The last night of March was a blustery and rainy night, typical for early spring in San Francisco. A sold-out crowd of over 1,200 flat-track roller derby fans sought refuge inside Fort Mason’s Herbst Pavilion but there was a storm brewing inside as well. The B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls returned to San Francisco this year with an exciting match-up between the hometown team the San Francisco ShEvil Dead and their free-lovin’ transbay rivals, the Berkeley Resistance. By the end of the night, the storm had cleared and the ShEvil Dead skated away with an impressive 150 – 74 victory. A misleading score for sure as much of the bout was a tight defensive battle between two strategic and strong teams.
The ShEvil Dead set the tone for the evening in the first four jams as they displayed impressive defense with consistent and small offensive bursts to hold a 10 – 0 score. In Jam 5, Berkeley jammer Steely Jan struck back with two points to get the Resistance on the score board. From that point forward, the first half of the game was a defensive show-case with each team putting up just a few points here and there before calling off the jam.
In Jam 7, with the score sitting at 14 – 2 San Francisco, the Resistance called a much needed time out to discuss how to regroup. It’s not known what was said during the huddle but what is known are the effects. The Resistance fought back with the heaviest of defense. Berkeley kept the Dead from scoring a single point in five consecutive shifts and put up 13 unanswered points of their own. By the thirteenth jam, the score was just 18 – 15 in favor of San Francisco.
Then in the following shift, ShEvil Dead jammer Nock Nock pulled off the only double digit jam of the first half when she scored 14 points while the veteran Dead pack consisting of Slaybia Majora, Luv U Longtime, Booyaya!, and Sugar Pusher held Berkeley scoreless.
At halftime, with what might be one of the lowest scoring halves in B.A.D history, the San Francisco ShEvil Dead held a narrow lead over the Berkeley Resistance with a score of 51 – 37. While the scoring in the first half of the bout was slow and staggered, the second half of the night saw several high-scoring runs and many penalties piling up for both teams.
The first few shifts of the second half were fiercely defensive. Only four points were scored during this time and all four were scored by Resistance jammer Dirty Lil Trick. Those few points separated the two teams by just ten points as the score was 51 – 41 going into 27thjam of the night.
Halfway through the second half of the game, the ShEvil Dead started to mount their offensive attack on the heels of four large power jams. During jam 31, Trixie Pixie scored a 12-0 jam against Brawllen Angel, only the second double digit point run of the night, to bring the score to 79 -44. In the 33rd jam, Nock Nock pulled down an impressive 20 points by using her notorious speed while Berkeley’s jammer La Chica Mala served a penalty, and increased the Dead lead to 99 – 54. Two shifts later, Lulu Lockjaw scored a 13 – 0 jam as Dirty Lil Trick was sent off. Just a few minutes later during the 37th jam, Trixie Pixie was able to score a game-high 28 points in a power jam. By the time Trixie’s wheels cooled off, she had rocketed the Dead to a 140 – 57 lead with less than ten minutes remaining in the game.
In the remaining ten minutes, the Resistance pulled out all the stops to close the point gap. Though they outscored San Francisco for the remainder of the game, the deficit proved to be insurmountable and the ShEvil Dead clinched their first 2012 home team victory with a score of 150 – 74.
San Francisco relied heavily on their two long-time jammers Nock Nock and Trixie Pixie. Nock Nock, who jammed for nearly half of the game, scored a staggering 71 points. Trixie Pixie, with her huge 28 point power jam, collected a tidy 50 points in total. Lulu Lockjaw, a recent transfer to the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls from the nearby Santa Cruz Derby Girls, picked up 28 points in eleven jams.
The Berkeley Resistance spread the jammer love a little more broadly as they had six different skaters donning the star throughout the game. Steely Jan, another recent transfer to B.A.D., scored the most points for the Resistance with 27 points in ten jams. Steely Jan proved to be a valuable pick-up to the team as she gained lead jammer status 70 % of the time and never sat in the penalty box as a jammer. Dirty Lil Trick was the next highest scoring jammer with 16 points in seven jams. Right behind Dirty were La Chica Mala with 14 points and and Brawllen Angel with 13 points.
Both teams seemed to rely heavily on the same core veteran players for their packs along with some relief from their newly acquired rookie players. Penalties for both teams were relatively even. When all was said and done, the Berkeley Resistance suffered just a little more in the penalty box as they had players boxed 42 times compared to 35 for the ShEvil Dead. With an evenly matched team of blockers for both sides and neither team being decimated by blocker penalties, the game seemed to come down to those four power jams in the second half. The San Francisco ShEvil Dead executed the perfect power jam pack strategy during those times to maximize their scoring chance and secure their victory.
Both teams will play next at the May 12th double header B.A.D bout “As the Wheels Turn.” The Berkeley Resistance will take on the Oakland Outlaws while the San Francisco ShEvil Dead is set to bout against the other as-yet-undefeated team, the Richmond Wrecking Belles.
by Killer Vee