ECDX: (20) Boston Upends (8) Arizona, 203-187
Photo: Dave Wood.
FEASTERVILLE, PA -- Boston (20 DNN, 7E WFTDA) took advantage of a very penalty-heavy Arizona (8 DNN, 10W) to emerge victorious in a tough high-scoring battle that was in question right to the very last jam. In the end, Boston bested Arizona 203-187.
Arizona's Atomatrix (132 points) and Boston's Lil Paine (121 points) dominated the scoreboard, but the key stats were penalties -- Arizona spent 42 minutes in the box against 30 for Boston, and lost their jammer 6 times -- including a fatal sequence of three jams in a row -- while Boston had only 3 jammer penalty minutes.
It didn't start out looking like Boston was going to make it close, let alone win. Arizona scored natural grand slams on the first three jams of the game, quickly lapping Boston on the way to 9-2, 6-3 and 11-0 wins that made it 26-5 to start. Ace jammer Atomatrix went on a one-off-one-on rotation supported by the very slippery Luz Chaos, Wetback Attack and Loco Lena.
Although fairly effective defense from Boston kept Arizona from putting up huge jams, Boston was having absolutely no luck getting lead jammer early. After 9 minutes, Arizona had taken every single lead jammer call and all of Boston's points had come on Arizona jammers calling jams just a few seconds too late -- which would be a continuing problem for Arizona throughout the game, and ended up accounting for approximately their margin of loss. At the 20:51 mark, it was 38-11 Arizona.
It got to Arizona 42, Boston 13 there before Arizona had a sudden collapse fueled by packing the penalty box over and over, allowing Boston to go on a big rally. The first jammer penalty of the game was called on Luz Chaos just as Boston really needed it; BDD's Lil' Paine took advantage of a completely full Arizona box as AZRD momentarily had just one blocker on the track. That went 25-0 for Boston, and suddenly made what was looking like a developing blowout into a 5-point game at 42-37.
Arizona continued to suffer from major penalty trouble, starting the next five jams with either 1 or 2 blockers on the floor. On the second, Arizona lost their jammer again and Lil' Paine got Boston in the lead for the first time at 55-42 with 12:22 in the first half - they'd scored 42 unanswered points.
Although they started the next three jams with still just two blockers on the track, Arizona won the next four jams to take the lead back at 64-58 with 8:30 in the first half. Boston was hit with their first jammer penalty with the score 76-70 -- Atomatrix called very early there to hand the rest of the powerjam to Joy Collision. Joy was able to convert for 17 points but was boxed herself before she could call it off. After the 17-10, Arizona was up 93-80 with 1:18 left to play; the half ended at 97-87 Arizona.
At the midpoint of the game, AZRD had a significant problem as one of their key players, Joy Collision, already had 6 penalty minutes. Overall, AZRD served 19 penalty minutes in the first half against 13 for Boston.
Arizona got into yet more penalty trouble as Atomatrix was boxed on three consecutive jams, twice for cutting track and once for illegal re-entry from the box; Boston took advantage of that unopposed time to go up 115-103. In addition to giving Boston the lead, it also put another of Arizona's key players dangerously close to fouling out, as Atom suddenly had 5 box trips with still 23 minutes left to play.
Arizona got a much needed power jam in their favor with about 17:30 to play, as Atomatrix was off to the races in a big way, putting up 27-0 while Arizona went to no-engagement offense to get a 149-133 lead. They'd pad it to a 20 point advantage with 14 minutes to play, 153-133.
But Arizona's score would again stall out for a key sequence. Excellent blocking work from Shark Week, Anna Wrecks Ya and Maya Mangleyou eventually forced a critical track cut penalty on Arizona jammer Sigmund Droid, allowing a huge Boston powerjam at 24-0; Boston took the lead back at 157-153 and added 8 on the other side of the powerjam to make it 165-153. By the time there was a play stoppage at 7:12 for a referee timeout, Boston was on a 45-0 run and led 178-153.
Atomatrix finally got back Arizona on the board with 6-0 to make it a 20 point game at 178-158; Boston called their second timeout with 6:08 to play. Yet again the blocker combo of Shark Week and Anna Wrecks Ya, this time supported by Vixen Ta Hitchya, locked down on the Arizona jammer Loco Lena during a key jam; Lil' Paine allowed Lena to pick up points, but more importantly killed two minutes of time in a 17-8 that led to a new score of 195-166 with 3:30 to play.
Although Atomatrix picked up 8-0 on the next to make it 195-172, her team finally lost blocker Joy Collision on a fourth minor; Joy fouled out with 2:34 left on the period clock. Boston called their final timeout there.
Arizona yet again got bitten by calling a jam too late on the next one, as Luz Chaos called after scoring just 1 while Ginger Kid rushed up an undefended inside line to get all 4 points. AZRD called their second timeout with 1:52 left and the score 199-173.
A 4-2 pack favored Boston on the next jam, but when Lil' Paine got lead on the next jam, she stayed away from the pack while keeping the jam running for the full 2 minutes; meanwhile, Boston was able to successfully bait Arizona into speeding up the pack. Although Atomatrix won the jam 14-4, Boston's lead could absorb the jam and Boston took the upset, 203-187.
Bout stats via wftda.com.