West Semifinals: 4W Oly Stops 1W Rose City, 188-121
RICHMOND, CA -- 4th seeded Oly, playing significantly more cohesively than they had on Friday against 5 seed Rocky Mountain, led for almost the whole bout in the process of landing a seeding upset on top seed Rose City. Oly's 188-121 win marked the first time a top seed had lost before the final game of a regional tournament since 2008.
Although Oly's Atomatrix took lead on the first jam with significant help from Hockey Honey playing defense on White Flight, the jam eventually saw both jammers go to the box and the score sit at 5-5 after the full length battle. On the other side of the power jam for Oly, On Da Sligh racked up 19-0 and put Oly in front 24-5.
The crowd's preferences became loudly clear on the third jam, though, as Soulfearic Acid repeatedly ripped through a Oly pack while Frank N. Hurter, JK Rolling, Mercy and KickAssedy owned Oly jammer Lindsay Loblow. The 23-0 run for Acid put Rose in the lead 28-24 and blew up a restive audience.
But Rose City was held off the board for the next three jams, which included a 20-0 power jam for Atomatrix, and Oly was again up 52-28 with about 12 minutes gone in the bout. Power jams aside, though, the teams played very evenly for the majority of the half, with the score 54-31 with 13 minutes to play.
Scald Eagle, in her second game back from a broken fibula in June, had a statement jam while Mercy, Frank N Hurter and Scrappy Go Lucky bottled up Onda Sligh; her 14-0 got a big pop from the crowd and put the margin in single digits for the first time since the second jam at 54-45.
The margin remained even after the teams traded 5-0 jams, but a jammer penalty against Oly's Scara to Death let Scald Eagle narrow it a little more with a 5-0. That made it a one-pass game at Oly 59, Rose City 55 with 7:30 to play in the first half.
Still Oly refused to surrender the advantage. They took lead on the next three jams and went 5-0, 4-0 and 3-0 to lead 71-55 going into the last jam of the half. However, a crowd-pleasing combination of a jammer penalty on Atomatrix and a big 14-0 run for Scald Eagle -- even though the Rose City pack was whittled to just Mercy against three Oly blockers -- left it a two point game at the half, 71-69 Oly.
However, the break sucked out all of Rose City's momentum. The second half started with 10-0 and 15-0 jams to Oly that quieted the crowd as Oly held their largest lead of the game at 96-69. Oly carefully husbanded that lead for the early minutes of the half, leading 119-76 with about 16 minutes gone.
Rose was still very much in it at that point, but a 30-0 power jam for the irrepressible On Da Sligh made things significantly harder for the Portland crew, as they were looking at a 149-76 disadvantage with about a quarter of the bout to go.
Rose City didn't get a lead jammer call in the second half until Soulfearic Acid managed it a full 19 minutes and 9 jams in. That 4-0 made the score 162-80, and was followed up by a identical margin from Scald Eagle, but Rose City could not keep the rally going against Oly's tough defense.
The second half was mostly the story of Rose City's chances getting smaller and smaller; they didn't get their first big jam until there were under two minutes to play on a 20-0 to Scald Eagle. Rose City called timeout with 1:09 on the clock and the score 188-121, hooping for a few miracles in the closing moments, but it was not to be. The last jam ended 0-0 and featured a very messy, crowd-displeasing engagement between Oly blocker Lil' Tonka and Rose City jammer White Flight; that left the heavily Rose City-leaning audience lustily razzing the winning Oly team on their victory lap.
With the win, Oly is guaranteed to move on to Championships for the fourth year in a row. They'll play in the final game of the West playoffs against the winner of tonight's Denver / Bay Area semifinal; Rose City faces the loser of that same game with a trip to Championships on the line.