CHARLESTON, WV – This game saw fast-moving and circulating packs, with gaps moving for jammers, and walls finding trouble locking in on them. Some star passes and stashes punctuated the first half, but ultimately, the game returned from the half-time break to be claimed by Boston, as they visibly applied lessons learned about Columbia’s play from the first half. Boston ultimately took the game victory, and the 7th place tournament position, with a score of 219-115.
The teams fielded their top two jammers off the starting whistle; Boston’s Maya Mangleyou and Columbia’s Poison Violet. Each ended up being the top scorers for their teams in prior games, so it seemed like this was the appropriate starter for this one. Maya made it through and called with 3-0 for Boston, to put them first into the lead.
Joy Recc-Her quickly put up the next four points for Columbia, and while Poison was easily out first next, she gathered a penalty, handing the lead and a powerjam to Flying King. The teams essentially traded scoring jams, with Boston nonetheless pulling into the lead. And then after the first 10 minutes, Boston had confirmed their hold on the score. By the end of the first quarter, Boston was up, 57-28. In the final five minutes, Boston had first widened their lead, and then Columbia had narrowed it, with a single minute remaining in the first period, Columbia called the first of their team time-outs, but it wasn’t going to dissuade Boston from finishing the half on a high note.
It was 101-75 at the half-time break, when even two decently-sized points additions (9 and 10) from Poison Violet with double lead jammer awards couldn’t offset the game lead Boston had taken. This was due to Boston’s star pass responses which garnered them 14 further points in the final jam.
While the second period is usually the time when the team that’s down in points will regroup and apply the lessons they learned in the first, if Columbia was doing that, it was eclipsed by the conviction of Boston. The spread-out packs and rapid-fire play continued, and Boston made the most of it, continuing their climb to almost double Columbia’s score by the final eight mins, 195-99. They then steadily maintained that approximate double-point score as both teams climbed towards game end.
In the final jam, right out of a team time-out for Columbia – perhaps to rest their players for one final push or perhaps to recover from a devastating 15-point jam from Flyin’ King that Columbia had had to use a star pass to respond to – was as thrilling as these game-ending-jams often are. While Lil’ Paine used her power jam start to take lead, she was quickly re-engaged and recycled back by Poison Violet in the pivot cover clearly ferociously committed to her blocker role until Chuck-Town Bruiser could return to the track. And while everyone waited for the star pass that seemed destined to happen for Columbia, Lil’ Paine had to re-complete her initial pass, and barely made it to the pack for her scoring pass when Chuck-Town’s final leap through the pack garnered Columbia a last second four points. But it wasn’t to be enough, as Boston confirmed their win, 219-115.
Columbia, who entered the tournament with the #9 seeding, was always going to leave this game with a tournament placing above their entry point, and did exactly that, leaving at 8th position. While Boston was keen to end the downward momentum, leaving with the 7th placing position, down from their #6 seeded entry point.
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