SMASHINISTAS USE POWER, NET 21-POINT WIN OVER RSA!
by the Grand Poobah, ARRG Bout Co-Announcer- Photos by Bob Dunnell
(BALLWIN, MO) For the 700 in attendance Saturday night at the Arch Rival Roller Girls’ interleague doubleheader, they definitely got their money’s worth regardless of team allegiance. Two bouts that had outcomes that weren’t determined until the end. Specifically for the nightcap, a bout that wasn’t determined even after the official period clock had expired.
In event two of the three-event regular season, the Smashinistas utilized a strong second-half scoring surge to top defending league champion Rebel Skate Alliance 123-102 while a bout-concluding 25-point power jam by Artemischief pushed the Stunt Devils over the M-80s 136-132.
As a result of their four-point win, the Stunt Devils improved to 2-0 and sit atop the league standings. Meanwhile, the Smashinisitas’ first victory of the season pushed them to a second-place tie with the M-80s overall.
Most in attendance would concur that – from whistle to whistle – this was the most-balanced ARRG doubleheader since switching to the two-bout format one season prior. All would have to agree that the four local squads brought their best efforts to the flat-track.
If anything, Saturday night’s event makes one anticipate the next set of bouts, scheduled for Saturday, January 14, 2012, at Midwest Sport Hockey.
SMASHINISTAS 123 REBEL SKATE ALLIANCE 102
Over the last two seasons, the Smashinistas on paper have contained one of the more impressive line-ups in ARRG history. Yet, most of 2011 saw the camo-clad troops on the wrong end of the scoring column due to league parity and unfortunate luck. In fact, one has to go back to Februrary to find the last Smashie “W”.
Consider that long drought over following the-21 point win over the defending league champions Saturday night that evened their record to 1-1.
“We did not want to go 0-2,” said jammer Downtown Dallis following the bout. “We prepared for this. We wanted this.”
But even with all that preparation, RSA – a squad missing two skaters, including high-scoring co-captain Smarty McFly, for the second straight bout – would not go down without a struggle.
In fact at one point during the first half, RSA seemed to be doing just fine with only ten skaters, half of which were new to the franchise this season.
The Smashinistas posted back-to-back four pointers by Dallis and The Educator off the first two jams to grab a quick 8-0 lead.
Following a 2-2 stalemate on the next jam to make the score 10-2, the Educator would race out in front and grab lead jammer for the Smashies. But after scoring nine points, the veteran was sent off for a track cut. The ensuing non-lead powerjam for RSA enabled Chewblocka to score 13 points and whittled the Smashie lead to 19-15 at the 23:20 mark.
Then after cutting the lead down to 21-18 one jam later, RSA’s Pink Diamond posted a four-pointer to give the defending champs its first lead of the night, a 22-21 RSA edge with 19:40 remaining.
A ping-pong of points tied the score 26-26 two jams later. RSA’s Stabby McCutcha and Diamond would notch back-to-back treys to build up a 32-26 advantage. The Smashies’ Educator utilized a 9-3 strike two jams later to tie the score at 35-35 with 12:00 left in the first half.
After a pair of scoreless jams, Boom Boom Pow notched five points for the Smashinistas, who grabbed a 40-35 lead.
And that would be the final points scored by the Smashies for the half…which unfortunately for them still had 9:00 remaining.
By capitalizing on a pair of power jams, RSA went on a 32-0 run in the latter stretches of the first half. McCutcha’s eight-point powerjam at the 8:00 mark resulted in another lead change – a 43-40 edge for RSA, which was followed by Diamond’s 14-point tally two jams later to extend the lead to 61-40.
In short, the Smashie guns were silenced due to self-inflicted penalties. At intermission, RSA possessed a 67-40 lead.
“They were being very opportunistic tonight,” said Dallis of the late-half RSA charge. “They’re unpredictable and that’s what really threw us off. In fact, we weren’t ready for it.”
So, what to do when it seems like the wheels are stuck in slow motion?
“We came up with a plan,” said Dallis.
And in this case, it would be a trip to the “Smashie School of Hard Knocks,” instructed by The Educator, who cut the deficit to 67-45 with a five-pointer scored to begin the second half.
“She went hard at people,” said Dallis of her teammate. “She was confident and that really inspired us to be more aggressive and attack. We really rely on her to make a lot of things happen and we rely on her to bring us that momentum.”
