BALLWIN, MO — Seeding held in both games of Arch Rival’s local playoff doubleheader as the 2nd-seeded M-80s capitalized on second-half powerjam opportunities to claim a 182-127 victory over the 3rd-seeded Smashinistas.
The last time these two teams tangled in November, fourteen lead changes occurred. It looked like that was going to happen again early on. Following a bout-opening three-pointer scored by Smashinistas’ jammer The Educator, the M-80s’ EnYa Nightmare countered with seven to give the firecrackers a 7-3 edge. Downtown Dallis scored four on the next jam for the Smashies to tie the score 7-7 at the 26:00 mark.
The M-80s capitalized on a power jam at 24:15, enabling Black Market Baby to score 15 points and give the ladies in red a 22-7 advantage.
Up 32-20 at the 17:00 mark, BMB scored 14 points, extending the M-80s’ lead, 46-20.
The Smashinistas countered with Brickyard, a new acquisition from last week’s league supplemental draft, who rolled out a 14-point power jam, cutting the deficit to 47-34 at 14:20. An 8-4 Smashies’ run on the next jam narrowed the gap to 51-42. The Educator netted eight at 10:44 to make it a one-point affair, 51-50.
May Require Stitches posted four to extend the M-80s’ lead to five. The Smashies’ Educator followed with two, making the score 55-52.
With 3:18 left in the period, Stitches posted a 19-point punch for the M-80s and extended the lead to 76-52.
Dallis collected a pair of four-pointers for the Smashinistas to finish the first half. Up 76-60 at intermission, the M-80s knew that their lead was anything but safe.
The camo-clad troops fired quickly to begin the second period. Dallis scored nine to begin play to help the Smashies cut the deficit to 76-69. Stitches tacked on four for the M-80s on the next jam to push the lead back to double digits.
An 11-8 Smashie run off the next jam – paced by Brickyard – narrowed the gap to 88-80 with 25:15 left.
Unfortunately for the third seed, that would be closest they would come as the M-80s went on a 59-10 run during the next ten minutes. Stitches netted scoring strikes of 12 and 17 while BMB hit a 15 and 10-pointer to help the M-80s pull ahead 147-90 with 14:00 remaining.
Undaunted, the Smashies went on a 14-0 run on the next three jams to narrow the deficit down to 147-104. But just as soon as a glimmer of hope was obtained, penalties began to ultimately dismantle the Smashinistas. Capitalizing on their fourth power jam of the half, BMB scored 23 with 3:15 remaining to give the firecrackers a 178-117 cushion.
“Those were game-changing situations,” Black Market Baby said of the quartet of second-half power jams that netted 62 points. “It was amazing but I almost think that was more luck of the draw for myself.”
The second seed outscored the Smashies 106-59 to earn their placement in April 28th’s championship bout.
Unofficially, BMB’s 97 topped M-80s’ scoring, followed by Stitches’ 43.
For the firecrackers this season, a return trip to the league’s championship bout after a one year absence was a priority from day one.
“That was our goal,” Black Market Baby said following the bout. “We are a team that gets more cohesive when we play together continuously. I think tonight helped us push that point higher and higher.”
And what’s it going to take to push that point to the pinnacle against the Stunt Devils come April?
“I’m not giving away strategies,” the co-captain said wryly.
The Smashinistats were unofficially paced by Dallis’ 47 points followed by Brickyard’s 43 in her ARRG debut.
M-80s: Black Market Baby 97, May Require Stitches 43, EnYa Nightmare 24, Munchausen By Foxy 14, Kimical Burn 4
Smashinistas: Downtown Dallis 47, Brickyard 43, The Educator 37