(BALLWIN, MO) Saturday’s local flat-track action for Arch Rival Roller Derby (ARCH) and GateKeepers Roller Derby (GKRD) saw the weekend winners claim victories late and vault upwards in each league’s three-team complexion.
In the women’s opener at Midwest Sport Hockey, defending ARCH local champions the Stunt Devils thwarted the M-80s, 253-230, and claimed sole possession of second place in the standings. Meanwhile in the men’s nightcap, the Central West Friends unlocked a three-team tie in the GKRD Turf Wars standings with a 149-138 victory over the Creve Coroners.
Saturday’s pair of tight differentials has been congruent in the scores for both leagues throughout the season. They continue their respective six-event, regular season docket on Saturday, March 11 at the Queeny Park sports court.
ARCH: STUNT DEVILS 253 M-80S 230
At the league’s season opener last November, the two rivals scored an eye-opening 388 points combined as the Stunts claimed a 12-point duke.
On paper heading into Saturday’s re-match, one couldn’t assume a repeat for a variety of common-sense reasons. To start, both teams had progressed defensively and had acquired veteran blockers via a supplemental draft held a few weeks back. As a result, lower-point surrenders were projected.
More directly, lethal Stunt jammer Bricktator was out of the mix in the game-day line-up. The All-Star posted 86 points at the season opener but would be absent here. For knowledgeable local derby fans, the loss of a key cog in the scoring rotation could potentially lead to lower results in the stat book.
In the end, all assumptions were proven wrong as the Stunts, now 2-1 with the 23-point win, accumulated its second-highest point total in a local play since team inception ten seasons ago while clinching automatic entry into ARCH’s league championship game set for late-April.
“We’ve had some really good private practices together,” reflected Stunt Devils’ co-captain Cruella Belle-ville of her team’s current upward trajectory. “We picked up some great players in the last draft. We’re hoping to utilize them and meld well together as a team.”
En route to Saturday’s triumph, the Stunts utilized a 52-21 second-period stretch that was propelled by three power jams.
Leading 7-0 after two jams, Stunt Devils’ jammer Aggie Wartooth collected a nine-point strike to push her team’s lead to 16-0 at the 26:30 mark.
Then after a 2-1 snatch by the M-80s in jam 4, Stunts’ jammer Psychokid D’ Freakout posted a 14-point strike with 24:20 left in the period to push the defending champs’ lead to 31-2.
The M-80s sawed away at the deficit and with blocking anchored by Fir Serious?!?, Snoop Dogwood, Pine as Buck, Lumberjam, Branch Devereaux, Rhino Might, Jenny Loggins, Sequoia Destro-ya, Chop It Like It’s Hot, Fionna Crabapple and Ginger, whittled the score to 40-23 following Shoulder, CO’s 7-3 jam with 17:10 remaining in the half.
After the Stunts collected a pair of points in jam 10 that extended the lead to 25, their jammer committed a late-whistle penalty resulting in a power start for the M-80s in the ensuing rotation. Jammer BEECH, PLEASE quickly grabbed lead and began making multiple scoring passes. The end result was a mind-melting 33 point mega jam that resulted in the M-80s’ 50-42 scoreboard flip with 14:00 left in the period.
The lead was shortly maintained as the Stunts posted 19 straight. With Violet Opposition’s fiver followed by D’Freakout’s 14-pointer at the 11:20 mark, the daredevils reclaimed a 61-50 advantage.
As the half drew to a close, the Stunts claimed six straight lead jams and stretched the score to 106-87 heading into the final rotation.
Unfortunately the M-80s, the period’s final jam would be best described as a “logjam of penalties.” With a Stunts’ power jam in tow and a perpetual rotation of red-flannelled skaters in the box, jammer Beaver Knievel notched a 34-1 gut buster that resulted in the defending champs’ 140-88 lead at intermission.
The M-80s went to work quickly in the second stanza and narrowed the score to 140-102 following BEECH’s14-point power jam opener.
The Stunts responded with a 36-16 run over the next six minutes. With blocking provided by Shear-Ra Powers, Nox, Bruise Almighty, Fletch A Sketch, Hakuna Renata, Goldie Blocks, Pegasass, Joan of Spark, Ophelia Bottoms, Wonder Thighs, Cruella Belle-ville and Hardcore Parkour, the Stunts pushed the score to 177-114 with 22:35 left.
The M-80s tried to keep pace with 19 straight points, finished by Megabirch’s four point pass with 18:30 left that made the score 176-133.
The Stunts then made its most significant rush with the aforementioned 52-21rally that stretched over the next six jams. Launched with Opposition’s 13-point power jam and concluded by Knievel’s 28-12 strike with 9:38 remaining, the daredevils pushed their lead to 228-150.
To their credit, the M-80s refused to surrender and made the game interesting down the stretch. Following BEECH’s 10-point power jam, Colorado’s 33-4 power jam scored with 6:00 left sliced the differential in half, 232-193.
In the end, time became a factor. Although the M-80s outscored their rivals 142-113 in the second period, the margin was out of reach for late-game heroics and the Stunts skated away with 253-230 victory to improve to 2-1 on the season and punch a one-way ticket to ARCH trophy game in late-April.
