D1M 5th Place: #5 Dallas protects ranking against #6 Boston, 245-79

D1M 5th Place: #5 Dallas protects ranking against #6 Boston, 245-79 Photo credit: Duane Baker Photography. facebook.com/duanebakerphotography
MONTRÉAL, QC – In a battle for bracket rankings on the final day in Montreal, #6 Boston met #5 Dallas hoping to improve by a single position, as Dallas were motivated to retain theirs, in what—on paper—looked to promise a tight contest. Boston, having escaped two narrow wins over Sun State and Rocky Mountain in games prior, unfortunately appeared a step behind their competitors for most of the game, as Dallas’ quick transitions and cohesive pack play ultimately dominated. While Boston tried to adjust by utilizing quick star passes and various formation tactics, Dallas asserted control and locked down the game early to bring an easy win, 245-79.

The first period started fairly equitably for several jams, until jam five afforded Boston an opportunity to put some daylight between the score of 6-6. Dallas’ Bazooka Bubble Gum was boxed, but Boston lost their chance to open things up as Katie McClean picked up two fouls in the same jam; this allowed Dallas to open their lead to 21-6. While it felt early to call the beginning of the end, Dallas ensured that Boston could never come back from the points differential with strong defense and nimble jamming.

In jam 11, Miley Virus blew open Dallas’ lead on a boxed Maya Mangleyou, as Boston tried to race packs to negate scoring. Dallas, however, used their own speed and precise individual offensive hits to only benefit Cyrus’ pace, resulting in a 24-2 jam. Late in the period, Boston tried using star passes and designated offense on jam starts to limit Dallas, but were unable to mount any real offensive runs against the higher seed.

The first period ended with Dallas earning 61% lead jammer and incrementally mounting a 61-point lead at the half, 99-38. While Boston only earned four more penalties with 18, to Dallas’ 14, they appeared a step behind and were unable to get much to stick. Dallas used their aggression productively, shutting down Boston’s jammers, who seemed to try every trick to find purchase to no avail. While Dallas gave up five power jam opportunities, several found Boston’s pivot having taken the star and unable to make use of the time.

Period 2 kicked off in a similar fashion, with Space Invader for Boston and Anita Riot for Dallas, and Riot grabbing 6-0. Boston returned to the track clearly motivated to find what would work against Dallas. They varied their defensive formation on the start by setting up at the pivot line and hoping to pull a defender off Dallas’ to bridge, but Dallas used this to their advantage by gaining more speed before hitting their cube, again dominating lead designation. Dallas appeared to have every answer to their opponents as they held Boston to a single point over the next five jams, and generally only gave up points in swapped power jams.

Overall, Boston gave up nine power jams to Dallas’ six and earned only three more penalties at 32, vs 29. Miley Virus contributed 66 points over 12 jams, compared to HardCore’s 15 points over five jams. The game closed with a decisive 245-79 win for higher-seed Dallas, and the bracket remaining accurate with the 5 and 6 ranks, respectively.

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