2009 Nationals: Capsule Recaps
Madison's Jewels of Denile passes the star to Mouse - Photo by Darrell Budic
Anna Wrecks Ya balances on one foot as Harley Quinn blocks Darling Nikki - Photo: Phil Peterson
Assaultin' Pepa eyes the Houston jammer - Photo: Phil Peterson
A game a leapfrog breaks out on the track - Photo: Jules Doyle
Rocky Mountain celebrates its victory in the quarterfinals - Photo: Jules Doyle
Beth Amphetamine invents an unorthodox jammer-line stance - Photo Jules Doyle
D-Bomb holds back Suzy Hotrod - Photo: Jules Doyle
Psycho Babble and Bullet Tooth Tracy scope out the pack - Photo: Jules Doyle
'Hey, I'm skatin' here!' Angela Death - Photo: Jules Doyle
Semifinal: (1W) Oly 178, (3W) Denver 91 -- Denver's vaunted slow game confounded Kansas City, Windy City and Rocky Mountain, but Oly seemed to shrug it right off in this semifinal match. After 10 minutes, Oly had run up a twenty-point lead at 25-5, and Denver didn't break into the double digits until the final 10 minutes of the half. Heather Juska changed a 49-9 score into 49-14 with a grand slam on a power jam. That didn't presage any Denver comeback, though. By halftime Oly was up by 60 points and had tripled Denver's score at 84-24.
As they'd do to all their opponents, Oly managed to take control of the speed of the pack, which was critically important in marginalizing Denver's slow game. Rarely did Oly skaters get trapped behind Denver walls -- and as importantly, Oly was able to keep their jammers out of the box fairly consistently, not allowing Denver to get many of the powerjams where their style was most deadly.
Denver's second half was much stronger offensively, but they gave up even more points -- Oly won the second half 94-67 and easily advanced to the championship bout against Texas while Denver would have to settle for a rematch with local rivals Rocky Mountain in the third-place match.
Semifinal: (1SC) Texas 139, (2W) Rocky Mountain 82 -- RMRG's run of upsets in the 2009 tournament cycle finally came to an end as they went up against a focused Texas team that had the strength to deal with RMRG's physical play and then some. While RMRG held a short-lived lead after the first two jams of the bout, Texas went ahead 9-6 and never gave up the advantage.
With 9 minutes left in the first half, Rocky Mountain was in a 49-21 hole, but rookie sensation Whipity Pow busted out a 20-4 run as her defense brought the pack to a crawl during a powerjam. That made it 53-41 and Rocky narrowed it to just 10 points at 56-46 with 5 minutes left in the first, making it look like they had a chance to retake the lead -- but Texas retaliated in the time remaining, with the help of a 18-0 jam for Rice Rocket. Texas held a 73-48 lead at the break.
Effective power blocking, especially from Bullet Tooth Tracy, Vicious Van Go Go and Curvette seemed to hamper the RMRG jammers and give them considerably more trouble than they experienced in their earlier bout. Texas broke the 100 point barrier at 113-63 with 17 minutes left, and Rocky Mountain never was able to put together another run at them. The most fireworks in the second half would be provided when DeRanged, blocking late in the half, apparently got frustrated with Texas blocker Angie-Christ after a high hit and took a swing at the back of Angie's helmet, earning her an immediate expulsion -- and a suspension for the rest of the tournament.
Texas advanced to Sunday's 4pm final against West champion Oly; Rocky Mountain goes on to play regional rival Denver in the third-place bout at 1:30pm.
Quarterfinal: (1W) Oly 136, (2E) Gotham 105 -- Oly took the lead early in this very fast-paced bout, but at about ten minutes into the game, jammer penalties started to bite the Oly girls. Gotham took the lead at 27-20 with about 17 minutes to play in the first half on a power jam, and in the following jam Oly lost their jammer again and allowed Gotham's Bonnie Thunders to motor for a 9-0 that extended Gotham's lead to 36-20.
