Naptown Takes Knoxville To School
Saturday night the Naptown Roller Girls, The Tornado Sirens, battled it out with Knoxville Tennesse's Hard Knox All Stars for a neck and neck, action packed bout. Skates blazed, falls were taken, fists flew and chairs were thrown in one of the most spectacular matches yet.
Indianapolis certainly had something to prove, beginning the night with one win and two loses, after rubbing shoulders with Minneapolis in March and failing to match speed with ... girth. Northstar had some size on their side and our leaner Sirens couldn't seem to muscle their way past the opposition. This match looked to be no different as Indy sized up the competition.
Hotly skated, and closely scored for the first period, both teams fought hard for each point. Tempers flared quickly and near the end of the first period a spill in turn four turned into Naptown's first ever brawl. The first thing that I saw was Knoxville's number 8her, Black-n-Blue, with her arm around the neck of our own Touretta Lynn and the two were going at it on the floor.
In the frenzy to break up the fight, Naptown's coach, Mr. Whip was ejected from the match ... for something. I'm not sure what. It may have been for his involvement in breaking up the fight, or fighting with the player themselves. Or ... I don't know. Mr. Whip showed his displeasure by tossing a chair, Bobby Knight style.
Even more confusing was the depature of one of the visiting referees, who was also involved with the scrum (sorry - the name escapes me). Reports are sketchy and Naptown's messageboards does not have a post on the game as of this writting. If anyone knows - please drop a comment below.
Jane Ire on the jam.
The fight was unfortunate and I believe it was a bit of a blow to Knoxville. Neither of the fighting players were ejected, though the crowd called for Knoxville's brawler to be removed. As it was, Black-N-Blue sat down for a decent amount of the rest of the match. From my most uninformed opinion, Black-N-Blue was a fairly decent blocker and had managed to tie many of Naptown's jammers on previous rounds.Naptown rallied from the fight and subsequent ejection of their coach to end the first period with a substantial lead.
Second and third periods were simply brutal. While Naptown was not able to put big numbers on the scoreboard, they were effective at keeping their distance from Knoxville. In a war of attrition, it came down to the final seconds of the game, with Knoxville needing only 9 points to win; 91 to 83 in Naptown's favor. If Naptown lost the jam or if the jam became a full two-minute "open" jam (neither player being eligible to be lead jammer), Knoxville could easily come back.
With less than two minutes left on the clock, the round turned into a full two minute jam. All Naptown would have to do is keep points coming and Knoxvilles jammer tied up and they would have it. The clock ticked down, the round was fought with much agression and then - the clock ran out and the announcers called "game over". Naptown scored no points on the jam, but Knoxville only came away with five points. Cheers resounded and the crowd began to trickle out, high on the second win by the home team.
Ten minutes after most of the crowd had left and everyone thought that the match was over, the announcers called for a sudden death round. Sudden death? Why? And why did the scoreboard now read 91 to 91?
Boom Shockalocka edges through the pack.
It seems that since the final round was an open jam, it needed to run its entire length of two minutes regardless of the period timer. The jam officially had about 40 seconds left when the announcers prematurely called end of game (I thought the match ending before the two-minute jam was up as kind of odd too - I'm not even sure if it was really the announcers who mis-called the game or if it was the officials). It was determined that Knoxville could have scored (or did score - I'm not sure) an additional three points, thus creating a tie. To say that this was a confusing end to the bout is an understatement.
So here we go - sudden death over-time! A two-minute round was set up and either jammer could score from the start. Whomever scored the most points, would of course win. The remainder of the crowd was on its feet for those two minutes, circling the rink and mindless to their own safety as the girls elbowed and shoved their way around the oval.
It was a tense moment as the dry erase board was raised to the annoucers table and cheers went up from our girls in red. Naptown's Blazin Ace had pulled out 9 points on the jam and Knoxville, only 4. Final score - Naptown 100, Knoxville 95.
May 12th will see the final match in the Sirens home season. I'm not sure if the team then goes on the road but stay tuned for updates as they come.
Knoxville's Goblynn looking evil on her jam.
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