Knievel’s game-high 128 points set a new personal benchmark in local scoring, three other Stunts recorded over 35 points each in Saturday’s ledger and the squad’s 253 total points sits second all-time behind a 270-point output against Rebel Skate Alliance in January 2014.
No Bricktator? No problem!
“Our bench is very deep and very versatile,” said Belle-ville afterwards. “We have players that can pivot, block and jam. I think that was our benefit tonight, just being able to reach out those others that could fill in with Bricktator’s absence.”
Swanson scored 104 points for the M-80s (0-3), who face ARCH standings leaders the Smashinistas (2-0) on Saturday, March 11.
“We just need to work together more,” assessed Swanson afterwards. “It’s pretty simple that we have to build up that chemistry.”
For more information on Arch Rival Roller Derby, go to their official website.
STUNT DEVILS (253): Beaver Knievel 128, Psychokid D’ Freakout 46, Aggie Wartooh 39, Violet Opposition 35, Hakuna Renata 6.
M-80S (230): Shoulder, CO 104, BEECH, PLEASE! 87, Megabirch 15. Branch Devereaux 13, Ginger 9.
GKRD: CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS 149 CREVE CORONERS 138
In the men’s tussle, the Central West Friends trailed for a majority of the second half but netted a 36-0 run deep and flipped the scoreboard with five minutes left en route to breaking the league’s three-way tie in the standings.
Trailing 3-0 after one jam, CWF posted 24 straight as HEYNONGMAN’s nine-point tally was followed by Last Rites’ 15-point punch that resulted in a 24-3 advantage at the 26:30 mark.
That spread remained at the same clip over the next eight minutes as the Friends maintained a 42-19 lead after Bower Ranger’s four-point jam with 18:15 left in the period.
The Coroners, paced by blockers Boney Fangers, Hulk, Irving, Sir Nixalot, Double Excel, Specs Offender, O’ Connell, Otter Nonsense and Shred Astaire, then surged ahead with a 29-1 momentum shifter over the next six jams. After The Doc notched a four-point pass in Jam 11, Cat Daddy followed with a grand slam that narrowed the score to 42-28 at the 14:00 mark.
Following a 1-1 push in Jam 13, the Coroners snagged a power jam that resulted in Doc’s 10-point strike that sliced the score to 43-39 with 11:05 left in period.
West County’s finest reclaimed the lead, 44-43, with Cat Daddy’s grand slam and Magnum P.I.M.P.’s four-point tally finished the run that saw the Coroners holding a 48-43 advantage with under nine minutes left in the period.
After two scoreless rotations, the Friends netted back-to-back four-point jams for a 51-48 scoreboard flip with 3:10 left in the half.
The Coroners netted the fourth lead change of the period as Magnum’s 14-point jam on the next rotation resulted in a 62-51 takeaway.
At intermission, the medics held a 70-56 edge over the Friends and extended that lead to 103-76 near the second period’s midpoint.
CWF netted 14 points straight as power jams from Rites and Bower sliced the score to 103-90 with 14:05 left in the contest.
Magnum’s 15-point jam quickly quelled the opposition as the Coroners pushed the score to 118-90.
Friends’ blocker-by-trade Monster Jam then snatched a nine-point strike in Jam 15 and Rites followed with a 7-4 rotation with 9:40 left in the game that shored the score to 122-106.
CWF then cobbled the aforementioned 36-0 run over the next six jams thanks to the stellar work of blockers Percy Controll, Monster Jam, Great Stromboli, Sogo, Cpt. Kramerica, Thrillhouse, Fruit Wall-Up, Poppa Choppa and newcomer Yoshi.
Bower started the push with back-to-back lead jams that collectively yielded seven points and sliced the score to 122-113 with 7:10 left. Wall-Up then donned the star in Jam 19 and notched a 10-pointer resulting in the Friends netting a 123-122 lead change with 5:45 left.
Rites kept the momentum rolling with a four-point power jam that pushed the differential to five points, Bower’s 10-point power jam with 3:10 left widened the margin to double digits and Rites’ nine-point reading with under two minutes left finished the rally as CWF held a 142-122 advantage.
The Friends outscored the Coroners, 93-68, in the second period en route to the 149-138 victory and claim sole possession of first place in the GKRD Turf Wars standings with a 2-1 record. Bower finished the night with 50 points followed by Last Rites’ personal best of 47. CWF is idle next month and returns to Midwest Sport Hockey in April.
The Creve Coroners (1-2) were paced by Magnum’s 67 points followed by The Doc’s 43. The medics are still in contention for a slot at the GKRD Turf Wars’ April finale and must beat defending league champ Raiders of Forest Park (1-1) on March 11 to keep the dream alive.
For more information on GateKeepers Roller Derby, visit their official Facebook page.
CENTRAL WEST FRIENDS (149): Bower Ranger 50, Last Rites 47, Fruit Wall-Up 22, HEYNONGMAN 21, Monster Jam 9.
CREVE CORONERS (138): Magnum P.I.M.P. 67, The Doc 43, Cat Daddy 18.
Here is the Arch Rival Roller Derby post-game interview with Stunt Devil’s co-captain Cruella Belle-ville and M-80s’ jammer Shoulder, CO.