And that momentum resulted in a 29-0 run for the Smashies as the half progressed. Dallis notched separate scores of four and five points to chip the lead down to 67-54 five minutes into the second half.
Then with 24:15 left in the half, RSA found itself in penalty purgatory. A power jam ensued, which enabled the Smashies’ Pow to notch a ’15-point punch.
And just like that, the RSA lead had been obliterated. Thanks to a stubborn blocking schematic paced by Eli Wallop, Shimmy Hoffa, Punches PileUp, Shell Shoxx and a host of others, the Smashies now sported a 69-67 advantage…and still had plenty of ammunition to potentially fire.
Following a three-pointer by the Educator, another RSA misstep resulted in another power jam for the Smashinistas. This time, Dallis collected 18 points to extend the lead to 90-68 with 18:50 left.
Then following an exchange of points that made the game a 95-75 teaser, RSA would again hand the Smashies a power jam situation. The Educator posted 19 to stretch the lead to 114-75 with 13:15 left.
Undaunted, RSA kept pace and posted a 27-9 run down the stretch, propelled by a McCutcha 8-point power jam with 10:00 remaining. Although they had pulled to within 25 points with 7:30 left – the gap was too much to overcome as the Smashies utilized effective clock management and preserved a “blackjack-point” margin of victory.
The Smashinistas outscored RSA 83-25 in the second half to grab the 21-point win and even its record to the .500 mark. Unofficially, Educator paced the victors with 48 points scored followed by Dallis’ 44 and Pow’s 31-point effort.
More importantly for the Smashinistas, the victory gave the squad a morale boost heading into an imperative match-up next month against the Stunt Devils, the leader of the local standings.
“I have never seen the Smashies more motivated than what I saw after the game,” said Dallis. “We celebrated for a very short time and then we immediately began to focus.”
And one would have to believe that that focus is going to be very intense as the weeks progress.
Conversely, one would have to agree that the efforts of Rebel Skate Alliance were far superior compared to its season opening sputter. Modifications to the rotation and a newfound jammer in McCutcha pushed the 10-skater roster in a positive direction.
RSA (0-2) was unofficially paced by McCutcha’s 36 points, followed by Diamond’s 35.
SMASHINISTAS – The Educator 48, Downtown Dallis 44, Boom Boom Pow 31
RSA – Stabby McCutcha 36, Pink Diamond 35, Chewblocka 17, Party Foul 15
STUNTS DEVILS 136 M-80s 132
“From the souls of your feet, with every ounce of blood you’ve got in your body, lay it on the line until the final whistle blows.” - quoted from the motion picture, “We Are Marshall” (2006).
A long-term rivalry was renewed in a bout that would net the victor the top spot in the league standings.
“We knew going into this game that the M-80s are a really strong team,” said Stunt Devil jammer/blocker Artemischief of the match-up of unbeatens. “They looked fantastic last game. We knew that they were going to be a super tough, but we knew that we were strong, too.”
It resulted in a barnburner that took numerous twists and turns for the entire sixty minutes…and then some.
Both teams fired volleys to start the first half and defensive blocking held the offenses at bay. Points were collected few and far between as the M-80s built up a 14-10 lead ten minutes into the bout.
Then a veteran firecracker popped the first scoring explosion of the bout as M-80s’ co-captain Science Friction capitalized on a Stunt jamming miscue and raced out to a power jam. A 20-point tally ensued and extended the M-80s’ lead to 34-10 with 19:10 remaining.
The Stunts retaliated with a power jam of their own. Artemischief’s 12-point counterstrike at 16:30 whittled the lead to a dozen points, 34-22.
The M-80s methodically built a comfortable lead as the half progressed. A strong wall of blocking provided by May Require Stitches, Vandetta Vango, The Siege, Rhino Might and a host of others allowed the ladies in red to build up points at a 2-1 ratio – a 36-18 run resulted in a 70-40 M-80s’ advantage with under 2:00 left in the half.
Or at least it was a comfortable lead, until the final jam of the first half.
In a rare moment of miscommunication, the M-80s failed to send a jammer out onto the track. Once the whistle blew to start the jam, the M-80s would be forced to skate the entire jam jammerless. The omission gave a free jam to the Stunts which resulted in an 18-point mosh by Mighty Might Boston, which narrowed to the M-80s’ lead to 70-58 at intermission.
