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Detroit Derby Girls: Bouts 2 & 3 of the 2013-4 Season

Bouts 2 & 3 of the Detroit Derby Girl's 2013-4 season, at the Detroit Masonic Temple, on November 16th, 2013.

Bout #2: Devil's Night Dames versus Pistolwhippers

Last season ended with the Devil's Night Dames finishing in 4th place, and the Pistolwhippers finishing 5th. Both of these teams knew going in that they were jockeying for position that night. The first jam was decisively in the Devil's Night Dames favor. The Pistolwhippers' blockers weren't holding their wall formation, and their jammer, Killshot, got sent to the penalty box. All of that allowed Feta Sleeze to score the Dames 18, against the Whippers' 4.

In the second jam, Swift Justice, jamming for the Dames, took a big hit. The jam had to be called off, and Swift had to be helped off the track. It was discovered later that night that she had broken her leg, as did teammate Careem The Dream at the end of the bout.

Penalty problems kept the Whippers trailing in the first quarter of the bout. While their jammer, Perish-Her, was in the penalty box in the 6th jam, Lost and Found scored 15 for the Dames. Then in the 8th, Terror Ettes scored 15 while Off the Hook's penalty kept her out of play. The 10th jam was much like the 1st, with Killshot going to penalty box, and Feta Sleeze scoring 19, putting the Dames ahead, 72-18.

The Pistolwhippers started to get their footing in the 13th jam. Off the Hook scored them 13 unanswered points. It was their first double-digit play of the bout. Lost and Found gave the Dames their first jammer penalty of the night in the 14th jam. Lazer Beam pounced on the power jam. She scored 29 points. Now the Whippers were only down 70 to 63. 3 points from Killshot in the 15, and another 5 from Off the Hook in the 16th gave the Pistolwhippers a 1 point lead.

Terror Ettes outscored Lazer Beam 4-2 in the 18 jam, giving the Dames the lead again. 3 points gave the Whippers the lead again in the 19th, and 4 points let the Dames take it again in the 20th. Lost and Found widened the Dames' lead when she scored 18 in the 22nd jam while Off the Hook was put out of play by another penalty. Lazer Beam narrowed it again by scoring 15 in the 24th while Catch La Fever, jammer for the Dames, was sitting in the penalty box. The Dames were still ahead at the half, 98-91.

Killshot evened out the score in the 1st jam of the second half with her 7 point play. Off the Hook put the Whippers ahead with another 3 points in the 3rd. Killshot got another jammer penalty in the 4th jam, and Feta scored the Dames 10 points, and created another lead change.

A 14 point gain by Lazer Beam in the 6th jam put the Whippers ahead again, 119-113. Perish-Her scored them another 15 in the 7th jam, giving the Pistolwhippers their first double-digit lead of the night. Off the Hook made a big 19 point play in the 9th jam, and now her team was ahead 157-113.

The Pistolwhippers' penalties was threatening their lead again. When Killshot got sent to the penalty box again in the 10th jam, Lost and Found scored 21 points for the Dames, putting a big chip in the Whippers' lead. When Perish-Her got sent to the penalty box in the following jam, the Whippers' defense was far more effective. They kept Terror Ettes to just a 4 point gain, and kept their lead, 161-138.

Over the next 9 jams, the Pistolwhippers only let the Dames score 4 points. During that time the Whippers made a few big plays. Off the Hook scored 19 points in the 14th jam, and Perish-Her scored 19 in the 17th. The score was 212-142 in the Whippers favor going into the 21st jam and final jam when Lazer Beam got sent to the penalty box. Feta then made the Dames' biggest point run of the night by scoring 25, but that wasn't enough time left for them to build on that surge. Victory for the Pistolwhippers, 216-167.

Post-bout thoughts from Captain Murder City Mistress of the Devil's Night Dames:
Detroit Area Dork: How are you feeling right now about that bout?
Murder City Mistress: I feel really good about it, especially with losing one of our best jammers right in the first jam. I think we did good. We pulled it together. We have a really deep bench, so we can throw anyone in. The girls did a really good job of coming together and filling in the gaps, rearranging. It's really hard when you have a plan, and you have to throw it out the window and rearrange. They did a great job.
D: Tell me the new lineup for this season.
M: A lot of these girls have been skating together, and really working on their skill levels the past couple of years, and you can tell it's been really paying off. This team is more intense than I've ever seen it. Usually they're really lighthearted and fun. I've never seen these girls play so hard. I'm really excited to see what they do this season, just bringing that intensity to the track that they've been working on on the track this last couple of years.
D: What players retired during the off-season?
M: We lost Yo-yo, who was the captain last year. She has a back injury that she can't recover from, so she's out. We also lost Muffy Mafioso. She's taking a season off, trying to decide if she's going to come back or not. She's been busy for as long as I can remember. Two mainstays of our team are gone over the offseason.
D: Your team was leading pretty big early on. How did you get that lead right away?
M: I think we just really played together. Our motto is "Play together, stay together, win together". When we play as a team, and we play as four blockers on the track, I think we're unstoppable. Sometimes mentally, you start to fall apart, and your lineup falls apart. That's where we lost it tonight.
D: What do you think the other team did to pull ahead like that?
M: I think they played smart. They kept putting really strong plays out there. They were breaking up our walls. They were just playing great offense. Lead jammer wins the bout, and they did a great job of getting lead jammer.
D: What do you think the team has to work on in preparation for the next bout?
M: I think it's just everyone working together a little more. Being able to bring ourselves back together when get broken up. Adjust our lineups a little bit. Really working on pulling it together, and learning how to regroup when we start to get separated, get back together. Play solid, standard derby.

