The final game of Saturday saw #3 Paris Rollergirls facing #7 Boston Roller Derby and both teams have had stellar weekends so far. Paris earned their spot into this game by dominating Bear City and Columbia by about 50 points each. Boston also took the winners route through the bracket, defeating Pirate City 194-184 and Tucson 196-110. This game was one of the most anticipated of the weekend: both teams have displayed intelligent game play, quick offensive strikes, and versatile jammers.
Boston came in guns blazing and never backed down. They jumped out to a quick lead thanks to 14 points by #88 Hardcore in the second jam, and 13 points by #11 McClean in the fourth jam. A small number of jams worked in Boston’s advantage. Paris gained lead 8 times in the first period, but there were only 16 jams total, and the five power jams given up by Paris were taken advantage of fully by the Boston jammers in the way of 15+ point jams. Boston gave up six power jams, but Paris’s offense could not time their attacks in a way to give their jammer an easy pass through. Simply put, Boston was better at dealing with and taking advantage of mistakes.
There were only two lead changes in the entire game, and they were both in the first half. #44 Kurdy Malloy for Paris, who has been monstrous this weekend so far, was held to 11 points in the entire first half. #18 Miss Gadin used her edge work to put Paris within reach for a while, scoring the only three-pass jams in the first half.
Sticking to a mostly consistent two wall set, Boston was able to read the Paris jammers and dissect their game play. #66 Little Loca and #1121 Agent Maul’Her were resistant to Paris offense, while #1987 Shark Week took skaters off their skates. For Paris, it was #333 Sue Percute and #5 Bouffonne introduced a fair few Bostonians to the exterior track, but their strength and team work was not enough to turn the tide.
At halftime, Boston Massacre led Paris Rollergirls 84-62.
Coming back from halftime, Paris continued to try and get a handle on Boston. Both teams are powerful, but Boston has been training speed and bursting strength since 2005.
Despite changes in the roster since their impressive performance at Golden Bowl in June, Boston owned the gameplay in the second half. Out of 21 jams, Paris was only able to score 8 times, while Boston added to their total in 14 more jams. Boston’s jammer penalties dwindled to only one in the second half, Paris repeated their 5. Boston controlled the speed of the game and the lines their jammers could weave through.
Paris played their hearts out, but in the end, Boston was able to pick apart their defense and frustrate them with offense. This was the second time this weekend that Boston toppled a competitor seeded in the Top 3. Paris Rollergirls may have an opportunity to exact revenge, however.
Boston moved to the 10am EDT game on Sunday, to face #12 Naptown Roller Derby, while Paris advanced to the 12pm EDT game to face a bracket-busting #16 Dublin Roller Derby team. The winners of those games will meet in the Championships on Sunday at 8pm EDT. The losers will play for bronze Sunday at 6pm EDT.