5th Place: #2 Tucson edges past #4 Jet City, 194-183

5th Place: #2 Tucson edges past #4 Jet City, 194-183 Photo credit: Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography. facebook.com/SteveJurkovicRollerDerby

The day of 2017 re-matches continued with two powerhouse teams, #42-ranked Tucson Saddletramps and #44 Jet City Bombers, facing off at 4pm EDT on Sunday to take home the 5th place spot. At Besterns in June, Tucson found themselves defeated by Jet City 209-119. With both teams having agile jammers and strong shapes of defense, predictions for this game were all over.

Jet City busted out to a quick 32-5 lead by the fourth jam, thanks to a 20-point pick up by #5 Ivana Hercha in the very first jam. Interestingly, of the 27 jams in the first half, Jet only put up points in 14 jams and only four of them had multiple scoring passes. Meanwhile, Tucson only had 10 jams where they did not put points on the board.

#6 Razor Wrecker and #80 Beethoven’s Fist went to work for Jet City, disrupting the Tucson defense and frustrating jammers with recycling. Tucson’s #717 Mystery Meat had been unstoppable in games all weekend, but Jet City had her number, holding her to 15 points in the first half, and only allowing a 38 lead status percentage. Jet City’s ability to switch from offense to defense on a dime, alongside having half of the penalties of Tucson, set Jet ahead comfortably leading 105-86 at halftime.

The first five jams in the second half did not indicate a change of tactic for Tucson, being held to a –1.8 point differential per jam. #37 Death Proof set the wheels of change with a 14-point jam with the help of #14 Blaxican Bomber and #24 Midnight Crasher in the pack. Tucson’s lack of a consistently quick offense was made up for with grinding defense and impeccable teamwork on the track. Starting with that 14-point jam, Jet City was held to only 10 points over seven jams. All that hard work got Tucson tied with Jet City at 133, and then gave them the lead by nine points.

Jet City rallied. They did everything they could, but the fire of Tucson’s #403 Trouble Shooter was lit and #010 Shana Banana Hammock turned it up. No matter how hard #2 Simon le Bomb or #1 Cia WoodNwanna-bia would try to disrupt the packs, Jet City could not regain the lead. They scraped at it, trading points for the remaining 10 jams, and kept the game always within a couple passes.

A seven-point jam from #10 Eva Derci followed up by nine points from #87 I’llah Smashya had Jet City reviving for a last jam victory, but when the pressure was on, the Saddletramps responded. Going into the last jam the score was tied at 182, and while Eva Derci was just stumped, Shana was able to collect 11 points, sealing the Tucson win.

After all the passion, footwork, and crushing defense, the Tucson Saddletramps came out on top, 194-183. Both teams dropped a few places from their original seeding, with #2 Tuscon taking home 5th place and Jet City left in 6th place.

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