Captain Lazer Beam dragged fellow team captain CottonCandy Princess in my direction so that I could get some post-bout reflections from the two of them:
Detroit Area Dork: So what are you thinking right now about that bout?
Lazer Beam: Exciting. We won. Yay!
Cottoncandy Princess: Very happy we won.
D: How did the Dames get the drop on you so fast? They started with a big lead in the beginning of that first half.
L: During the first jam our jammer went to the box. They scored 14 points right there, and it was just a waterfall effect from there with penalties for the Whippers. Luckily we were able to clean it up, and come back with the win.
C: I agree.
D: What did you change up in order to close up the point gap?
L: When we went to the locker room, Candy told the team "You've got to skate more conservatively. You can't go for those big hits. You've got to stay in your wall. When you're out there alone, you're an easy target". The team listened to her directions, and we tried to slow it down and play our game more, instead of letting them play their game on us, and it worked.
C: Slow down, and stay together.
D: You had a lot more jammer penalties this bout compared to the last one. Why do you think that is?
L: We had a different ref crew.
C: Definitely a different ref crew.
D: Nothing other than that?
L+C (in tandem): Nope.
C: That's all we're saying about that.
D: What did you do to hold onto that lead during the second half?
L: I feel like I was helping out to manage a little bit on the bench with the jammers. Being smart about when to call it off. We had the lead. If their jammer is out, kill the clock a little bit. Skate, let them run the clock, then call it. We did some of that. We tried to stay clean as far as not going back to the box. [Manager] Blossom [Bruiso] did a good job of making sure the jammers had fresh legs before putting us in. The blockers not going to the box. Blockers listening to directions. Jammers listening to what we were saying. Coach Flip and I on the sidelines, it just helped.
C: I think just all of us playing more conservatively as a group helped a lot in the second half.
D: What do you think you have to do to prepare for the next bout?
L: We have...two months off?
C: Two months off.
L: Two months off, so we have to do a lot of off-skates workout because we won't have as many practices. We're going to need to stay focused, and we're going to have to remember how this feeling is tonight, so we can take it into the GPM game.
C: We'll have the mid-season draft before the next game. We'll have some new girls again.

Bout #3: Detroit Pistoffs versus D-Funk Allstars

Much like the first bout of the night, the second featured two teams who ended the last season close in the rankings. The Detroit Pistoffs finished second, and the D-Funk Allstars finished 3rd. The tension of this bout was a little more palpable from my perspective, as I was snugly entrenched between the aggressive front row seat snatching families of USS DentHerPrize of the Pistoffs, and Smack Morris of D-Funk. They didn't have any ill will towards each other. That was saved for whoever had managed to use a secret agent to save a group of seats in the front row before the public had been allowed in.

D-Funk took the lead in the 1st jam, with their jammer Ally Sin Shoverland outscoring Cookie Rumble, 4-1. D-Funk dominated the first 9 jams, getting lead jammer status every time. The 9th jam saw Princess Die, jammer for the Pistoffs get sent to the penalty box, and RAMMpaige scoring 9 for D-Funk. D-Funk was well ahead, 38-7 at this point. Princess Die was still serving out penalty time when the 10th jam started. Ally Sin Shoverland got sent to the box, and Die was then able to get lead jammer status for her team for the first time. After scoring just one point, Die got to the penalty box again, which allowed Ally to come out early, and give D-Funk another 10 points.

The Pistoffs point total didn't reach double digits until the 13 jam. USS DentHerPrize scored them 7 (see Mama Dent, I said something nice about your daughter), bringing them up to 16, against D-Funk's 60. D-Funk then didn't score for the next 4 jams. The Pistoffs made gains for all 4 of those jams, including a 9 point gain from Cookie Rumble in the 17th. D-Funk's lead was now only 60-39.

D-Funk broke the scoreless streak in the 18th, when Ally scored 9. With some more modest point scoring, D-Funk ended the half with 83 points, while the Pistoffs brought their total up to 65.

The second half didn't have any jammer penalties. Power jams are the leading cause of big plays, so the second half didn't have too many. Most of the jams saw gains of 4 points or less. There were only two plays with double digit scoring, and they correlated with the jammer passing on the jammer helmet star cover to the player in the pivot position, thereby switching their roles. It's such a rarely used tactic in this league, I often forget that the rules allow it. In each instance it was done by the team that was getting blown out in that jam. In the 15th jam, Princess Die passed the star to Freakin' Rican, while Turbulence scored 10 for D-Funk. In the 21st jam, Roxanna Hardplace passed the star to Black Eyed Skeez, while Combat Cat gave the Pistoffs 15 points, their biggest gain all night.

