(20) Arch Rival Upsets (15) Naptown, 115-99
BALLWIN, MO -- One day after receiving their highest ranking in the WFTDA North Central region to date, Arch Rival (NC #4 and #20 DNN) recorded its most significant interleague victory onto the franchise’s ledger. Utilizing a 38-0 second-period rally, the St. Louisans posted a 115-99 upset over Naptown (NC #3 and #15 DNN) Saturday night at Midwest Sport Hockey in front of 700.
The 16-point win netted Arch Rival (10-2) its fourth straight and its first historically over a North Central third-ranked squad. The whirlwind of activity in the past two months has resulted in the Missourians’ jumps of four positions within the region’s hierarchy and five positions in DNN’s recently-released Power Rankings.
“Our heads are spinning,” beamed Arch Rival jammer Downtown Dallis afterwards. “We’re really trying to make a statement. We’re really doing it together as a team and encouraging each other. This is something that we have never experienced before as a league. It’s so humbling.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about this team’s potential,” added blocker Eli Wallop.
After losses earlier in the season to North Central rivals Windy City (187-69) and Minnesota (149-114), the top two seeds for September’s “Thrill of the Spill” playoff, third-ranked Naptown (8-5) had plenty to prove heading into Saturday’s pier-sixer. Even though injuries have kept the Tornado Sirens’ lineup in perpetual motion throughout 2012, a weekend win for the Circle City’s finest over the league that sat one seat behind would solidify its status within the region’s trifecta.
Both teams gamely played as if their lives depended on it … and it made for one heck of a donnybrook.
Following a bout-opening five-pointer by Naptown’s Maiden America, Amooze Booche added a solo point to extend the lead to six. Arch Rival’s Dallis countered with a natural ten to give the hostesses their first lead, 10-6 with 25:00 left.
The Tornado Sirens tallied a 10-0 run on the next three jams to turn the bout back in their favor. Two scored by G. Rocket was followed by back-to-back four pointers by America and Booche, giving Naptown a 16-10 edge at the 20:00 mark.
Dallis countered with a 3-0 strike on the next jam to help Arch Rival pull within three. Seven points straight collectively from Naptown’s Trauma-lina and Booche extended Indy’s lead to 23-13 with 15:00 left in the half.
Arch Rival then capitalized on back-to-back power jams, resulting in 26 unanswered points. Black Market Baby’s seven-point bump at 13:15 was followed by Dallis’ 19-point thump, which gave St. Louis a 39-23 lead with 11:15 left.
Scoring was tight as the first period reached its conclusion, yet Arch Rival had managed to extend its margin to 53-30 at intermission.
Apparently unsatisfied with their low-scoring first-half performance, Naptown charged hard in the opening stages of the second and went on an 18-3 run in the period’s first four jams. Punctuated by Majestic’s 12-3 power jam at 24:10, Naptown whittled the deficit to 56-48.
But as they were poised to regain the lead on the next rotation, penalties upended the Tornado Sirens, resulting in a 14-5 non-lead power jam for Arch Rival’s Shiner that extended St. Louis’ advantage to 70-53 with 21:40 left.
After Naptown’s Rocket scored five on the next jam to whittle the margin to a dozen points, Arch Rival went on a 38-0 rally in the second half’s middle stretch that altered the complexion of the bout.
Following Dallis’ five-pointer scored at 16:20, Black Market Baby posted a 10-0 jam that extended the Arch Rival lead to 85-58. Mighty Mighty Boston, kept quietly at bay with only a pair of first-half points, collected nine on the next rotation to stretch the lead to 94-58.
As points accumulated for the locals, the Arch Rival blocking schema – paced by Wallop, Chewblocka, May Require Stitches, The Educator, Shimmy Hoffa, Party Foul, Grave Danger, Mayor Francis Slayer and Science Friction – kept the Tornado Sirens silent for a ten-minute stretch.
“Our blocking has been so solid,” praised Dallis of the front line. “They’re carrying us this year. “
“We’ve got a much more disciplined team this year than we’ve had in past years,” Wallop reflected. “Any time their jammers hit the pack, we’ve got a group of girls that are trained to get together, build a strong wall, keep the speed slow and build it to our momentum. It’s really been paying off.”
Shiner’s 14-point power jam at 10:10 put the exclamation point on the 38-0 rally, which gave Arch Rival an 108-58 cushion.
Undaunted, Naptown made a late-bout surge to make the contest a nail biter, racking up 31 points uncontested. Majestic capitalized on a power jam at 8:30 that netted 18 points and whittled Arch Rival’s lead to 108-76. Rocket followed with nine and America tacked on four to shave the once-50-point margin to 108-89 with 4:30 left.
A 10-4 Naptown power jam by America sliced the lead to a baker’s dozen, a 112-99 advantage for Arch Rival with 2:30 left. Boston retaliated with three points on the bout’s penultimate jam that extended St. Louis’ lead to 115-99.
One last ray of hope for the Tornado Sirens on the bout’s final rotation was thwarted as Dallis scampered to the front of the pack to gain lead for Arch Rival and expire the clock to preserve the 16-point upset.
Dallis paced Arch Rival scoring unofficially with 39 points, followed by Shiner’s 34.
St. Louis, idle until their “Thrill of the Spill” opening round match-up against Ohio (NC#5 and DNN #21), plans to remember Naptown’s late-bout charge on Saturday in order to prepare for September’s playoff push.
“I felt like we played a really strong game, but we let a really good lead slip away,” said Wallop. “I’m glad that we’ve got five weeks to clean up some of the mistakes that we made tonight. We’ve got some time to get things in line that will help us come out firing.”
Naptown – who finished their North Central regular season play winless – was led by Majestic’s 35 followed by America’s 25.
The Tornado Sirens continue their hectic road schedule prior to post-season play as they travel to Kansas City (SC #2 and DNN #13) on August 18.
In the opener Saturday night, the Saint Lunachix – Arch Rival’s b-team – upended the Twin City Derby Girls (NC #26) 151-86 to improve to 7-2.