D1S: (2) Atlanta Outpaces (10) Toronto, 219-171

D1S: (2) Atlanta Outpaces (10) Toronto, 219-171 Photo courtesy of Donalee Eiri, Photography by D.E.sign

SALEM, OR–After opening the tournament with an upset win, big things might have been expected of Toronto–and indeed, when they had all their blockers on the track, their walls proved the equal of Atlanta’s, a fact which was reflected in a breathtakingly close game halfway through both the first and second periods.

But Toronto gave up multiple power jams in the first period and frequently operated at a pack disadvantage, thus finding themselves in a 138-70 hole at halftime. The second half was more of the same; a penalty-free run saw Toronto bring it within a single jam halfway through the period, but Atlanta’s experience told in far more consistent and penalty-free game play, giving them a 219-171 victory.

Atlanta leapt out to a 28-0 lead in the first four minutes of play, but Bambi Riot put her team on the board with a 4-0 in the fifth minute and Motorhead Molly backed that up with lead jammer status and a 3-0 of her own, making it 28-7 with 24 minutes remaining in the period.

Duelling three-walls made Atlanta jammer Belle of the Brawl struggle for her lead jammer call–but she then got a power jam as Toronto’s jammer was whistled to the box on a forced cut. Their defence held her to just 10 points, though, forcing her to call the jam and send Hollicidal in to finish out the power jam. She added a quick 8 before calling it off as the opposing jammer returned to play, bringing the score to 46-7 with 9 minutes gone.

Low block penalties on two Atlanta blockers in quick succession during jam nine left Motorhead Molly working with a 3-2 pack advantage next time out–and she turned that into a quick lead jammer call for Toronto and an equally quick 4-0. That made it 50-21 in Atlanta’s favour.

A couple of minutes later, Toronto had their first power jam of the bout as Merchant of Menace cut her way to the box–and with Atlanta blockers queuing to serve penalties, it was a huge opportunity. Bambi brought it within just two points with a 25-0 run, calling it off at 52-50 with 13 minutes in the half. Motorhead Molly delivered the lead change in the next jam with a 4-0 as Menace’s penalty expired.

Toronto’s lead lasted about five minutes before Jammunition ran up several natural grand slams, with her defence forcing a star pass along the way, to make it 77-57. A 4-2 pack advantage next time out let Atlanta secure their lead and stretch the margin to 92-57 as a Toronto time-out stopped the clock with seven minutes to go. Another Atlanta power jam with a pack advantage let Merchant push it to 110-57; Hollicidal went out to finish the power jam with a 4-2 pack advantage and made it 120-57 with 4:30 on the clock.

Atlanta continued to rack up the points while holding Toronto scoreless until just 30 seconds before the period expired when Candy Crossbones put up a much needed 13-points on a power jam; going into the locker room, Atlanta held a 138-70 lead.

The Dirty South Derby Girls opened the second period with more of the same and the score stood at 154-79 with seven minutes gone when Merchant of Menace landed in the box with the Atlanta star. Toronto added four points and the jam ended seconds later; Bambi went out to finish up the power jam and put up 18-0 to make it 154-101 with 21 minutes to play.

The next jam went 0-0 and the one after that saw dueling jammer penalies — but Atlanta’s jammer cut the track a second time to hand Toronto an unopposed scoring opportunity. A star pass secured them a couple of points, but the jam expired before the Atlanta jammer’s penalty did, leaving Bambi to finish out the power jam with a 4-2 pack advantage.

She struggled with Atlanta’s heavy hitting, though, getting laid out on the outfield and when Belle of the Brawl returned to play, she acted as a fifth blocker, hitting Bambi out and recycling her back.

Another power jam for Toronto let Dusty pull the score within a single jam, making it 157-133 with 13:20 on the clock before Hollicidal returned to play.

But Atlanta stopped the advance there, going on a 29-0 run over the next two minutes and then calling an official review to request, unsuccessfully, a back block call. Play resumed with Merchant of Menace on a power jam and with a 4-2 pack advantage; she added 10 before Motorhead Molly returned to the track and then four more to bring Atlanta to the double century mark, 200-133 with 10 minutes to go.

With five minutes left to play, Toronto had a big opportunity; they trailed 216-157 but Hollicidal landed in the penalty box alongside two of her blockers, giving Bambi a power jam with little opposition. She added nine before calling off the jam after taking a big hit and landing on her tailbone, wincing noticeably as she got up.

The remaining jams of the game were low-scoring as both teams settled for a snatched point or two; Jammunition secured the win for Atlanta, picking up lead jammer status and calling off the jam right as the period clock expired with Atlanta leading 219-171. The Dirty South Derby Girls progress to meet Rat City tomorrow at 4 p.m PST.