The Rose City Rollers hosted both San Francisco and Seattle this past weekend. The Break Neck Betties, Portland’s reigning home team champions, took on Rat City’s Grave Danger, and Rose City’s travel team, the Wheels of Justice, faced off against the Bay Area All Stars. It was on opportunity for Rose City to exhibit their skills to our West Coast-ian neighbors, to welcome them to our fair city, to fete them hospitably, and then to destroy them without mercy. It mostly worked out.
More after the jump.
Friday’s bout was heavy on the penalties, the hits, and the power jams. For the most part, Portland’s Break Neck Betties were able to put up a series of consistent, solid jams in the face of their opposition, gradually ticking up the score. Occasionally Seattle was able to take advantage of penalties and sneak in with a power jam, usually ratcheting up several points in the process, making the game a race between consistent base hits and huge home runs (to use a sports metaphor to describe a sport thing). By the end of the first half the bout was nearly tied, with the Betties hanging onto a slim 113-111 lead. Rat City hit back in the second half, taking a quick lead early on. For the rest of the game, the lead shuttlecocked back and forth between the two teams, most notably in a weird double power jam situation (both jammers were in the box for part of it) that left the Betties with a 179-178 lead, and mere minutes to go.
By the time the final jam came around the score was a dead-even 205-205. Nails were bitten. Seats were occupied in an edge-only fashion. Win the jam, win the game. The Betties’ Licker ‘N Split, amid roars and cheers, soon grabbed lead jammer status, scored two points, and ended the game. The crowd, as they say, went wild. The officials weren’t done, though. Conferring in the middle of the floor, the refs adjusted the final score for penalties and ruled the official final as 207-199, Betties. Despite Portland’s team still taking it, the zebras managed to suck a little bit of the air out of the room, deflating the last-minute drama with the official adjustments.
Saturday’s bout was an opportunity for vengeance. Last year the Rose City Rollers had their dreams of regional championships crushed beneath the wheels of the Bay Area Derby Girls. This weekend’s bout didn't have championship hopes on the line per se, but the sweet smell of potential revenge hung in the air as the Wheels of Justice faced off with the Bay Area All-Stars.
The B.A.D. Girls took an early lead, but Rose City was able to answer back with high-scoring jams from Scald Eagle and Licker ‘N Split. Midway through the first half, it looked like Portland’s hard-hitting, powerful jams were going to get the job done. Toward the end, though, Bay Area came back with a series of low-scoring, methodical jams that ended the half 69-55—Rose City still had the lead, but it was rapidly evaporating.
Bay Area hit Portland hard at the start of the second half. Bricktator, taking advantage of penalties, brought the score up to 69-80 for the B.A.D. Girls in a painful power jam. Rose City responded—the combined efforts of jammers Mutch Mayhem, Scald Eagle, and Licker ‘N Split tied the game at 90-90. Penalties, though, were not on Rose City's side, and a power jam by Bay Area’s Lulu Lockjaw brought the score to 110-125, with a Bay Area lead. For the rest of the bout, Bay Area kept the score comfortably afloat above Rose City, and the scoreboard displayed an insurmountable-seeming 127-175 going into the final jam.
Scald Eagle gave it her all in that last one, dancing, gliding, and even hopping past B.A.D. Girls in the last seconds. The crowd knew it couldn’t really be done, though. She managed to cut the lead to Rose City 146, Bay Area 175. Rose City went down, but at they went down in a blaze of glory.