STUNTS TAKE THIRD IN HARD FOUGHT BOUT VS. RSA!
by Muckety Muck, ARRG Bout Co-Announcer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
(ST. LOUIS, MO) In front of the largest crowd to ever witness flat-track roller derby locally, the Arch Rival Roller Girls presented its 2014 Local Championships at Chaifetz Arena Friday night.
The crowd of over 2,000 witnessed two incredible bouts that put the exclamation point on a successful local campaign. In the main event, the Smashinistas picked up its second straight title with a 157-145 win over the M-80s. In the League’s third place bout, the Stunt Devils staved a hard charge from Rebel Skate Alliance in order to net a 148-116 win.
The atmosphere was abuzz with what one finds at an event like this. St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay blew the ceremonial first whistle and the top-notch, flat-track that ensued had the Chaifetz crowd glued to their chairs until the very end.
CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT: SMASHINISTAS 157 M-80s 145
When the Smashinistas won its first Arch Rival Roller Girls’ local championship one year ago, they didn’t receive recognition of its victory until the day after the bout was formally played. After an official scoring review post-bout, an overnight adjustment to the final score was made, resulting in a two-point win for the Smashies.
Far removed from the flat-track when the decision was rendered, there was no formal Smashies’ trophy celebration last year. Sure, they had netted a championship, but the significance was somewhat lost because the victorious skaters couldn’t proverbially “live in the moment.”
Friday night at Chaifetz Arena, the Smashinistas decided to take control of its own destiny outright.
Paced by a triple-digit performance from jammer Brickyard and a stifling defense, the defending champions topped the M-80s, 157-145.
“We’re super stoked,” said Smashies’ co-captain The Forecloser following the 12-point win. “We’ve focused, we’ve talked to each other, we’ve communicated, we’ve grown together…and now we’ve won together.”
Both teams kept each other at bay early. Eight minutes deep, the M-80s possessed a 10-9 lead. The firecrackers on quads sported six points straight off the next two jams. Launched by Molecular Mayhem’s five pointer and ending with a solo point from IDA the Living Dead, the M-80s stretched its lead to 16-9 with 23:20 left in the first period.
After the Smashies countered with four from Brickyard to make the bout a three-point affair, the M-80s churned out six points over the next four jams to extend its lead to 22-13 with 17:30 left in the period.
The Smashinistas fired its first cannon-shot of the trophy tilt in Jam 11 as Brickyard steamrolled a mind-numbing, 35-point jam that flipped the scoreboard, 48-22, in favor of the defending champs.
The M-80s countered with an 18-8 run over the next five jams and whittled the margin to 56-40 with 6:50 left in the first period.
The Smashies went into lockdown mode over the next five minutes, resulting in a 22-0 rally. Accented by Brickyard’s nine-pointer scored in Jam 20 and The Educator’s eight-pointer that followed, the Smashinistas extended its lead to 78-40 following the period’s penultimate jam.
At that point, play seemed controlled for the camo-clad rollers, but things suddenly went out of control with the final jam of the half. A track cut called against The Educator resulted in a power jam for the M-80s. Mayhem collected 25 points in the late-period push and narrowed the Smashinistas’ lead to 78-65 at intermission.
To make matters worse for the leaders, the M-80s’ power jam carried over to the first rotation of the second period. A 13-point strike from May Require Stitches tied the score, 78-78, with 28:30 left in the bout.
The red roll of uncontested points continued as the period progressed. IDA the Living Dead punctuated a 27-0 second-period rally with nine points scored at 24:05 that helped the M-80s sport a 92-78 edge.
Brickyard broke the Smashie scoring drought with four points scored at 23:10 to whittle the deficit to 92-82. Mayhem collected three on the next rotation to push the M-80s’ lead back to a baker’s dozen.
Brickyard’s deuce in Jam 7 was followed by a 4-3 jam for the Educator that made the margin once again 10 points, 98-88, with 20:20 left.
Back-to-back four-pointers from the Smashie jamming duo on the next two rotations shrunk the M-80s’ lead to two points, 98-96 with 18:15 left.
Thanks to the solid work of M-80s’ blockers, which included Rhino-Might, The Ginger Assassin, Tupac Shank-Her, Jamheiser Bush, Sp!ce Rack and a host of others, the double-digit lead was maintained after the next four rotations. With 10:35 left, the M-80s led 123-112.
Then with 9:45 left, another M-80s’ jammer penalty resulted in a bout-shifting power jam for the Smashinistas. Brickyard collected 19 points in the rotation, which put the defending champions back on top, 131-123.
Down the stretch, intensity and strategy from both teams were raised to high-stakes levels. Comparable points were scored as both squads’ set of blockers maintained their physical play.
This provided the proverbial gut-check to the Smashinistas’ blocking schema, paced by co-captains The Forecloser and Sly Davanita, as well as Eli Wallop, Shimmy Hoffa, Girl Fawkes, Downtown Dallis, EnYa Nightmare Cloak N’ DragHer, Party Rockher, Megalodominator, Dixie Wolf and Red Hot Whiplet.
It was a challenge the Smashies were ready to accept.
“We had amazing, amazing walls,” said Davanita of the late-bout tussle. “We had great jamming too, but the walls were awesome.”
The Smashies outscored the M-80s, 26-22, in the final five jams to pick up the 157-145 championship win and the back-to-back ARRG trophy lifts.
