15 August 2012

A8otF Games 4-6

Game 4: Hartford vs. Shoreline [photos from this bout]

These two teams have a friendly rivalry going -- they trade wins back and forth and are very well-matched. Hartford has more cohesion and strategy while Shoreline has more strength and defense, so the outcome of a bout comes down to who's on the roster and what sort of day they're having.

For this bout, Shoreline was having a good day. They took a decisive lead with a 15-0 first jam and never let go. Hartford did their best to keep up, and proved to be excellent at getting a jammer though the initial pass in no time flat, but Shoreline made better use of power jams and held onto Hartford's jammers through scoring passes. The halftime whistle blew with Shoreline leading 50-24.

Shoreline kept up the strong defense thorough the second half, holding Hartford's score steady for six consecutive jams despite Hartford having lead jammer for two of them. The final two-minute jam sums up the game as a whole: even with a star pass, Hartford only picked up 3 points while Shoreline scored 14. On another day, Hartford might've turned the tables, but on this day, at this tournament, Shoreline took the win 97-53 and advanced to the next round.

Game 5: Worcester vs. Rock Coast [photos from this bout]

The hometown crowd was, naturally, excited about this bout. Worcester used their home track advantage to full effect for most of the first half, taking the lead in jam 2 and holding it until the last jam. Somewhere in the middle of the half, though, Rock Coast figured out Worcester's game and started chipping away at their lead, finally taking over in the last jam to end the half at 46-39.

Once they were in Worcester's heads, Rock Coast took control of the second half. With more lead jammers and more power jams, they turned a modest lead into a solid one, finishing up the game with a 100-55 win. At this point, it was clear that Rock Coast was the team to beat in this tournament, and we eagerly awaited their next bout.

Game 6: Maine vs. New Hampshire [photos from this bout]

There were two lead changes early in this bout, but once Maine got their groove on, there was no stopping them. They used lead jammer status and power jams more effectively and restricted New Hampshire's scoring to a mere three jams in the first half, holding a comfortable 45-18 lead at the whistle.

New Hampshire improved in the second half, nearly matching Maine's number of scoring jams, but falling short on points. With a faster learning curve, New Hampshire might have been able to keep the score closer, but Maine kept the pressure on and won the bout 94-51, wrapping up Day 1 of the tournament.