Bout #4 determines which teams will fight for the Championship Trophy in May.


Its that time of year that we all look forward to: PLAYOFFS.  With only 4 teams in the league each started the night with hopes of keeping a championship dream alive.  But by the end, we would be down to two.  The storylines are always there, but on this night they just seemed so much greater.  For the Crazy Eights, the question was whether they could continue their 12-bout win streak and keep the drive for a 5-pete alive.  Or, would the Rushin’ Rollettes (the last team to beat the Eights in Bout #1 2013) advance and play for their first championship since 2010?  The second semi-final had two teams still looking for their first ever championship as the Shevil Knevils took on Maiden Milwaukee. Regardless of what anyone anticipated coming into this night, I promise you nobody foresaw what ultimately went down.

Bout #1: Rushin’ Rollettes 149 – Crazy Eights 145

It was just about a month ago that the Eights beat the Rollettes 163-113 for their league record 12th consecutive win.  But tonight was different.  Tonight was the playoffs.  One team’s quest for a championship would end, the other would advance and keep the dream alive.  Sixty minutes is all that stood between these teams and their future, and the excitement started right from the first whistle.

The Eights were able to jump out to a quick 17-10 lead after the first 4 jams, but there was a lot of hope for the Rollettes.  Despite being outscored, the Rollettes took lead jammer status in 3 of those 4 jams.  Last month it took the Rollettes 8 jams to collect 3 lead jams, so it was clear that this was going to be a very different bout and this was a very different Rollettes team.  Although the Eights were able to jump out to a bit of a lead by the 20 minutes-to-go mark (30-15), that was the largest lead of the first half.  Jam 9 saw Rollettes Jammer Frau Kapow pull back 9 points and close the gap to 31-26, and then two jams later Skully Wheeler took advantage of a Zo-Tay track cut to pull the score even at 34-34 with 14 minutes left in the half.

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The Eights traditionally end the first half incredibly strong and this bout looked like it was going to be no different.  After the Rollettes tied it up, the Eights jammers (Sharkira, Schoolhouse Rock, and Cookie Ciano) took three straight lead jams and opened up a little 44-35 lead.  With Jam 15 of the half now upon us the Eights turned to BCB All Star Latina Heat to take the star and open up the gap.  Unfortunately for the Eights, things got a little weird at this point.  Just as Latina Heat was about to clear the pack and take lead jammer status she was called for a forearm penalty.  As she was skating to the penalty box she had a skate malfunction that caused a few of her wheels to fall off one of her skates.  Skates do break from time-to-time, but the timing here was clearly to the advantage of the Rollettes.  Taking full advantage of the Eights misfortune, Rollettes jammers (Steamy Wonder, Frau Kapow, and Reina Pain) took lead jammer the next three jams and opened up a 50-45 lead for the Rollettes.  Zo-Tay and Sharkira were able to get the lead back just before the half, but we had a bout on our hands.  The Eights led 69-66 at the half, and the next 30 minutes were guaranteed to be exciting.

The first two jams of the second half saw little movement, but things changed with the 3rd Jam.  Towards the end of jam 3, Rollettes blocker Carrie A. Hacksaw received a penalty for an out-of-play hit on EmFatale.  After the jam, the officials convened and it was determined that the hit warranted Hacksaw receiving an expulsion and forced her to sit out the rest of the bout.  That meant the Rollettes would have to skate with just 18 for the final 24 minutes.  And for awhile they were holding up well.  The next 9 minutes saw both teams put forth an excellent battle, which brought us to the 13 minute mark with the Eights holding a small 113-110 lead.

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Thirteen minutes was all the teams had between them and a spot in the championship.  Initially, it was the Eights who looked to gain control.  The Eights took lead jammer over the next three jams and opened up a 132-114 lead with about 8 minutes remaining.  But sure enough, the Rollettes just would not give up.  Jam 14 saw Steamy Wonder take a 9-0 jam over EmFatale.  Frau Kapow followed that up with a 4-1 jam in Jam 15, and then Skully Wheeler used another Zo-Tay jammer penalty to take an 8-0 jam and just like that the Rollettes now had a 137-133 lead with about 4 minutes remaining.  A jammer penalty by Cookie Ciano in the second to last jam of the bout allowed Mellon Collie and the Rollettes to take a 142-133 lead with just 1:44 remaining.

