November 9, 2013
By Whacks Poetic
The final bout of the day and second semifinal of Saturday night saw Gotham Girls Roller Derby from New York take on Bay Area Derby Girls from San Francisco to determine who would be advancing to the 1st place game on Sunday at the 2013 WFTDA Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gotham advanced to the semi-final by defeating the Ohio Roller Girls of Columbus, Ohio, 509-64 and Bay Area beat the Windy City Rollers of Chicago, 230-135.
The first half was characterized by general pack and penalty parity for the two teams and short, single-pass jams. Gotham steadily increased their score against the California team throughout the first half with solid jamming from Bonnie Thunders, Suzy Hotrod, Claire D. Way and Vicious van GoGo. The second half saw more jammer penalties than is typical for Gotham and a steady decrease in the gap, with Bay Area going on a couple of large scoring runs. In the end, however, it wasn’t quite enough and Gotham advances to the final while Bay Area will play for third.
The bout began with Bonnie Thunders on the jammer line for Gotham and Nock Nock for Bay Area. Nock Nock was awarded lead jammer status heading into turn 1 with Bonnie Thunders breaking out of the pack about half a track behind. She managed to score 2 points before calling it off while being sent to the box for a forearm, which allowed Gotham’s Suzy Hotrod to begin the next jam unopposed and rack up 19 points. After five minutes, the score stood at 22-7 for Gotham. In the following jam, Gotham found themselves with only one blocker on the track and Lulu Lockjaw managed to steal points and win the jam 4-3 over Suzy Hotrod. Claire D. Way was called on a track cut giving Bay Area their first power jam of the game. Nock Nock followed suit with her own track cut releasing the Gotham jammer from the box. Bay Area won the jam 5-2 bringing the score to 34-16 for the New York team with 18 minutes remaining in the half.
Jam 13 saw Bay Area jammer Lulu Lockjaw stuck in the pack for two minutes while Bay Area’s blockers manage to masterfully keep Bonnie Thunders to only one full scoring pass, preventing her from getting lead for 47 seconds. Bay Area gained some steam with Bricktator picking up lead jammer and four points and Chantilly Mace managing to again steal a jam from Suzy Hotrod, 4-3. With ten minutes remaining in the half, the score stood at 57-24 for the skaters from New York. Chantilly Mace capitalized on a forearm penalty by Suzy Hotrod adding 18 points to Bay Area’s score and calling the jam with Suzy Hotrod standing in the box.
With 25 minutes played, the score was 68-42 in favor of Gotham. The final jam of the first period saw Bonnie Thunders on a power jam for Gotham, Nock Nock having been sent to the box on a forearm. She would put up the most number of points in a single jam of the first half at 23 and bring Gotham above the century mark with the scoreboard reading 102-47 at period’s end.
The second half saw Gotham continue to jam Bonnie Thunders every other jam and Bay Area use their four jammer rotation of Chantilly Mace, Bricktator, Nock Nock and Lulu Lockjaw. In the third jam, Nock Nock secured lead jammer and five points with Bonnie Thunders stuck in the pack. Lulu Lockjaw followed Nock Nock’s performance with lead jammer and four points as Gotham jammer, Clare D. Way was sent to the box on a track cut. Chantilly Mace began the next jam alone on the jammer line, picking up lead jammer and five points before Claire D. Way would return to the track.
After five jams in the second half the score was 118-66 for Gotham. Bonnie Thunders was sent to the box on a track cut allowing Bricktator to pick up lead and increase Bay Area’s unanswered scoring streak to 26 points. In the following jam, Suzy Hotrod found herself on a power jam with Nock Nock going to the box on her fourth penalty of the game. With just under twenty minutes left in the game, the score was 143-74 for Gotham. Bay Area then went on the power jam with Vicious van Gogo heading to the box on a back block. Nock Nock pushed her way through a Gotham three wall for her initial pass and picked up five points before Vicious can Gogo was released from the box, only to return less than a lap later on a track cut penalty. With fifteen minutes left in the game, the score read 145-97.
Bay Area held Gotham scoreless for 7 jams while putting up 34 points themselves on their second scoring streak of the half and securing lead jammer status 6 out of 7 times. Their streak would end with a box trip by Lulu Lockjaw while Suzy Hotrod scored five points prior to being sent to the box herself. With just over five minutes left, the score read 150-117 for Gotham.
"Bay Area decided that the best defense was to force the Gotham jammers to try to make holes and not give them any opportunities," Bay Area skater Shannon Ball Dorato said of their second half performance. "We were practicing our walls, sticking together, closing our creases and not making any big movements, forcing the jammers to try and make their own holes and we managed to be successful."
The 2012 champions would finish out the game strong, though, slowly increasing their lead and finishing with a power jam to win the game 174-125.
Justin Campoy, Gotham's coach, credited the Gotham "hive mind" for the strong finish.
"We remembered who we are. Hive mind," he said.
Gotham Girls Roller Derby (Asheville #1) 174
B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls (Salem #1) 125
Gotham will play the Texas Rollergirls from Austin at 6 pm CST Sunday for first place and Bay Area will play the Denver Roller Dolls from Denver at 4 pm CST for third.
Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.