#7 Boston sinks #10 Pirate City, 194-184

#7 Boston sinks #10 Pirate City, 194-184 Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography. facebook.com/rollerderbyphotography

Game 8, between #47-ranked Boston and #51 Pirate City, was close from start to finish. Boston may have the long history of WFTDA-tournament play, but Pirate City is no stranger to a long weekend after spending two weeks in the United States this year for K-Town Shakedown and the Big O. Both teams locked into solid triangle defensive formations and made it tough for the jammers to even earn lead status.

Boston got about twice the amount of penalties that Pirate City did, but they earned lead status more often in the second half when it mattered most. Pirate City made a strong push in the final quarter of the game to regain the lead, but Boston clung on and finished with a win, 194-184.

To start the game, each team took a turn with their jammer in the box. First, Ballistic Button sat with a track cut which allowed Maya Mangleyou a game opening 20-point jam for Boston. HardCore sat with the same penalty twice in the next jam, which extended to the third jam, and a 13 point jam by Missbhaven and then 19 by Shan put Pirate City ahead 32-29.

Sweet Enemy’s run backs and Aubrey Planitz decisive offense brought Boston back in the lead 52-32 with the next four lead statuses. Then Pirate City picked up four leads and took the lead back, 75-63.

In that time also, Boston picked up more jammer penalties and Pirate City goated their blockers and actively worked to get their jammer through. Their lateral coverage also kept the wily Boston jammers at bay, forcing the likes of Amy Rock to fall back and help her jammers.

Another power jam for Boston switched the score back in their favor with 20 points by Mangle, but when their own jammer sat in the box, they tried to run away from the Pirate City offense. The score couldn’t seem to settle with jammers rotating to and from the box, but by the time the first half was over, Boston led 98-93.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Boston came back from the half-time break with a little more fight in them, and it seemed like they were going to run away with the game.

Sweet E, Agent MauledHer, and MC SlamHer tightly secured Pirate City’s Shan in their tripod, meanwhile Betty Swoop worked hard against the other wall. Planitz tried to help spring Shan, but they were only able to escape with three seconds left in the jam. Boston had better luck in the next jam, however, with 23 points scored, extending their lead to 141-100.

Hungry for points, Pirate City pushed on with lead status even after Boston passed the star and was scoring themselves. The jam went 14-8 in Pirate’s favor. Another jam like that went 25-11 for them again, and with the score at 165-144 Boston took a timeout with 15 minutes left in the game.

Boston continued to focus on one blocker breaking off to give offense, communicating effectively to make that happen. Even this late in the game, jams continued to go a minute or longer without lead being declared, forcing jammers to exhaustion.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

Photo credit: Sean Hale Photography.

With six minutes left in the game, Pirate City got another power jam opportunity while down by 16. Mangle first went to the box with a low block, and then returned with a misconduct, allowing C-3p-Owned to scored three grand slams. That made the next jam a power start for Pirate City but with just two blockers on the track. Mangle got back on the track and earned a quick lead status but it wasn’t long before she sat a third time with a forearm. Meanwhile Shan had struggled to get out of the pack and while trying to pass the star picked up a high block, releasing Mangle. She got 15 points of her own, erasing the progress Pirate City made in the previous jam. With the score at 190-174 and 2:03 on the clock, Boston took an official review.

Tensions heightened with the end of the game near, and, despite clear fatigue registering on them, scrambling through the pack, Ballistic Button stumbles and Kacie McLean got out first. They picked up four points and while trying to call off the jam, committed a track cut and sat in the box instead. Ballistic was able to add ten more points making it a ten point game and Pirate City called a timeout with three seconds on the clock.

In the final jam, it would come down to who could get lead status and control the remaining three seconds. Unfortunately for Pirate City, that status went to Boston. After Harcore earned lead and looked at the bench, the jam was called, and the game ended in a win for Boston, 194-184. They will advance to semifinals tomorrow at 10:30am against #2 seed Tucson Roller Derby.

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