The third bout of the season pitted teams with similar strategies against each other, creating a multiplier effect resulting in a slower strategic game with the Hellbombers against the Hard Knockers, and a fast-paced game with Cleveland Steamers versus the Rolling Pin-Ups.
This season, the Hard Knockers have been playing to their strength as a team of hard hitters by employing the slow jam start where a team’s blockers wait just infront of the jam line allowing them to dominate the back and start the jam with the opposing jammer hitting their wall. As in the last game where the Knockers beat the Cleveland Steamers, this can be effective if the other team doesn’t adapt quickly enough.
The Hellbombers chose to combat this by also playing the slow game at the start of the jam. This resulted in jams starting much like a game of chess, full of strategy, but, not much action. But, this jostling for pack domination was short lived as each team’s agile jammers often were able to find a hole they could burst through.
The Knockers were able to gain a small lead at the beginning with the lead alternating in the first ten jams, but several jams in a row with Hellbomber jammers Sparkles, Eduskator, and Professor Booty immediately bursting through the slow wall gave their team a lead they managed to hold for the rest of the game. Once through, the Hellbombers knew to keep the pack fast so the Knockers couldn’t re-establish their strong walls.
The Hard Knockers were able to hold the score down, so the spread stayed around 60 for the second half. But, just couldn’t rally enough to avoid giving the Hellbombers another win.
The next game with two quick teams, the Cleveland Steamers and Rolling Pin-Ups, also resulted in a multiplier effect of strategy giving a remarkably fast paced game. This was also a smartly played game. It was often the case that each jammer got through close to the other, so that the lead jammer could only pick off a few points before being forced to call off the jam.
The Steamers held lead in most of the first half. But, the second half started shaky for the Steamers as they started to rack up more penalties, letting Pin-Ups catch up. The Steamers were able to hold it until the last jam of the night when Pin-Ups had a one point lead at 73-72 with 53 seconds left on the game clock.
Steamer jammer Rainbow Fright got lead on Pin-Up jammer Punkd Pixie and the Steamer blockers were able to hold Pixie enough to give Rainbow a half track lead. But, Pixie was able to break through and the Pin-Ups kept the pack fast to get away from Rainbow so that they could hold their lead with just seconds left. With Pixie right behind, Rainbow finally caught up to the pack. She whipped off fellow blocker CupQuake who then stayed back to keep Pixie at bay while Rainbow continued into the fray where she was able to pass a few opposing blockers and quickly called it. Hoping she got enough points and that Pixie didn’t get any, Rainbow watched the score board with the rest of the Wolstein center to see the Pin-Ups didn’t score but the Cleveland Steamers received two points and a one point victory of 74-73.