Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WFTDA Championships: Bout 1 - Minnesota versus Charm

In the first short day of the weekend, the derby community was treated to a few surprises. In the first contest, Minnesota stormed the gates, amassing a 38-6 lead against Charm City, before Baltimore would call a timeout with 20 minutes left in the game.

During that stretch, Melissa "Medusa" Hopper managed a 25 point power jam when Charm jammer I.M. Pain was boxed for a penalty in the second jam.

Both teams utilized the scrum starts, a term adopted from rugby in which a mass of players are clustered together (in this case right in front of the jammer line), early and kept working with that strategy for some time.

Charm would adapt to Minnesota occupying the jammer line by utilizing the star pass over the Minnesota back 4 wall.

By passing the star over the wall, Baltimore gave it's pivot the star in an attempt to get an early first pass.

Relinquishing lead jammer, Charm gave the Minnesota the opportunity to earn LJ as the second jammer to exit the pack. With strong jammers Minnesota earned lead and would call it before the opposing jammer would start accruing points on her score pass.

 Harm would finally earn lead jammer in the 10th jam, IM Pain picking up a 7 (5-2) to 3 point swing.

 Both teams would hit various point swings contributing to the general ebb and flow of the game, but Minnesota would maintain a sizable lead. Charm managed a few more star passes to little effect, including an attempt by Joy Collision that would send her to the box as the jaMmer.

 Coming out of the halftime down 94-42, Charm would struggle, watching minnesota's lead grow to 107-47.

 In the 6th of the second half, Joy Collision would pick up a 4-5-5-5 run when the Charm defense stuffed Minnesota,
's Lexicutor, drawing closer at 107-68 with 23 minutes remaining.

 The Charm All Stars would scrum start with back-wall positioning with Bang! Bang! (9mm), Holly GoHardly (415) and Rosie the Rioter (100) bolstering the Baltimore pack. Pain would nab lead an 4 points to edge closer to the 107-72 deficit they faced. 

 Two jams after a Minnesota timeout, the refs boxed Minnesota's Juke Boxx (A18) for a Misconduct as a result of attempting to jump the apex and making contact with an opposing skater midair. Seizing the opportunity Charm's Joy Collision would earn lead and call it immediately, to take full advantage of a power jam. The crowd jeered Joy for calling it instead of skating, but the tactic would give Pain a better advantage. Pain would earn lead and a 5-4 scoring run before Juke exited the box and began her score pass.

 Charm's rally wouldn't end there. Behind an impenetrable Baltimore defense of Holden Grudges (63), Go Hardly and Loretta Scarrs (91), lead jammer Crowella De Vill scored 24 points, including 4 5-point grand slams, pulling Baltimore within 2 points, 107-105.

 With their bench positioned behind the jam line, Baltimore positioned themselves directly in front of the jam line before Minnesota would have a chance to. Back-to-back LJ's for Joy Collision would both give Charm the lead and extend it, 109-112. An official review by Charm would stop the clock at 14:08. Charm would maintain their lead and hold Minnesota to 1 point, but penalties would unwind Baltimore's run.

 With two sitting and one standing in the penalty box, Charm's Holly GoHardly was the only defensive player on the track. Minnesota would earn lead and a 5-point grandslam, as Crowella would be held to a 0-point scoring pass.

 Minnesota never gave up in the face of the 114-121 score. Second Hand Smoke would earn lead and a single point, setting up a run for Medusa, who went L-5-5-5-5-4 when Joy Collision was boxed for Four Minors and Reckless N'Dangerment (116) and Terrorizher (3636) were the only blockers. Baltimore would be forced to call a Timeout with 7:01 and relinquishing the lead 139-121.

 Minnesota orchestrated a 9-point swing during two jams with intense blocking. Voodoo Prodigy (Minnesota, 69) put a huge backward block on I.M. Pain. Charm's defense would take a front-control 4-wall.

 Working against the clock (3:35 remaining) and a 148-121 point disadvantage, Charm couldn't dig themselves out of the hole. Minnesota would hold them scoreless, while Medusa scored 7 points and Harmony Killerbruise (75) scored 5 points during a boxed-Collision powerjam. Killerbruise would run the clock and call it to end the game 160-121.