TUCSON, AZ- Habitually Bay Area takes a few jams—and sometimes minutes—to warm up their walls and lock the opposing jammers down, but not today. In Game 9, the game to decide who will qualify for champs and who will need to fight for 3rd, #2 Bay Area took early control of the game with a run of lead calls. They won 163-103 over #3 Arch Rival.
The first jam featured, LuLu Lockjaw against Brickyard and Lulu Lockjaw, the top scorer from yesterday for Bay Area, picked up 4 points. In a change from yesterday’s jammer rotation, Skrappie took the line next, after being the second highest scorer in yesterday’s game at 54 points. Bricktator, currently with Arch Rival—formerly of Bay Area, received the first jammer penalty of the game but was trailed by Skrappie to the box.
After building an early lead, Arch Rival stole command of the game from Bay Area. BAD blockers and jammers accumulated early penalties, giving room for Arch Rival to close the gap.
Huck Sinn provided Arch Rival with their second power jam opportunity of the game, allowing Swanson to collect multiple 5-point passes. Out from the box, Huck Sinn picked up a second consecutive forearm penalty, setting up Brickyard for a power start. After the back to back power jams, Arch Rival closed the gap to 3 points. Lulu Lockjaw picked up a penalty next, giving the 3rd consecutive power jam to Arch Rival as they took the lead, 37-35. At the end of that jam, Arch Rival extended their lead by 11.
BAD responded with a lead call, but Frightmare was mistakenly called out on a cut after the blocker she bypassed was assessed a penalty. As Frightmare took a seat, the Arch Rival jammer was released, but Frightmare was promptly waved back on the track and the Arch Rival jammer was instructed to leave the track once more to finish serving the remainder of her penalty. At the end of the confusion, BAD retook the lead 50-46.
The next few jams consisted of a series of alternating blocker penalties that gave the advantage first to St. Louis, then Bay Area. Harmony Killabruise created a two -jam lead streak for Arch Rival, but only was able to score 2 more points. A short pack for Arch Rival made a lead call quick work for Fluezy, but the next jam had BAD blockers taking a seat in the box instead, allowing for a lead call and more points for Arch Rival.
Soon after the penalties swung back in Bay Area’s favor as Harmony Killabruise was assessed a skating out of bounds penalty just prior to calling off the jam in an attempt to avoid a hit by a BAD blocker. St. Louis elected to use their official review of the half to contest the skating out of bounds call but she was fully out of bounds at the first of the four whistles and the call stood—leaving Fluezy to close out the half unopposed.
Despite a 52% lead calls for Arch Rival at the break, Bay Area held onto their lead, 81-59.
The first lead status call of the second half went to Lulu Lockjaw, as Brickyard went to the box on a track cut. Fluezy repaid the favor in the next jam, leaving Swanson to battle, but a strong four wall of Amanda Jamitinya, Dolly Rocket, Murderyn Monroe, and Steely Jan held Arch Rival in the pack, nullifying the power jam. A forearm penalty sent Mighty Mighty Boston to the box, leaving Frightmare to take advantage of a power jam.
Once again, both teams traded penalties, though Bay Area’s defense proved more equipped to handle and execute the penalty kill. Bay Area could lock it down, when they had all four on the track. Arch Rival relied on a tripod defense that slowed Bay Area down, particularly when BAD’s jammers needed to cut their speed and push. After a jammer swap out, Lulu Lockjaw picked up a second penalty—this time a back block—but Bay Area’s defense forced a star pass and still managed to hold the new jammer until the jam clock expired.
Arch Rival gained momentum nearing the second quarter of the half, in part thanks to Bay Area blockers once again finding themselves in penalty trouble. Despite that, with 10 minutes to go the lead calls for both teams were even.
Arch Rival, shortened their jammer rotation, only giving Brickyard and Bricktator one jam to rest in between. That helped Arch Rival mount a comeback in the final quarter of the game but it was too late to overcome the deficit.
Bay Area bested Arch Rival, 163-103.
Despite the loss, this marks the best playoffs performance by Arch Rival in their history, as St. Louis will have a chance at 3rd tomorrow at 4pm (PDT) and an opportunity to compete at Championships in St. Paul.
Bay Area will advance to the 1st place game Sunday at 6pm (PDT) against the winner of Victoria and Rocky Mountain.
Check out more recaps, scores, and bracket updates at Tucson Central.