Republished with permission from ArchRivalRollerGirls.com.
BALLWIN, MO — Building upon a 41-point halftime lead, the Stunt Devils (3-0) powered their way to a 147-80 victory over the Smashinisitas (1-2) to grab the top seed in the February 4 Arch Rival playoffs with an undefeated regular season record.
This season, three of the four local squads have had to perpetually adjust their line-ups due to injuries and retirements. The Stunt Devils are the lone exception to this rule. It seems that going against the norm has served them well. Heading into Saturday’s battle, the Stunts would try to capitalize on the absences of Smashie blocking lynchpins Shimmy Hoffa (injury) and Jezebelle (retirement).
And the ladies in purple would also continue to strengthen what is already a solid foundation.
“We have a solid core pack, which is our veteran skaters,” said Stunt Devils’ co-captain Deathica Steele of her team’s complexion. “And our skaters who have not have as many years are getting a lot of time out there and adding to that core. That’s helped us a lot.”
A full roster is a luxury to have. To have a consistent jamming quartet of Artemischief, Mighty Mighty Boston, South City Shiner and Morgan LeFaetal is a luxury to have. To have veterans Mayor Francis Slayer, Grave Danger and Steele lead the charge out front is a luxury to have. To have a promising collection of rookie and sophomore blockers at your disposal is a luxury to have. No pre-bout scramblings or adjustments are nice luxuries to have.
A collection of points from the aforementioned Stunts’ jamming quartet resulted in a 14-3 lead five minutes in. The Smashinistas’ Boom Boom Pow and Downtown Dallis added four and five, respectively, to whittle the lead down to 14-12 at the 22:16 mark.
Back-to-back five pointers from Shiner and Boston extended the Stunts’ lead to 24-12 two jams later. An 8-4 Smashies run off the next three jams reduced the gap to 28-20 Stunt Devils midway through the half.
The Stunt Devils proceeded to go on a16-0 rally as the first period progressed. Highlighted by a nine-point jam by Shiner midway, the Stunts pulled out to a 44-20 lead with under ten left in the half. The Smashinistas went on a 10-4 run – propelled by Dallis’ non-lead eight-pointer – to draw the gap to twenty, 50-30, with 5:24 left in the half.
The Stunts countered the mini-surge with a 19-0 run down the stretch. Boston’s nine point strike was followed by Artemischief’s 10-point power jam, extending the Stunts’ lead to 69-30. By picking up lead and points in final two jams, the Stunt Devils cruised to a 76-35 halftime advantage.
“We really worked hard on reducing our penalties because we knew that that could really set us back,” said the Stunts’ Steele of the first half play. “We focused on our walls, staying together as a pack and keeping our cool.”
That collective coolness continued in the second half. A 12-3 Stunts’ run to start the frame extended the lead to fifty, 88-38. Dallis grabbed lead on the next jam and scored three for the Smashinistas at 24:35 to stop the surge — but only for the moment. The Stunt Devils utilized another streak â€“ a 19-0 run off the next three jams â€“ to keep a Smashie comeback at bay. Boston’s nine-pointer from a power jam was followed by four from LeFaetal and Shiner’s six. The Stunts found themselves in control with a 107-41 lead with 20:00 remaining.
This 70-point cushion would remain intact for the remainder of the second half. Despite brief flashes of scoring – notably a 16-pointer scored by Dallis with 9:10 left – the Smashinistas were never able to chip away at the lead due to stubborn Stunt blocking. The Stunts Devils outscored the Smashinistas 71-45 in the second half to pick up the 147-80 victory and charge into the playoff round as the top seed with its 3-0 regular season finish.
All four Stunt jammers finished with at least 20 points in the bout. Unofficially, Boston paced the way with 57 points, followed by 36 and 34 from Shiner and Artiemischief, respectively.
The Smashinistas – who finished the regular season 1-2 and head into the post-season as the third seed – were paced by Dallis’ 48 points. Frustration was evident on the Smashie faces as Saturday night’s bout progressed. One can expect a modified game plan to be drawn up in the next couple of weeks in playoff preparation.
And even with their undefeated regular season, the Stunts will also have to prepare non-stop heading into February. With three teams breathing down their necks, they can ill-afford to rest on their laurels. In summation, the Stunts can’t get cocky…and the purple brain trust won’t allow that to happen.
“We’re really grounded people,” said Steele. “We’re not arrogant at all. We just really love what we love to do and that can go a long way.”
And that is a luxury.
Unofficial scoring stats:
STUNT DEVILS – Mighty Mighty Boston 57, South City Shiner 36, Artemischief 34, Morgan LeFaetal 20
SMASHINISTAS – Downtown Dallis 48, The Educator 24, Boom Boom Pow 8