to her intial pass for 1 minute, 2 seconds. It would be that pack support and mental aptitude that helped carry Rocky over Oly, proving that the first time the team from Denver beat the 2009 WFTDA champions was no fluke. In the thirteenth jam, Rocky's defense would have to step up when Deranged was boxed for a major track cut, while Oly's jammer 2 Ton Heffer tried for a power jam, only to be boxed herself for incurring her fourth minor, and releasing Deranged. The jam would end scoreless as both teams would lock down their defense, reventing any points from going on the board. Deranged jammed seven times in the first half, eight times in the second, but only earned lead in five of those attempts. Her 46 points for the team was definitely a huge help against Rocky's win over Rocky.

Second Star - Atomatrix
Oly's Atomatrix (003) put up several multi-scoring passes and capitalized on earn lead by calling the jam a majority of the times she had the privelage. Atomatrxi put up two 8-point jams in her first three attempts before falling pray to the penalty box. The Oly jammer would round out her first half with a 5-5-5 jam after earning lead and a 4-5-5-5-5 after committing a no pass-no penalty on her initial pass. Rocky keyed in on her during the second half, holding her to 11 points, compared with her 39 points from the first half. Unfortunately for Atomatrix she would get boxed four different times while wearing the star, giving Rocky opportunities to score power jams and keep the points close. I can only speculate that either Atomatrix was tired, or Oly was worried she'd get boxed again when the game clock fell near the two minute mark, as it's here that Oly opted to put Lector (9) in. And while she did make a 23-point jam, if she had called the jam before getting boxed, Oly stood a better chance at holding on to their lead going into what seemed like the last jam of the game.

First star - Frida Beater
Rocky co-captain Frida Beater (202) got to shine on roller derby's biggest platforms, the WFTDA championship game. Her never say day attitude shined through adversity in the Rocky-Oly penultimate jam. After an official timeout with 2:25 left on the game clock, Rocky had a small seven-point lead, 130-123. Beater lined up against Oly's Tannibal Lector (9), who would earn lead within 12 seconds of the jammer whistle and go on a tear through the pack. Lector picked up five scoring passes, 5-5-4-4-5, as Beater was stuck in the pack and then disaster struck for Oly as Lector was called on a major block to the back with less than 30 seconds left in the jam. Seizing on a power jam opportunity, Beater was able to complete her first scoring pass with 12 seconds remaining, artfully pulling out a second 4 point scoring pass before jam time would run out. Rocky would take a timeout with 16 seconds remaining on the game clock and Lector still sitting in the penalty box with approximately 30 seconds remaining on her penalty time. Rocky would take a knee at the start of the jam, to start Beater instantly after the pack whistle, optimizing how much time the Rocky jammer could score. Beater would earn lead within 10 seconds of the jammer whistle and complete 5-4 scoring passes within 43 seconds before calling the jam with no game clock and little chance for an unboxed Lector to complete her initial and scoring pass, giving Rocky the one-point margin of victory to win the WFTDA championships.