Boston started the second half by scoring four to whittle the deficit to eight, 70-62. Then following a 4-2 jam by the M-80s to make the score 74-64, South City Shiner posted a five-point strike for the Stunts, chipping away the lead to 74-69 with 25:00 remaining.
With the margin reduced to five points, the M-80s proceeded to barrel out a 15-0 run over the next two jams in order to give the leaders some breathing room. EnYa Nightmare scored twelve and Black Market Baby followed with three to extend the M-80s lead to 89-69.
Shiner countered for the Stunts and posted eight on the next jam to whittle the lead to a dozen points, 89-77 with 18:40 remaining.
As the middle stretch of the second half progressed, the M-80s used a 19-7 run to stretch the lead to 108-84.
Then with 11:00 remaining, the seeds were planted for a sprint to the finish, paced by the Stunts’ Artemischief. The ARRG veteran scored five with 9:30 left to cut the gap to 108-89.
Then by utilizing the open lanes created by blockers Mayor Francis Slayer, Grave Danger, Deathica Steele and others, she posted another 18 on the next jam, which made the bout an one-point affair, 108-107 with 7:15 remaining.
The M-80s would stop the surge with a pair of four-pointers collected by Nightmare, which extended the lead to 116-107 with 4:20 left.
Black Market Baby then capitalized on a Stunts’ jamming miscue, resulting in a power jam for the M-80s. A 14-point strike was delivered by the co-captain and gave the M-80s a 130-111 lead at the two-minute warning.
The Stunts grabbed lead jammer status on the next jam, but failed to gain points due to the stubborn M-80s blocking schematic. As result, the deficit for the Stunts was still 19 points with :35 left on the official period clock and Artmischief donning the star for the bout’s final jam.
“There’s two things you have to do when you’re down by that many points at the end,” said the Stunt anchor of the scenario. “You have to make the other jammer foul and you have to get lead.”
And that’s precisely what happened.
After Artemischief gained lead jammer for the Stunts with under :30 remaining on the official period clock, a pair of M-80 skaters – including its jammer – were sent to the penalty box.
The Stunt Devils’ power jam culminated as the official period clock reached gooseeggs, yet 1:25 remained on the jam clock, which gave the Stunts plenty of time to slash at the lead…and mash the hard-fought efforts of the M-80s.
Artemischief proceeded to post grand slam after grand slam. Altogether, five full laps against the opposition netted a 25-point counter-clockwise clobber on the bout’s final jam. What was once a 19-point Stunt deficit transformed into a four-point Stunt victory.
In reference to the opening line of the recap, the Stunts had indeed “laid it on the line until the final whistle blew.” The 136-132 come-from-behind victory enabled the Stunts to grab sole possession of first place in the league standings.
“That was fun….I miss jamming!” beamed Artemischief, who finished unofficially with a team-high 65 points. “Everything fell into place. This helps gives us the confidence that we need and it gives us a good idea of what we need to do going into training.”
Boston added 36 and Shiner collected 27 for the Stunts, who improved to 2-0.
However, one could argue that the Stunt Devils dodged a bullet…not once, but twice in this bout. Granted, the team brought the “pitchfork-itude” needed to poke its way to victory. But conversely, the M-80s’ meltdown on the last jam of each period surely helped matters.
Suffice to say that even with the win, the Stunts can’t get too cocky heading into next month’s battle with the Smashinistas.
“We know there are some things that we’re going to have to work on,” said Artemisichief of the January 12 event. “We’re going to spend the next couple of weeks sharpening those tools and we’re going to come out fighting.”
And one now knows that will fight will go on until the final whistle blows.
Unofficially, Munchausen by Foxy paced the M-80s – who dropped to 1-1 in the standings – with 45 points followed by Nightmare’s 35.
STUNT DEVILS – Artemischief 65, Mighty Mighty Boston 36, South City Shiner 27, Morgan LeFaetal 8
M-80s – Munchausen By Foxy 45, EnYa Nightmare 39, Science Friction 27, Black Market Baby 18, May Require Stitches 3
NEXT WEEK IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: You’ve read the x’s and o’s of what occurred this past weekend! Now we’ll analyze the flat-track mayhem. We’ll get down and dirty with ARRG bout co-announcer Magilla Guerilla as he reflects on a dramatic night of doubleheader derby with another installment of “Guerilla Uncaged.”
The Grand Poobah and Magilla Guerilla are bout co-announcers for the arch Rival Roller Girls. Check back in this section on Monday for the latest in ARRG news/information.