By Thomas Gerbasi
For a while in the July 16 bout between the Queens of Pain and the Brooklyn Bombshells at Abe Stark Arena in Coney Island, it looked like Queens was about to rebound from their lone loss of the year and secure yet another trip to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby league championship game on August 27.
But it was not to be, as a one-time 69-20 lead turned into a 179-152 loss that sent the unbeaten Bombshells to John Jay College for an opportunity to defend their title against the Manhattan Mayhem.
“It will definitely be a good matchup between our teams,” said Brooklyn MVP D.A.R.Y.L. “It's going to be an intense game but it's a really great way to end the home team season.”
Queens, the four-time winners of the league’s Golden Skate Trophy, will now play the Bronx Gridlock in this Saturday’s third-place game. “It is always physically and mentally demanding to play Bronx,” said Queens’ MVP Pinky Swears. “We have very different styles of game play. Queens is about recycling and utilizing speed changes. Bronx plays a slow and controlled game with effective delayed offense, so you have to be on guard and ready to anticipate the next move. We joke they are ‘the Land of the Giants,’ whereas Queens is a fairly ‘vertically limited’ team in comparison.”
The idea of Queens playing this weekend and not in three weeks didn’t seem realistic early on in their battle with the Bombshells. Shortstop put up 48 of her team high 73 points in the early going, and soon, the ladies in black were up by nearly 50 points. Brooklyn was on the ropes, but not rattled.
“We were able to trust each other and our leadership that we were stronger than how we started the game,” D.A.R.Y.L. said. “It only takes a jam or two to get back in the game, so we just kept our heads up and kept fighting.”
And while Queens aimed to put the nail in their rivals’ coffin, penalties allowed Brooklyn back in the game. “We went into the game knowing we needed to remain calm and super focused to be able to pull off a win against the very challenging Brooklyn team,” Pinky said. “We were able to build a lead at the beginning, but as derby often proves, there is no such thing as a solid lead. Penalties, of course, are often what can win or lose a game. Even with getting lead 60 percent of the game, we had some trips to the penalty box that came at very critical moments, like during power jams, and we just weren't able to gain the traction we needed to jump ahead again.”
By the 20th jam of the bout, a 22-point effort from Miss Tea Maven gave Brooklyn an 87-73 lead,and while Queens superstar Suzy Hotrod put her squad up by 10 points at halftime, Brooklyn regained the advantage early in the second period and never let it go, setting up what should be a memorable championship game. Yet for the blue-clad bombshells, they expect it to be business as usual.
“I think that we're just going to keep doing what has been working for us,” D.A.R.Y.L. said. “Working hard, practicing our basic formations, and being mindful of penalties and staying clean.”
QUEENS vs. BROOKLYN STATS
Queens 100 52 152
Brooklyn 90 89 179
Queens MVP – Pinky Swears
Brooklyn MVP – D.A.R.Y.L.
Leading Queens Scorers
Shortstop – 73 points (19 jams)
Suzy Hotrod – 72 points (20 jams)
Beauty Andie Beast – 7 points (6 jams)
Leading Queens Blockers
Puss ‘N Glutes – 31 jams (+20)
Livvie Smalls – 31 jams (-42)
Chopstick Murphy – 25 jams (+35)
Leading Brooklyn Scorers
Miss Tea Maven – 107 points (28 jams)
D.A.R.Y.L. – 51 points (14 jams)
Hela Skelter – 12 points (4 jams)
Leading Brooklyn Blockers
Sexy Slaydie – 37 jams (+89)
Lady Fingers – 28 jams (-13)
Papierschnitt – 25 jams (-30)
Minutes in Box: 35 Jammer Box Trips: 4
Minutes in Box: 30 Jammer Box Trips: 4
Stats compiled via Rinxter
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