PORTLAND, OR — One of the biggest clichÃ©s in sports writing is to refer to a game as â€œa tale of two halves.â€ That being said, the opening bout of the Western Regional tournament was a tale of two halves. Jet City dominated the first thirty minutes, and Tucson woke up and made a game of it in the second half, but Tucsonâ€™s first-half hole was too deep for them to escape a 168-100 loss.
Tucson started out strong as Bianka Trohl picked up lead jammer and called it off in time to give Tucson an initial 2-1 lead. It was Tucsonâ€™s only lead of the bout. On the next jam, Tucsonâ€™s Sami Automatic quickly committed a cut major, giving Jet Cityâ€™s Snack Size a power jam. With the help of blockers Devilynne Side, Trixxieâ€™s Trashâ€™n, Nasty Nikki Nightstick, and Teeny Bopper holding the pack completely still, Snack Size was able to pick up a 24-0 jam, the biggest of the bout. Snack Size would go on to lead all jammers with 51 points. The next three jams featured Jet City jammers Precious N. Metal, Unshine, and Ivana Hercha all picking up lead jammer and calling it after 4-0 scoring passes. This put Jet Cityâ€™s lead at 37-2 after five jams.
Eight minutes into the bout, Tucson tried a pack strategy that proved effective throughout the bout. The pack started with a knee down in front of the Jet City jammer Sierra Fist. After the quick release, Tucson held Sierra Fist while Tucsonâ€™s jammer Lindsey LoBlow battled her way through the Jet City wall. Tucson succeeded with this strategy on the next two jams to cut the lead to 39-14.
Jet City then went on a tear. On the next 12 jams, they got the lead jammer whistle 10 times, outscoring Tucson 48-8. Ivana Hercha collected 18 of her 46 points in this stretch. Jet Cityâ€™s Marilyn Gun-Hoe, aside from scoring eight points while donning the star, also provided the hit of the game. Coming out of the box, she snuck up behind Tucson jammer Myna N. Possession and floored her with a â€œHIYA!â€ With 1:30 left in the half and Jet City leading 87-23, Tucson jammer Bianka Trohl tacked on her fourth minor to give Sierra Fist a power jam. And, again, Jet Cityâ€™s blockers, Beelzababe, Devilynne Syde, and Nasty Nikki Nightstick, controlled the pack giving Sierra Fist a 15-0 jam and Jet City a 102-23 lead at the half.
The first thirteen minutes of the second half looked like more of the same from Jet City. They picked up eight lead jammer pointers on the first ten jams and earned their largest lead, 134-37. Most notable in this stretch was a 16-0 jam by Jet Cityâ€™s Ivana Hercha and Jet Cityâ€™s suffocating walls. When Tucson jammer Lindsey LoBlow tried to sneak off the line around the Jet City wall, Beelzababe was there to lay her out.
Tucson came storming back getting lead on eight of the next nine jams. Lindsey LoBlow, Tucsonâ€™s lead scorer with 44 points, started off the rally with a 19-0 power jam when Snack Size went to the box for a major forearm penalty and was joined by a rotating cast of Jet City blockers. Tucsonâ€™s three-jammer rotation of Sami Automatic, Bianka Trohl, and Lindsey LoBlow each took turns chipping away at the lead on the next three jams, forcing Jet City to call a time out with 12 minutes to go and the score at 136-66. Despite the timeout, Jet City fielded Sierra Fist who was sitting on three minors — she promptly picked up her fourth trying to get through the increasingly common rugby scrum in front of the jammer line, giving Sami Automatic a 9-0 power jam to cut it to 136-75 Jet City.
Jet City continued to keep the penalty box fully stocked, allowing Tucson to whittle the lead down to 140-91 with five minutes to go. Snack Size was able to give Jet City their first positive-point-differential jam in over ten minutes when she gained lead jammer status and called it off after a 4-0 run. It looked like Tucson might have a chance to make a significant run at the lead when Jet City jammer Ivana Hercha headed to the box after a high block, but Tucson jammer Bianka Trohlâ€™s cut let Ivana Hercha loose from the box.
With 1:30 left in the bout, Jet City in the lead 149-100, and Tucsonâ€™s jammer in the box, Tucsonâ€˜s comeback hopes were all but dead. Snack Size skated out the remainder of the bout, a 19-0 run, to give Jet City a 168-100 win and an opportunity to face top seed Oly at 3pm this afternoon. Tucsonâ€™s next bout is 11:30am Saturday against the loser of tonightâ€™s Denver-Rat City bout.