Gotham threatened to pull away with it for the midpoint of the half, but with about a minute left to play in the half Oly had narrowed the margin to 55-50 and nearly erased the whole lead with a last-jam 3-0 for Tannibal Lector that put the halftime score at Gotham 55, Oly 53.
The lead switched hands multiple times in quick succession after Oly took the lead back on the first jam of the second half at 62-55. It was another Oly jammer penalty that opened the door for Gotham to get it back two jams later at 70-68 with still 25 minutes left in the bout -- and then Oly moved right back in front at 73-72 on the following jam.
Things continued to spool out in Oly's favor for awhile after that. With about 9 minutes to play and the score 113-85, though, things suddenly turned from smooth sailing for Oly to a total nightmare jam. Sassy was ejected with about 9 minutes to play on accumulated box trips, and immediately afterwards Gotham's Bonnie Thunders followed nearly perfect offensive blocking from her team to drop a 20-0 jam on Atomatrix, who tried to switch to jammer defense without success. Gotham was right back in it at 113-105 and 6:12 left on the clock.
Oly's Tannibal Lector pulled a controversial lead jam call next up to get 3-0 over Suzy Hotrod and get the Oly lead up to 11 points ... and the next jam was the nail in the coffin, as Atomatrix struggled for a full minute but finally worked her way through a tough Gotham pack for lead while opposing jammer Em Dash back-blocked her way into the box. That ended with a 10-0 for Oly, the score at 126-105 Oly, and only 2:12 left to play. Oly dropped 10 insurance points in the last jam, and when Em Dash returned to the penalty box near the end of it, it was a done deal, sending the previously nearly invincible Gotham to their second loss in their last three games.
Oly moves on for a rematch with Denver with a trip to the championship on the line; in April, they played to a 170-168 final with Oly barely victorious. That bout happens at 8:45 EST Saturday night.
Quarterfinal: (3W) Denver 157, (2NC) Windy City 125 -- Denver joined their local rivals Rocky Mountain as the second Denver team to lay an upset on a #1 seed, once again employing their extreme positional play to frustrate Windy City's speed -- and apparently the audience, who greeted most of Denver's slowest packs with increasingly lusty booing as the bout went on. The teams traded the lead twice in the first ten minutes before Denver took it over at 28-23 with 19:40 to play in the first half.
Denver picked up a couple of huge jams due to employing the slow pack in power jam situations, able to get a 15-0 for Kimmy Kimmy Bang Bang and a 20-0 for Angela Death to go up by 67-30 with 12:30 in the half. By halftime, Denver had nearly doubled WCR up at 101-52.
While the Denver lead bounced between about 30 and 50 points for the majority of the half, Windy made their final run with about 10 minutes left in the bout, with a 15-0 for Beth Amphetamine getting Windy City within shouting distance at 127-106. But the next jam ended in a bit of controversy, going 17-0 for Denver while Windy City protested that they'd been shorted points. The challenge didn't stand, and Denver's lead became 144-106. From there, Windy City was never able to get within 30 points again, and Denver took the second big upset in a row by a final of 157-125.
Denver moves on to take on the winner of Gotham / Oly in a bout that'll take place later tonight at 8:45pm EST.
Quarterfinal: (2W) Rocky Mountain 128, (1E) Philly 121 (OT) -- The new-look Rocky Mountain jumped all over Philly early in this one, holding a 28-3 lead after ten minutes built on consistent lead jammer calls. Philly seemed to be having a lot of trouble handling Psycho Babble and De Ranged as jammers, hoping to hit them out of bounds to force track cuts but rarely able to move them over that line.
Philly got their big chance on a shorthanded jam where RMRG's jammer Whipity Pow pulled a big back block major trying to leap around Philly blockers, and Philly's Elle Viento skated unopposed for a a minute; while it did go 10-4 for Philly, Elle also pulled a 4th minor at the very end of the jam. When RMRG's Psycho Babble got a 10-0 on the ensuing powerjam, Rocky had taken a 47-13 lead with about 13:30 left in the first half.
