Throttle Rockets headed for the Home Team Championship bout on 4/12

The Throttle Rockets celebrate their win over Grave Danger last Saturday night. Photo by Danny Ngan

by Jim Almy

It was the play-in bout for next month’s Rat City Rollergirls Championships.

It was a chance for the reigning champions for three straight years, Grave Danger, to have a shot at making it four straight titles.

But it was the Throttle Rockets who had the final say about who will play to win the next league title, if they win it would be the first for the Rockets in 10-years of Rat City history. The championship bout takes place next month, April 12, at KeyArena.

They fell behind Grave Danger by 40 points early in Saturday night’s bout, trailing 65-25 after 10 jams. They put the defensive clamps on last year’s champs for the next 14 jams, holding them to less than two points per jam for the rest of the first half. They played a take ’em quick and call it off strategy that saw points add up by threes and fours and then they put Sintripetal Force (#1618) on the track for the final jam, taking advantage of three Grave Danger players in the penalty box, and icing the power jam with 12 points to lead at the half, 102-90.

“We played our game and we played clean,” said Throttle Rockets Assistant Coach Lexi Luthor. “We nickel and dimed them, took the points quickly and stopped the jams before the Grave Danger jammers could do any damage.”

The win put the Throttle Rockets into the title bout against Derby Liberation Front (DLF), who kept their record perfect at 3-0 with a convincing win over the Sockit Wenches 326-134 in the second bout of the evening.

Tough walls and strong defense by Throttle Rocket blockers dominated the Grave Danger jammers, and helped keep the score in the lead. Photo by James McDaniel

The final score was Throttle Rockets 190-155, but long into the second half the 12-point lead the Rockets took in the first half didn’t seem like enough against a determined and aggressive Grave Danger. Blockers Cat-a-ma-Ram (#10) and Trouble Dutch (#2468) frustrated Throttle Rockets jammers. Those two and teammate Ponyo Knees (#81) built walls against jammers Panda Beer (#330) and Luna Negra (#911). While the Throttle Rockets weren’t scoring K. Beezy (#187) had an eight-point jam for Grave Danger early into the last 30 minutes of play, closing the lead, which had grown to 20, and then back down to 12. Three more by K. Beezy and it was Grave Danger trailing by nine, 110-101.

But in the next six jams Throttle Rockets defenders Raven Seaward (#53), Jemini Holograms (#50) and Enurgizer Bunny (#42) always seemed to be in front of Grave Danger jammers regardless of which directions their attack came from, limiting them to 11 points total. At one point Deva StateHer (#509) single handedly held Carmen Getsome, Grave Danger’s leading scorer for the bout with 80 points, in check for two complete laps.

Some of the air went out of the Grave Danger offense when, in the eighth jam of the second half, jammer K. Beezy took a hit to the face that knocked her down hard, leaving her on the track motionless. She eventually left the track under her own power, but did not return to action for the rest of the bout.

Devil’D Meggs and Dee Cap Attack look on with concern from the Grave Danger bench as the medics attend to Shorty Ounce. This will be the first time in 3 years that Danger will not be playing in the Home Team Championship bout. Photo by Stephen Giang.

“Once we got down it was just hard to come back,” said Grave Danger Coach Vito Ramon. “When one of your primary jammers goes out with an injury it has an effect.”

Later in the half Grave Danger suffered another player injury when Throttle Rocket Enurgizer Bunny unloaded on jammer Shorty Ounce (#14), bouncing her hard out of bounds and twisting her left knee.

Neither player is expected to be out for long.

Coach Lexi Luthor said that the Throttle Rockets did not suffer any serious injuries. She said that her team knew it would be a tough bout but that everyone played great and played as a team. She pointed to Parker Eyeout (#070) and Jemini Holograms as having particularly good blocking nights.

Sintripetal Force led the Throttle Rocket scorers, and all scorers, with 85 points, including 48 in the first half. Luna Negra had 53 and Panda Beer added 41. For Grave Danger Carmen Getsome carried much of the scoring load with 80 of her team’s 155 points.

For tickets to the Champs Bout on 4/12 click HERE