And here we go.  Time for 1 more jam.  A spot in the championship is on the line.  The Eights turned to BCB All Star Sharkira to save the day.  On the other side, the Rollettes placed the star on Steamy Wonder.  Lead jam status was of the utmost importance and Sharkira kept the bout alive by getting lead jammer, then started collecting points.  Steamy Wonder wasn’t too far behind here and we witnessed two incredibly intense minutes as Sharkira raced to get as many points as possible.  Unfortunately for her, despite winning the jam 12-7, it just was too little too late.  The crowd was on their feet and blowing the roof off the UWM Panthers Arena as the Rollettes held on, won 149-145 in one of the biggest upsets in BCB history, and secured their place in the championship bout next month.  For the Eights, the chance at a 5-pete was over.  But they have nothing to be ashamed of, 4 BCB Championship in a row is an accomplishment that may never be repeated again and they will be back in a month looking to take 3rd in the 3rd-Place Bout.

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MVP Jammer: Steamy Wonder – Steamy had a pretty good bout overall, but when the Rollettes needed her to step us she was there for them.  Anyone taking the star for the last, and most important, jam of the bout with a spot in the Championship on the line had to be feeling the pressure.  But you would never guess it as Steamy was able to keep her energy up for the entire two minutes and it was her 9 points that sealed the win for the Rollettes.

MVP Blocker: Carabunga – Carabunga was a stalwart throughout the entire bout and was able to lead her packs on two big fronts.  She was able to serve as the leader of her pack and then also serve as a last line of defense for the Rollettes.  On numerous occasions she was able to hold up an Eights Jammer just long enough for her teammates to join the fight and keep the jammer back for an extended period.  While Carabunga is a truly worthy MVP, I would be shortsighted if I didn’t mention the great leadership and blocking of Stryker and T-Lo as well and the great team effort they put forth.

Bout #2: Maiden Milwaukee 238 – Shevil Knevils 21

With one spot in the championship already determined, the only question was who the Rollettes’ opponent was going to be.  Last month the Maidens took a 190-105 victory over the Shevils and tonight’s bout showed that was just a sample of things to come.

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The Maidens came out fast and furious taking the lead jammer status in each of the first 6 jams, opening up a 27-0 lead.  The Shevils were able to get lead jammer in 3 of the next 5 jams to close things up a bit at 31-9.  But then things got out of control.  The lead jammer status in Jam 11 was the last time the Shevils were lead jammer for the rest of the first half.  Those were also the last points they scored as the Maidens took lead jammer in the next 15 Jams, encompassing over 17 minutes, and took a 138-9 lead into the halftime break.

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The second half began just as the first half ended as the Maidens were the lead jammer for the first 8 jams of the half and the score was 190-12 before the Shevil’s Milwaukee’s Breast took the first lead jam of the half for the Shevils.  The Maidens continued to dominate the remainder of the bout and booked their place in the championship with a 238-21 win.

It truly was a dominating performance for the ages as many BCB records were set tonight by the Maidens.  But records aren’t a championship and they will need to bring their A-game next month as they take on the Rollettes if they are going to win their first BCB Championship.

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MVP Jammer: Super Hera – There were so many great Maiden Jammer performances tonight, but it is hard to overlook Super Hera and her season best (and BCB season tying w/ Scooter in Bout #3) 11 lead jams.  Super Hera also gets the extra bump as it only took her 12 jams to collect those 11 lead jam statuses all while only taking the star twice in the second half.  Her points margin was also equally impressive as she maintained a 30-7 edge.

MVP Blocker: Danger – Whenever you hold a team to 21 points that indicates an amazing team effort.  But I want to highlight the effort Danger made by showing amazing grit, putting herself constantly into great positions to slow down the Shevil’s Jammers and helping spring her own jammer into the clear.  She may just be a rookie, but she is playing well beyond her years at this point.

The Finals are now set and the teams will be back in action Saturday, May 9th at UWM Panthers arena.  The opener will feature the Crazy Eights taking on the Shevil Knevils for 3rd place.  And then in the Championship we will have Maiden Milwaukee looking for their first ever championship win against a Rushin’ Rollettes team looking for their 4th championship overall, but first since 2010.

Chad “C-Rob” Robinson

 



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