Just when it looked like Rocky Mountain might be on their way to a shocking rout of the home team, they ran into two nightmare jams where they'd lose their jammer for a minute each;15-2 for Philly followed by a 9-0 suddenly made it a 12 point game at 49-37. RMRG was lucky to get out of the next jam with a 5-0 as the lead jammer, Philly's Mo Pain, was boxed before scoring points and Whipity Pow needed the full 2 minutes to get a single scoring pass.
By this time it was 54 37 for RMRG with about 5 minutes left in the half, and the question was quickly becoming whether Rocky Mountain's lead would survive until halftime. But Rocky Mountain stopped the Philly comeback for the final few minutes of the half, taking a 21 point lead into the intermission.
RMRG ran into some jammer penalty trouble early in the second half, and it allowed Philly to fight their way into the lead for the first time, 74-71 with 20:48 left to play. Mo Pain finished off that RMRG jammer penalty by adding a 10-0 on the next jam, and suddenly Philly looked to be in control, 84-71.
Although Philly was doing a much better job in the second half of claiming lead jammer and dictating the length of jams, RMRG didn't let Philly just take it away. With 13 minutes left to play it was still only an 11 point lead for Philly at 85-74, and Rocky looked like they were just one powerjam away from retaking the lead. They closed to 92-87 after a 11-9 full-length jam with 10 minutes to play, and finally got that needed powerjam and retook the lead at 97-92 and 8 minutes left as Whipity Pow battled her way to a 10-0 while unopposed.
There was no rest from the drama as Philly's Teflon Donna made it a two-point bout at 102-100, helped by a trip to the box for three of RMRG's skaters, some great offensive clears from Robin Drugstores, and a questionable decision by RMRG to slow down the pack in the final scoring pass, which gave Tef just enough time to beat them on the inside for three critical points just as jam time expired.
Mo Pain called a 3-0 up next against DeRanged, giving Philly a 1 point lead at 103-102 with 4:30 to play -- and it stayed barely in Philly hands at 111-107 going into what looked like it was going to be the last jam. DeRanged was up against Elle Viento, and for some time it looked like neither jammer would ever reach the pack as they were sprinting away -- but DeRanged finally entered pack, got 4 and called it with zero for Elle, tying it at 111-111 with time expired.
The overtime jam saw the inexhaustible DeRanged back at the line again -- this time against Teflon Donna. Both jammers broke through for their opening 4, but Teflon got caught up behind tough defense and had a lot of trouble in her second. Meanwhile, DeRanged finally caught up to her for the lap point that sealed Philly's fate. One pass later, Rocky Mountain had killed yet another giant after their Western Regional takedowns of Rose City and Denver, and Philly was one-and-done at home in only their second loss of 2009.
Quarterfinal: (1SC) Texas 111, (3E) Boston 72 -- This one was remarkably low-scoring over the opening few jams, with Boston holding Texas scoreless for the first three jams but only able to put together 4 points of their own. After ten minutes, Texas held a 18-11 lead, and then a combination of Boston penalties trouble on top of some tenacious front-of-pack play from Texas allowed the South Central crew to drop 36 unanswered points to bring the game to 54-11 with about 8 minutes left in the half. Although it wasn't obvious at the time, that stretch of the bout would eventually be the deciding factor, as Boston ended up losing by 39 points.
Boston finished the half strong after the rocky middle stretch, though, and was still in it at 60-26 favoring Texas at the break. Boston played Texas very evenly for the first ten minutes of the second half, and more than a few times was able to impressively kill Texas power plays without giving up more than a couple of points. With that close play, the score was 69-34 with about 20 minutes to play, but a momentum-shifting 10-0 powerjam for Texas' Rice Rocket gave Texas a 79-34 lead. The Texas lead got as big as 60 points, 95-35 with 12:35 on the clock, before Boston finally started making a comeback, but the margin was too big and the time left on the clock too little.
Texas moves on the the Saturday night semifinals, where they face either Philly or Rocky Mountain with a trip to the championship bout on the line.