East 7th Place: 7E Boston Bests 8E Carolina, 156-128

BURLINGTON, VT — For the second time in two games, Boston found themselves up against one of their most storied regional rivals when they matched up against Carolina in the 7th place game at East Playoffs. Carolina led the game for most of the first 40 minutes and was still threatening in the final minutes, but the key of the game was a huge, barely-opposed power jam for Boston’s Ivanna Shankabitch; that second-half 34-0 was more than the margin of Boston’s 156-128 victory.

Bout stats via Rinxter.

The teams traded 4-0 jams to start the game, and it was 8-6 Boston after four jams; the first power jam advantage went to Carolina’s Holly Wanna Crackya, who took Carolina through the game’s third lead change by taking 9-0. She handed off the power jam to DVS, but effective blocking from Ginger Kid held DVS to just 2 points on the other side. With eight minutes gone in the first half, Carolina led 17-8.

Both of the next two jams were tied — 2-2 and 3-3 — as lead jammers were just a little bit late on cutting off the action. That left Carolina ahead by the same margin at 24-13, but Carolina expanded it over the next two with the help of a jammer penalty on Boston’s Ginger Kid. That power jam saw Thrashley pass the star to Jesse King and move the board to 33-13 about midway through the first half.

Stuck on the wrong side of a 4-2 pack situation, Boston continued to lose ground on a 9-0 to Carolina’s DVS; they called their first timeout at 14:50.

Spectacular boundary-line work from Boston blocker Vixen Ta Hitcha against Carolina’s DVS finally broke the Boston drought on a 5-0 to Ginger Kid; Hayley Contagious took her first turn with the jammer star to continue the Boston rally with 3-0. With 11:38 in the first half, Carolina called their first timeout while leading 42-21.

That break didn’t slow Boston’s momentum, though. Two jams later, Boston got a 14-4 power jam to narrow it to 46-39 — though it could have been worse without some effective slow defense by Jojo Gadget. Unfortunately for Carolina, that jam ended with Jesse King the only Carolina blocker on the floor against a full Boston pack, and Boston got to within single-pass range at 46-43. Apparently sensing the lead about to slip away, Carolina called their second timeout with 7:08 still to play in the first half.

Boston took lead jammer status on the next jam on a particularly pretty jam that saw Ivanna Shankabitch take a scoring pass on the outside at the exact same moment that Holly Wanna Crackya sailed over the apex to score on the inside; the jam ended with Boston unable to get a margin at 8-8, and Carolina clung to their narrow three-point lead.

Carolina stayed barely ahead to the last jam of the half, where they managed to get a little bit of daylight on an Ivanna Shankabitch jammer penalty; DVS turned that into 15-0 and closed out the half at 77-56 with Shank still stuck in the box.

Boston very slowly ate into the Carolina lead in the opening five minutes of the second half, closing to single digits at 80-73 on the back of an Ivanna Shankabitch 4-0 and then getting a beautiful mohawk pass around the very outside edge of turn 3 from Maya Mangleyou to once again make it a one-pass game at Carolina 80, Boston 77.

Two jams later, Hayley Contagious finally put Boston in front by a point, 85-84, with 19:33 to play — and in more bad news for Carolina, they lost one of their key blockers as Jesse King fouled out. That was the beginning of an extremely penalty heavy section of gameplay that saw both boxes full for the majority of the next four jams.

The teams traded the lead on each of the next two jams, but the second was a gigantic power jam for Boston as Carolina was reduced to just Daisy Rage all alone on the track. Ivanna Shankabitch was nearly untouched on six scoring passes for a 34-0 and made it 119-89. Boston’s lead grew to 130-96 over a sequence that saw both Jojo Gadget and Ms. Anthrope the Mordant foul out of the game for Carolina.

Carolina got an opportunity with 11:26 to play, as Lil’ Paine ran over opposing jammer DVS from behind and was boxed as DVS called it; that set up a full minute for Holly Wanna Crackya against an extremely light 2-1 pack favoring Boston. Anna WrecksYa and Salome Splatter couldn’t hold her back much — but then Holly helped them out a bit by committing her own major back block. With the power jam advantage flipping, the jam ended up going 15-10 Carolina, making the score 140-111 going into the last eight minutes.

Carolina kept pace but could not narrow it over the next four jams. With under five minutes to play, Boston was still sitting on a 29 point lead at 144-115. Boston delivered the finishing blow there, as Ivanna Shankabitch took lead and 12 unanswered points while Holly Wanna Crackya was wrapped up by Anna Wrecksya, Shark Week and Crown Joules. That moved the Boston lead to 41 at 156-115 with only 2:51 to play; Boston allowed most of Carolina’s remaining points in the course of running out the clock on the final jam, and was never in danger of losing that lead before winning 156-128.

Boston’s win means both teams end up finishing at their initial seeding coming into the tournament.