August 6 was an epic final home bout of the 2016 season! The Ypsilanti Vigilantes hosted the Killamazoo Kill Squad. Kill Squad started out very strong, taking the lead for the first six jams. The Vigilantes nibbled their way to stay in the game, and took over the lead by the seventh jam of the first half. Smart call-offs by the Vigilante jammers and great offense by their blockers kept the Vigilantes in the lead, going into the half with a score of 118-91.
The second half was a nail-biting battle between two teams that wanted the win. Each jam went back and forth between lead jammers, lead lost, penalties, and both teams taking advantage of the other’s mistakes. Halfway through the second half, Kill Squad was able to close the gap and regain the lead. Both teams fought hard with multiple lead changes, and jams ending with a one-point difference. As the regulation game ended, the Kill Squad jammer called off the jam one point shy of taking the win – and the score was tied!
The bout was forced into a rare two-minute overtime jam, where both jammers could immediately begin scoring points upon the jam whistle. Buhr Park was alive with excitement and the crowd was wild and loud! The reffing teams informed both teams of what to expect for the overtime jam, and that they have one minute to the whistle. As the jam timer called the five-second warning, both teams were still lining up on the track, with Kill Squad blockers taking the front and the Vigilantes behind. Ypsilanti Vigilantes' Jenny NoNo was the only jammer on the track, and the jam whistle blew. Clearly, neither team heard the whistle, as they were all still standing casually on the jam start line. When Kill Squad finally sent a jammer to the track, a ref waved her off-track. The Vigilantes, realizing the jam must have started, motioned to Jenny NoNo, “GO!” The overtime jam ended up being a two-minute power jam for the Vigilantes, with the final score 229-209 in their favor.
While this was a heartbreaking loss for Kill Squad and their disappointment was hard to witness, the Vigilantes’ hard-fought battle for the win and their final home bout success was exciting and emotional. The Vigilantes have put in a lot of work this season to learn and implement defensive strategies, and clearly, their hard work is paying off.
The Vigilantes have just returned from Traverse City after a tough battle against the Toxic Cherries. Stay tuned for another bout recap!
Bear-a-Cuda is a 40-something skater who still has a lot of spunk in her old lady bones.