1st Place: #7 Boston repeats victory against #3 Paris, 166-150

1st Place: #7 Boston repeats victory against #3 Paris, 166-150 Photo credit: Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography. facebook.com/SteveJurkovicRollerDerby

#7 seed Boston and #3 seed Paris met the previous day for the bracket Championship, resulting in a 198-115 win for Boston. The first half of this game resembled the last game with quick points and a close score. Boston really started to pull away in the second half last time, so Paris was clearly determined to keep that from happening again.

The crowd was clearly pro-underdog and so every time Paris earned lead status, the fans went wild. However, it was Boston who earned those lead statuses more often, helping them control the game with dominating defense and fewer penalties. Paris made them fight until the very end, but Boston took another win against them, 166-150.

The first jam gave each team a chance to score since both jammers made a visit to the penalty box. Kurdy Malloy sat first with a cut and was released when Maya Mangleyou picked up a forearm. Mangle was able to win the jam however with two grand slams to Kurdy’s five. Another quick four points by HardCore while Général Moulinator passed the star took Boston to the first game lead, with a score of 14-5.

Oli Barbak, Bouffonne, and Nasty from Paris held Janelle Ellison back in the next jam, which aided their first lead status for jammer Bully Bunker. After a five-point pass, Boston’s star pass forced them to call the jam.

Another lead status came for Paris when Kacie McLean tried to hop over the apex and got a track cut instead, but Boston made Kurdy work a full minute for that. Afterwards, Boston’s blockers all rotated to the box, leaving only one blocker for Kurdy to face on two different scoring passes.

Seven minutes into the game, the score changed to Paris’s favor, 23-18, and Boston took a team timeout.

In Boston’s previous four games, they had alternated Ellison and Swirko as additions to their rotation of Kacie McLean, HardCore, and Maya Mangleyou, but this time both jammed while prior jammer Betty Swoop was out.

The lead changed back to Boston’s hands after eight points were added by Swirko. Five more lead jams after that helped Boston push their lead to double Paris’s score, 60-30 with 12 minutes left in the half.

Paris’s struggles against Boston’s tight defense kept them from earning lead status or fully taking advantage of some of their power jams. They passed the star to get around the Boston tripods, and on a couple of occasions, their pivot turned jammer snuck in a few points on a quick return to the pack.

It was also Boston’s offense that helped them earn 63% lead status in the first half, by sending a blocker crashing through the front Paris wall at the jam starts. Boston was scoring in small heaps, no big flashy scoring jams, but it was what helped them stretch their game lead to thirty points.

Kurdy Malloy finally broke up Boston’s scoring, grabbing lead status and a grand slam while Boston passed the star. The Boston tripod raced away from the Paris offense, and as Kurdy tried to grab some more points, they tripped over their own blocker and were forced to call off the jam.

A couple more scoring jams for Paris brought the gap to twenty points for Paris, and one more power jam added nine more points for Paris to Ellison’s five. Boston went into halftime in the lead, 85-69, but Paris showed they were not going to let Boston run away with the game like they had the day before.

The break seemed to rejuvenate Paris. Right away, in the first jam back, Général Moulinator took lead status, while Kacie McLean sat in the penalty box. Paris got two scoring passes in while Boston passed the star, but by the end of the jam, it was a one-point game at 85-84, Boston still clinging to the lead.

Boston had the pack advantage in the jam to follow, and with first a 9-point jam by Mangle, and then a 12-point jam by HardCore, they extended their lead out again to 106-88.

After a Paris timeout, Boston’s lead streak continued and Paris tried to either stash and dash or get the star to their pivot. When they did get control of the game again, they waited to call the jam off in order to get their two blockers out of the box, making theirs a 9-7 jam, inching only slightly up. Five further points brought them within 14 points of a game lead switch, but Boston took the momentum back and kept their lead, to 147-114.

Game play started to get chaotic as the end was nearing and Paris desperately wanted to get some points on the board. Blockers such as Oli Barbak stuck with their jammer to attack the Boston blockers. But with about five minutes left, HardCore escaped on turn two, and Kurdy stashed the star. Colliding with Amy Rock, they both fell down and as Rock left for a penalty, Kurdy stood up into a track cut. It seemed HardCore would seal Paris’s fate there with three grand slams to follow, bringing the score to 162-123, with under four minutes on the clock.

Paris wasn’t done yet and in the next jam, their defense locked down the corner this time on Ellison, gifting Rose Hyene lead jammer status. Boston sped away and Rose chased down the pack, with Ellison following. A Paris blocker had a nice backwards catch at top speed, helping Rose pick up some points. The 18-4 jam brought Paris closer to Boston’s lead, 166-141.

Paris earned one final lead status by Général Moulinator. Meanwhile, Mangle took a forearm penalty to the box. Boston again tried to stay at the front and control the speed but Paris swarmed and got Moulinator through. Shark Week caught them as Moulinator exited, and almost drew them back in but ended up instead with a penalty. Moulinator came back around to continue scoring but got held up as the clock was ticking down.

As the period time ran out, there were only about 30 seconds left in the jam and Paris still had multiple scoring passes to make. Their blockers kept Mangle from scoring, but nine points weren’t enough for the win, and so Boston ultimately became the 2017 Division 2 Champions, with a score of 166-150.

At the conclusion of the weekend, #7 seed Boston Roller Derby took first place over #3 Paris Rollergirls, and #12 Naptown Roller Derby placed 3rd.

This weekend’s WFTDA Tournament MVP was awarded to Little Loca from Boston Roller Derby.

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