Hometown Throwdown: Day 1

Hometown Throwdown: Day 1 Photo credit Bill Zingraf aka Regularman Photography (http://www.regularmanphotography.com/)

PORTLAND, OR — Day 1 of Hometown Throwdown, a three day tournament, featuring Bay Area Derby Girls, Terminal City Rollergirls, Denver Roller Derby, and the host team, the Rose City Rollers, took place last night.

The tournament kicked off with Bay Area versus Terminal City followed by an exciting game between Rose City and Denver. While all teams are safely in Division 1, this tournament will be important for seeding come playoffs. Bay Area looked to find their stride after a disappointing showing at the Big O in Eugene, OR earlier in the season while Rose City aimed to continue their upwards momentum from last season at champs and the Big O.

#3 Bay Area vs #22 Terminal City, 278-75

Bay Area last met Terminal City in 2014, when BAD crushed Terminal City 357-96. The final win/loss result was the same, with Bay Area taking this win again, but the differential was more favorable for Terminal City this time.

Terminal started the game with lead but still ended the jam 0-0 as Bay Area’s jammer forced the call off. In the second jam, a cut call went against Terminal’s jammer after multiple rounds of knockouts and recycling. Bay Area took control of the game, scoring 23 points in the resulting power jam.

Jammer penalties proved problematic throughout for Terminal City. Though Bay Area gave up time on the track with quite a few penalties as well, BAD’s impenetrable defense made it difficult for Terminal to run up the score. Shortly after the first power jam against Terminal City, Bay Area received a second power jam opportunity, and Bay Area took advantage and responded with quick offense as soon as their jammer got stuck, including some offense right off the line during a power start.

Lulu Lockjaw soon attempted a bit of jammer on jammer on the line but picked up a multiplayer penalty for her trouble. Fortunately for BAD, Terminal’s jammer followed suit. Bay Area was much more successful during the two-minute jam. Terminal was only able to put 1 further point on the board after that full two minutes of play. Soon after, Huck Sinn received a penalty before breaking through the pack, giving the second power jam for Terminal. Terminal provided Bay Area with two more power jams to follow during the half.

After struggling offensively during the Big O, and against London, Bay Area found their rhythm against Terminal City. BAD used organic offense that relied on veteran Golden Girls blockers Demanda Riot, AJ, and Dolly Rocket taking initiative and making plays when the opportunity arose. Bay Area favored rolling screens and waterfalling hits to clear a path for the jammer in addition to holding stray Terminal blockers hostage at the back of the pack.

Bay Area’s blockers played an overall much cleaner game during this game. Terminal opted for the front of the jam line, giving them space to form a bracing triangle that gave BAD’s jammers some trouble when it was properly set up. While BAD solidly claimed the jam line throughout the half. Terminal City repeatedly passed the star when their jammers were trapped in the pack but the handoff often came too late to be effective in slowing the points bleed against Bay Area. At the half Bay Area led 147-34.

Bay Area then took the first jam of the second half, while Terminal immediately lost two blockers to the box. The power jam swap continued throughout the game, starting with Huck Sinn heading to the the box in the next jam. In the second half, Terminal City generally elected to stop power jams early in order to ice BAD’s jammers in the box. And those power starts were an effective tactic for Terminal City. Bay Area called a team time out soon after giving up two power jams. It became clear that Terminal City had made a few adjustments in the second half, passing the star faster after Bay Area’s jammer escaped from the pack.

Late in the game, Terminal City picked up some momentum, a streak of lead jams, and a few jams with a positive point differential. But that momentum came to an end as Maiden Sane received a penalty, gifting a power jam to Bay Area, and Bay Area finished the game with a big win, 278-75.

Photo credit Bill Zingraf, aka Regularman Photography (http://www.regularmanphotography.com/)

Photo credit Bill Zingraf, aka Regularman Photography (http://www.regularmanphotography.com/)

#2 Rose City vs #5 Denver, 250-161

The second game for the day started in favor of visitors, Denver, and went back and forth throughout the majority of the first half.

A hefty contributing factor to Denver’s success in the the first half was their defense. Denver’s power quad formation effectively stifled the talented Loren Mutch – in the first fifteen minutes of gameplay, she only escaped the pack twice. The rotating power quad also created early problems for Rose’s Scald Eagle, stripping her speed and denying her the space to juke.

Denver won the first two jams then Licker *N* Split picked up the first lead call for Rose City and earned a lead change, finishing the jam 15-8. A forearm call against Rose at the end of the jam then lent a power start to Denver. Rose blockers got into a bit of penalty trouble, thinning out the pack for Denver to retake the lead 16-15.

In the next jam, it really looked as if Denver would retain full control, until Rose City’s Jessica Chestnut held up Denver’s jammer up at the front of the pack with amazing backwards blocking until re-enforcement arrived, allowing Rose to claim lead jammer status and reclaim the lead 19-16.

Tracy Akers took advantage of a power jam, bringing Denver to within 8 points of Rose. And then Sharpless enjoyed a power start, thanks to a second penalty against Feliz Brutality. Exiting the box, Feliz Brutality received yet another penalty, her third in two jams — putting Denver in the lead. But then Scald Eagle took the star and put up a 5-0 jam, placing Rose City back in the lead.

Loren Mutch genuinely found her groove in the second half and delivered a huge 20 point jam, before Wilhelm was sent to the box. Denver called a team time out to extend the period by one more jam with the hope to free their jammer before the half was over. The tactic worked in Denver’s favor as Scald Eagle was called off on a penalty just as the jam came to a close. But then Rose regained momentum in the last four jams of the period, and ended the half ahead, 106-63.

Despite Scald Eagle, who started the second half in the box, giving the advantage to Denver, Rose City dominated the second half of play.

In the second jam Denver returned the boxing favor, allowing Loren Mutch to start on a power jam. Scald Eagle then had a massive jam, 29 points, with the majority scored while Denver’s jammer was still on the track. After a successful star pass, the Denver pivot-turned-jammer was assessed a penalty as Scald Eagle called off the jam. Loren Mutch took full advantage of the following power start, picking up 27 points. Tracy Akers single-handedly slowed up Mutch’s pace for that jam, hitting her out and recycling her back.

Denver responded with 18 unanswered points, able to climb back a little by nickel and dimeing their way through the next jams. But then Denver’s run came to a halt as their jammer was sent to the box leaving Scald Eagle, once again, on a power jam while Denver bled blockers. During the power jam Rose City blockers did an excellent job of providing offense by breaking up Denver to clear the way for Scald Eagle to soar through the pack and pick up 32 points. Throughout the second half, Rose City was able to prevent Denver from forming their notorious power quad by continually spreading out Denver’s blockers.

Rose City gave up a few power jams late in the game, but the differential was too much for Denver to overcome. So finally Scald Eagle closed things out for the Wheels of Justice, 250-161.

Photo credit Bill Zingraf, aka Regularman Photography (http://www.regularmanphotography.com/)

Photo credit Bill Zingraf, aka Regularman Photography (http://www.regularmanphotography.com/)

 Hometown Throwdown Schedule:

Hometown Throwdown continues tomorrow, Saturday, June 27,  live on WFTDA.tv at 6pm (PDT) with Denver Roller Derby vs. Terminal Rollergirls followed by Rose City Rollers vs. Bay Area Derby Girls.

The action continues Sunday, June 28 at 1pm (PDT) as Denver Roller Derby Mile High Club takes on the Golden Girls of Bay Area. Rose City vs. Terminal City will follow directly after.

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