Boston Upsets Charm City To Qualify For Nationals, 156-142
RALEIGH, NC -- The Boston Massacre, seeded #5 in the Eastern Regionals, scored their second upset of the tournament when it mattered the most. They'd already shut down #4 Carolina in their first match, and after a lopsided loss to top seed Gotham in the semifinals, came up against #3 seed Charm City in the third-place game with the tournament's final trip to Nationals on the line. Boston was more than up to the challenge, and held a lead as large as 71 points in with 13 minutes remaining. Though they'd lose the great majority of that lead to an amazing 70-13 run by Charm City over those final 13 minutes, they were not in serious danger of losing the game and got the trip to Nationals with a 156-142 win.
Charm came into the bout missing one captain and major element in Joy Collision, who'd injured her left knee very early in Charm's Saturday-night loss to Philly, and it was the worst kind of deja vu for the team and their fans when practically the same thing happened to fan favorite Flo Shizzle. Just 12 minutes into the bout, Flo went down awkwardly on her right knee after a big hit from Etta Maims and had to be removed by stretcher after a long injury timeout. Suddenly Charm City had lost both their captains and two of their primary jammers -- with those two out, CCRG would start leaning on Just Carol and Bambi's Revenge very heavily at the jam line.
When Flo suffered her injury, it was a tie game at 19-19, and the back and forth continued for a few more jams until Boston was holding a 31-27 lead with 13 minutes left in the half. The Massacre's Claire D. Way put up a 15-0 powerjam over a boxed Just Carol, and from there it was almost all Boston for the rest of the half until the score was 73-30 with 8 seconds to play in the half. Lady Quebeaum got Charm some desperately needed momentum with a 15-3 to close the half, although she'd get a very costly forearm penalty in literally the last second of the jam that started her off in the penalty box.
That opening powerjam opportunity was capitalized on by Sugar Hits in a big 15-0 game to start the half, and Boston poured it on, moving a 34 point lead at the half to a 58 point lead just 6 minutes into the second half at 105-47. Not too long after that, the injury bug was back to sideline yet another of Charm City's primary skaters, as Dolly Rocket went down oddly on her hip with about 17 minutes left in the game and was all but done for the bout -- though she came back in for one jam, she had to remove herself from play after just a couple of laps, staggering in pain and unable to rejoin the action.
Boston's lead grew to what looked like an insurmountable 143-72 with 12:35 left, but Charm City had one final massive push in them, as Boston's defense, which had been incredibly effective all bout long, suddenly started to lose cohesion. The agile jukes and weaves from Just Carol were particularly effective in the ensuing one on one situations, leading to Carol picking up a 19-0 and a 20-0 along with smaller-margin support jams from Bambi's Revenge, as the two went one-on-one-off for the remainder of the bout. Going into the last jam, Boston still had it well out of reach with a 153-118 lead and under two minutes to play, but Sugar Hits lost lead jammer status after getting boxed while trying to run out the clock, and Lady Quebeaum stormed for the biggest jam of the bout with a 24-3 powerjam, leaving the final margin at a somewhat misleading 14 points, 156-142.
Charm City's 2009 season ended with a record of 13 wins and 5 losses. Boston's current record is 8-7, and they'll take a shot at Pikes Peak this weekend as their last bout before Nationals start on November 13 -- as the #3 seed from the East, they'll take on the second-place finisher of the North Central Regional tournament, to be decided this coming Sunday, September 20.