Overall for the second half, the Pistoffs outscored D-Funk 71-69. That two point gain didn't do much for them because D-Funk was ahead 18 points at the end of the first half. D-Funk achieved the second upset of the night with their 152-136 victory.

D-Funk also gives interviews in wall formation. Post-bout thoughts from Captain Fatal Femme, Captain Eight Mile Rose, and Manager Uniballer:
D: What are you thinking right now about that bout?
Fatal Femme: I'm thinking it feels really dang good to beat them after losing to them for the last two years.
Eight Mile Rose: I agree.
Uniballer: I'm thinking I need a beer, and then I need to start worrying about the next one.
D: What did you do to keep that lead towards the end of the game?
F: We've been going over so many scenarios, and the scenarios just kept playing out over and over again. The last three practices we've been working on...
8: ...holding the line, stopping up jammers that have been pushing really hard. Just working those scenarios over and over again in practice seemed to work.
U: Just roll. Every jam is 0-0. You play every jam the best you can, and just keep rolling. Don't look up at the scoreboard. It's not worth it. Just play every jam 0-0. Play that one. Worry about the one you're in. That's the way we do it.
D: In the second half, the lead wasn't quite as large, and they started to narrow it. What were they doing differently to pull that off?
8: I don't know if it was them, as much as it was us. We kind of got a little bit too excited, and in our heads a little bit I think. We had to calm down and bring it back to basics.
F: They started their momentum the last two jams in the first half, and it carried a little bit in to the second half. We were able to keep the lead the whole time, and keep the defense. I think our defense really helped us in the second half. As far as them pulling away, we'll have to look at that and try harder next time.
U: Not to take anything away from them, when we made our mistakes, we were up by sixty points. We made our mistakes, we corrected them, and then we just chugged along. Again, not to take anything away from them, but we can only control what we can control, and that's us.
D: Is this really Ally Sin Shoverland's last game?
8: It's her second last game.
F: Yes, it is. We're really really hoping she changes her mind and moves back. She's got a life out there with her boyfriend. As of right now, she wants to play Windy City while she's there. Once she joins Windy City, she can't come back. We'll see. I'm not going to stop trying to talk her out of it.
U: This is going to be like The Who's going away concert. It's going to go on twenty years. We'll see what happens.
D: What kind of skill-gap is that going to leave when she's gone?
F: Since we're really good friends with her, hopefully she'll come back and teach us stuff. It's going to be real hard without her. She's been primarily our main jammer all season for us, and she does it very well. We'll have to figure it out.
D: It's going to be a couple of months until the next bout. Does that give you a lot of time to practice?
F: We get barely any practices the next two months. We're going to have to find a way to scrimmage other leagues, or get practice time on our own, but it's not given to us.
D: What are you going to be working on when you can practice?
F: The same thing.
8: Endurance. Since we'll be off-skates quite a bit, we'll try to keep our endurance up. Hopefully just stay together as a team.
F: Walls, walls, walls. We still not to get back together quicker.
U: You can't replace someone like Ally. Fortunately, everything we do, we do as a team, and somebody will step up. We'll get it done.
8: We got some really good draft picks this year. Maybe we'll have somebody just as good as Ally in a couple months.

New captain of the Pistoffs, Belle Isle Hurtya:
Detroit Area Dork: What are you thinking about that bout right now?
Belle Isle Hurtya: It was a tough loss, but I think that we pulled it together after the first quarter of the game. We held them to within about 20 points for the second half, so I think we did pretty good.
D: They had a larger lead in the first half, and you closed that gap a little bit. Did you guys change your game play at all?
B: Not really. I think it just takes us a little bit of time to get warmed up. We tend to be like a second half team, so we usually start a little rusty, and kind of figure out how to play together again.
D: Now that you've seen this new lineup play, what do yoy think about some of your new players?
B: I've got some really nice talent. Especially Flam-Babe. She was our #1 draft pick this season. She's been a really solid blocker. She's got years of experience on flat and banked track. She's definitely a seasoned vet. We're really excited to have her. She's doing some awesome stuff. Swamp [Stomp] and Nuke [Town] have really started to blossom since they've come on the team. I've seen them improve in leaps and bounds, so we're pretty excited.
D: What players did you lose during the off-season?
B: We lost Bully Mammoth, and Mexigo. They both retired. We got back Bruisie Siouxxx. She was travel team only last season, and we got her back to the team this year.
D: What do you think the team needs to work on in preparation for your next bout?
B: I think probably just defense. We tried to focus on defense, and I think we had a few holes there in the beginning. If we can just fine tune some of those issues, I'll think we'll be great.

All photos by Dan Bachorik

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I'm a dork, I live in the Detroit area, and sometimes I take blurry photos on an outdated camera