By Jim Almy
It was a lot of give and take in a low scoring first half between Grave Danger and the Sockit Wenches when they skated the second bout of the night last Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Rat City Rollergirls Roller Derby event at KeyArena. That changed dramatically as Danger poured it on and the Wenches, a still young team struggling to find its way, were outscored 165-62 in the second half, losing the bout by a final of 244-133.
In the opening bout the Derby Liberation Front (DLF) put themselves in first place, remaining undefeated with their 183-173 last jam victory over the Throttle Rockets.
Sparse scoring marked the opening half of the Danger-Wenches meeting. Each came into the night still bruised from opening loses suffered in their first bouts of the year. Each was bent on evening their records.
The strategy for both sides concentrated heavily on building a wall around the other team’s jammers with the result that points accumulated with agonizing slowness. Two, three, maybe five in a jam and that was not per side but the total contribution from both jammers.
For three straight jams the Wenches were held fixed at nine points despite the efforts of two of their best scorers, Rawkhell SqWelch (#761) and Annyong (#21). Danger took advantage of those sparse points to add five of their own via the skating of jammer unshine (#52) and soon it was 9-9 well into the first half.
Muscle and strategy were working for the Wenches, who shifted blockers Raspberry Slam (#1337), Moe YaDown (#14), Mad ScrapHer (#5150), BelleTolls (#4), SqWelch, Sister Slaughter (#480) and Devilynne Syde (#666) in and out of jams to hold back any Danger scoring threat.
But, strategy and muscle were working just as well for Danger, who relied on the line play of K. Beezy (#187), D’evil’D Meggs (#88), Carmen Getsome (#12), Jerrica Kallio (#33), Tempura Tantrum (#99) and Dee Cap Attack (#1) to shut out the Wenches’ jammers.
Danger Coach Vito Ramon said that his team, “Did a great job of minimizing their (Wenches) points in the first half, especially when we had no jammers on the floor due to penalties.”
And that was the way Danger held it together, except for the jam when Danger’s Meggs was in the penalty box and Annyong broke through behind Kendle Bjelland’s (#808) road grader work as she plowed a giant opening in Danger’s line. The Wenches scorer picked up 19 points in that jam, the most by any one jammer in any jam in the first half.
Thirty minutes into the bout Danger led 79-71. People asked themselves if it was possible to score less than a hundred points and still win.
Wenches Coach Rani Khan hoped that her young team was starting to put it together. “This team has a lot of good chemistry,” she said. “Compared to our last match we have overcome a lot of problems.”
“We need to develop the mental strength to stay in the bout for the full sixty minutes,” she added.
But, with 18:27 remaining in the bout, that team asset began to fade for the Wenches and Danger, league champions for three years running, pounced. Nehi Nightmare (#48) found openings in the tiring Wenches blocking. K. Beezy added fourteen points in one jam while the Wenches point production was held to four points total in four straight jams. At that break in the match it was 130-104 for Danger, who spent the remaining minutes of the bout effortlessly piling up points and ending night with a 1-1 record and a 244-133 victory.
“In the second half we were able to put points on the board because we were able to keep our jammers on the floor,” said Coach Ramon. He was right in that his jammers spent much less time in the penalty box in the second half. They were also the beneficiaries of Danger blockers who were playing just as hard at game’s end as they were at the start.
Next match for the Rat City Rollergirls will be March 15 at KeyArena. For more info on tickets go HERE