BY JIM ALMY
Both of the all–star teams for the Rat City Rollergirls roller-derby league scored victories Saturday night in bouts at KeyArena. Neither win was assured until the second half and both required a combination of coaching, courage and conditioning that left their opponents out-matched.
The Rat City “B” all-star team, the Rain of Terror (ROT) opened the night against a team from San Jose, Calif., representing the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, the Dot.Kamikezes. Though ROT trailed early, they were ahead at the end, 206-97.
Ray City’s “A” all-star team (AST), ranked No. 18 in the world and expected to move up when the May standings are announced, entertained a squad from Everett’s Jet City Rollergirls, the Bombers, in the late bout. A strong second half earned AST a 258-119 win.
In the first bout, after jumping to a quick 25-4 lead after four jams, ROT found itself shut down by the D.Kams for the next eight jams, scoring only eight points and trailing 38-33. At that point jammer Rattleskate piled up 19 of her 39 first-period points, putting ROT ahead, 52-38. ROT maintained and stretched that lead to the final winning margin. Rattleskate’s breakout scoring jam came behind the blocking of Parker Eyeout, Megan Havok and Endora Finn Rush. That line was also instrumental in blanking the D.Kams scoring threat, Mad 4 Gravy, by blocking her out of bounds, then forcing her to re-enter the track well behind the pack in a maneuver called recycling.
ROT coach Inspector Parts said his team had been working in practices at slowing the game down. “We did not want to let them set the pace,” he said.
AST led by 34 at the half of the second bout, 108-74, against a team many thought they would dominate. The size of the Bombers’ blocking crew prevented that. It also led to an imbalance in penalties over the first 30 minutes. AST was called for 27 violations, the Bombers 12.
Bombers Coach Tre Le Trash said that he thought AST was collecting penalties as they tried to move his team around. “We’re a bigger team,” he said.
Bigger but just as agile.
AST stayed in the bout because their blockers were able to contain the jammers for the Bombers. Through the first seven jams, AST held a 36-4 lead, only allowing the Bombers one scoring pass of four points. Credit for their superior line play was widespread. Raven Seaward, Ophelia Melons, Kendle Bjelland, Shorty Ounce and P. Wilhelm were among those who frustrated Bomber scoring attempts.
Conditioning played a roll in the scoring imbalance of the second half. AST added 150 points while holding the Bombers to 45.
“Rat City was in superior shape,” coach Le Trash said. “They were in better condition and it showed in the second half.”
AST next plays late this month in Los Angeles for three bouts before returning to Seattle to host the Houston Roller Derby All-Stars in KeyArena on July 12.
Jim Almy is a former sports reporter covering pro, college and high-school sports for newspapers in Michigan. He moved to Washington in the mid-1970s, and owned and published the Eatonville Dispatch for 10 years. Now retired, he reports weekly on local roller derby where his kids say he is having way too much fun.
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