West Semifinal: 2W Denver Beats Back 3W Bay Area, 187-167
RICHMOND, CA -- In what was the game of tournament season so far, Denver came back from a brutally hard-hitting first-half display from Bay Area to book their ticket to Championships in Atlanta. Bay Area led 124-71 at the half, but Denver skated out 187-167 victors.
Rivas and Akers controlled and demoralised Chantilly Mace in a lengthy opening jam--but Juska couldn't really take advantage of the work her pack was doings as she was too busy being hit to the floor herself; she was forced into an early call during her lengthy first scoring pass and only put up three.
Two jams later Nock Nock put up two natural grand slams over Sharpless as Demanda Riot wailed on the Denver jammer; she put up two more on her final pass to give Bay Area a 12-3 lead with barely three minutes gone. Juska put up Denver's next points over Chantilly two jams after that--but was limited to three despite another quick lead call in a carbon copy of the first jam as she had troube with Demanda Riot and couldn't complete a scoring pass despite being given plenty of time to do so by her pack.
Rangeon finally put up a complete pass together for Denver next jam to make it 12-10. A 4-0 and a 5-0 for BAD stopped that Denver resurgence before Rangeon took the star again and put up the Mile High Club's first grand slam of the evening followed by four more over Chantilly Mace, shrugging off the attentions of Bay Area's blockers and sliding round inside out almost unnoticed. That made it a two-point game.
Sharpless then had a powerjam when Lulu Lockjaw picked up a major backblock; Demanda Riot and Kid Ace did all they could to stop her--but a 15-0 was more than enough to give Denver their first lead. Two points for Krause followed, but then Nock Nock had a powerjam when Juska was boxed for a fourth minor after a backblock of her own. Long, Sage and Barret did just enough in the pack that jam to keep Denver's noses in front--they led 36-35 at the halfway point in the first period. Ivy Profane took the lead next jam though, skipping around Rivas at the front as Juska struggled with BAD's tough rear wall.
That fight was to lead to another box trip for Juska, and Ivy gave Bay Area a 60-36 lead. A pile-up at the end of that jam triggered a lengthy official time-out, but nothing came of it. Chantilly put up a 4-2 over Juska next--it would have been 4-0 but for Mace mistiming her call trying to run blocker penalties down.
Two jams later Nock Nock made a mess of a scoring pass after being called lead against Sharpless and found herself warming the box after a low block call. Belle Right Hooks and Brawwlen Angel controlled Sharpless effectively during the powerjam and the Denver pack completely failed to notice Nock Nock speeding out of the box--leaving Bay Area in a 73-57 lead with 9 minutes left in the period.
Next jam out Krause thought she was going to the box on two separate occasions but was called back in both times--but still lost a bruising jam 15-0. Rangeon was then boxed for a totally unnecessary backblock after catching Chantilly Mace when the Bay Area jammer had already been called lead Mace went on to put up 32 points; that made the BAD lead 120-61 with five minutes to half time.
The lead was almost unchanged at the half; Chantilly Mace closed out a solid first half for the home team with a clock-burning jam to leave BAD with a 124-71 lead.
A quickfire lead call and 4-0 jam for Juska put Denver back on the right track within 30 seconds of the start of the second period, and a quick 4-0 for Rangeon kept that momentum going. Denver kept eating into the lead over the next few jams but never really managed to shut BAD down. An 8-0 for Sharpless ended with Chantilly Mace being boxed on a fourth minor after a long battle with Denver's Quigley, Sage and Juno It'll Hurt.
Juska got lead after a bruising initial pass that saw Dorato and Slaybia Majora boxed--and found her subsequent passes much easier; once she called it it was 131-112 in BAD's favour. Long and Barret then handled Ivy Profane for long enough for Rangeon to put two natural grand slams on the board and make it a 10-point game.
BAD stemmed the bleeding for a few jams where the teams shared the honours. But a low block call on Chantilly Mace gave Sharpless a chance to retake the lead. But she just couldn't get past Belle Right Hooks, and called it without scoring when Belle finally found herself out of help and out of play at the front. Juska only put up three when she lined up unopposed next time out; BAD led 150-135 with 10 minutes to go.
Juska then got the opportunity to have a go at a full-length powerjam when Mace picked up a backblock. She took the lead for the Mile High Club as her Quigley Rivas and James caused chaos in the Bay Area pack; that made it 153-150. A 5-0 for Rangeon made it an eight-point game. Nock Nock got lead in the next jam--but only managed a 3-3 as Denver's pack put on the gas.
Akers, Juno and Cruz combined to hold Ivy Profane as Rangeon made Denver's lead 18 as the bout entered its final five minutes. Three more for Rangeon two jams later made the lead a bout-high 21 for the Mile High Club, and with 2:45 left BAD called their second time-out of the bout to try and find a way back.
Juska made the most of a pack advantage after that time-out to make the lead 30.
Chantilly Mace pulled it back to 182-167 despite not getting lead as Denver played chicken with the clock--but when she was boxed on a major backblock, the bout was over. Rangeon put up five more before calling it as the period clock expired.
Denver won 187-167, and proceed to the championship game at 7 p.m. tomorrow against the Oly Rollers. Bay Area will play Rose City for the third championships place in the preceding bout.