For the M-80s, the setback at Chaifetz was hard to swallow. However, there was nothing but praise from the team’s brain trust following the exhausting bout.
“Those girls played their heart out, just like they have with every game this year,” said M-80s’ bench coach Specs Offender afterwards. “It’s a tough loss, but when you lose a bout by 12 points, that’s still very close in this sport. I love those girls, love that team and I am very proud of them even though we didn’t get the ‘W’ tonight.”
Mayhem and IDA scored 56 and 52, respectively, for the M-80s (4-1).
SMASHINISTAS (157): Brickyard 123, The Educator 34
M-80s (145): Molecular Mayhem 56, IDA The Living Dead 52, May Require Stitches 37
THIRD PLACE BOUT: STUNT DEVILS 148 REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE 116
The outcome of the evening’s opener was a true reflection of how both team’s respective seasons had positively progressed. In its first bout of the local season last November, the Stunt Devils scored a sub-par 62 points. When the two teams met two months ago, RSA was pummeled by 176.
The Stunts won the third place bout at Chaifetz by 32 points, but those involved would honestly say that both teams were winners due to the recent improvements made.
“We came so far this year as a team,” said Stunt Devils’ co-captain Vendetta VanGo afterwards. “This season, over half of our team started out as either new players or players, like myself, that have been out for a couple of years. It was a rebuilding year and our goal was to get better with every game.”
The Stunts’ game plan of utilizing the triple jamming attack of Mighty Mighty Boston, Chokehold Chanel and Dirt Diggler reaped rewards early. Seven minutes in, the purple rollers posted a 25-5 advantage.
Back-to-back treys from RSA jammers Pink Diamond and Sleazy E narrowed the margin to 25-11 with 19:00 left in the period. Boston countered with four scored in Jam 9 to push the Stunt Devils’ lead to 29-11.
Following a scoreless jam, Sleazy scored 10 points for RSA at 15:50, cutting the margin to 29-21.
Undaunted, the Rollin’ Rebs came charging back with a 28-0 rally over the next four jams that flipped the scoreboard. A pair of two-pointers from Black Market Baby and Sleazy E began the run. Then following a four-pointer scored by BMB in Jam 15, Sleazy notched a 20-point power jam in the next rotation.
The 27-point Stunt Devils’ lead four jams ago? POOF! RSA had its first lead of the bout, 49-48, with 9:30 left in the period.
Its lead was short-lived as the Stunts barreled out a 42-6 run in the final minutes of the half. Punctuated by Boston’s 23-point power jam with 5:00 left in the period, the Stunt Devils held a 91-54 lead at intermission.
Second period play was pretty much even. Ten minutes deep, the Stunts maintained a 100-65 advantage.
A 21-0 Stunts’ rally highlighted the middle stretch. Boston’s nine scored in Jam 11 was followed by Diggler’s four. Artemischief collected eight in Jam 12 and the uncontested rally was finished by Boston’s trey scored with 15:10 left. When the dust had settled, the Stunts had amassed a 121-65 lead.
Once again, RSA didn’t waive the white flag down the stretch went on rallies of its own. An 8-4 jam for BMB with 13:45 left launched a 33-18 run that covered the next eight minutes. In the process, the RSA blocking rotation, paced by Party Foul, Science Friction, Eveready, Ginny Beastley, Prof. Rumbledore, Warpath O’ Jen, Deuce Bomber, Shear-Ra Powers, AKA Rogue and Fletch A Sketch, kept the Stunts scoreless for four jams.
With 7:10 left, the Stunts’ margin had been sliced to 135-98.
Wanting to quash the RSA comeback, the Stunt Devils’ blocking schema put the hammer down. Paced by veterans Grave Danger, Deathica Steele, Mayor Francis Slayer, Vendetta VanGo, Morgan LeFaetal, Shacgyver, and youngsters Danisaurus Rex and Yo Adrian-na, kept the 30-point differential steady.
”Our game tonight was all about teamwork, holding those walls together and making room for our jammers,” said VanGo afterwards.
Sleazy E paced RSA scoring with 59 points. And despite the winless record in the season’s campaign, the counter-clockwise coalition has plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into future. For starters, the roster has finally settled into place.
“We’ve had a lot of circulation of old players and new players coming back,” said RSA co-captain Prof. Rumbledore. “It’s been crazy and really difficult, but I feel like that now we’re really solidifying as a team. Even though we lost, I’m really proud of us.”
STUNT DEVILS (148): Mighty Mighty Boston 106, Dirt Diggler 22, Chokehold Channel 12, Artemischief 8
REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE (116): Sleazy E 59, Pink Diamond 32, Black Market Baby 25
RETIREES SKATE LAST BOUT AT CHAIFETZ
Friday night marked the last bout for some of the Arch Rival Roller Girls. Retiring from the flat track were The Educator, Deathica Steele, The Forecloser, Megalodominator, Pink Diamond, Stray Touhell and Dixie Wolf. Also recognized during the retirement were also those that had retired after the completion of the prior local and travel team seasons: Chewblocka, South City Shiner, Kill’em Gilliam, Shell Shoxx, Smarty McFly and Bertha Venus.
The Arch Rival Roller Girls appreciate these athletes’ dedication to the league and the sacrifices they made in order to support women’s flat track roller derby in St. Louis!