D2C 1st Place: #2 Kansas City (#45) endures #5 Demolition City (#50), 171-142

D2C 1st Place: #2 Kansas City (#45) endures #5 Demolition City (#50), 171-142 Photo by Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography. www.facebook.com/SteveJurkovicRollerDerby

CLEVELAND, OH – The last day of Divsion 2 WFTDA playoffs showed how well matched these teams were, as almost every game nearly came down to the last jam, and the 5th place game down to 1 single point. #5 seed Demolition City proved once over the weekend that they could battle with the top, and after beating the #1 seed, they were clearly going make #2 seed Kansas City fight for first place.

Kansas City has been going through some rebuilding years, but they also have 11 years of solid experience to work with. They were facing a strong D2 contender, but have participated in tournaments for years, taking 1st place overall in 2007.

The Dynamite Dolls put up a tough fight, but their aggressive game led to many penalties, causing them to make adjustments mid-game. Kansas City continued to adapt, and a more consistent scoring run helped them finally pull off a 29-point win to take 1st place at WFTDA’s first 2015 Division 2 tournament in Cleveland.

Mary Lou Wretched for Kansas City and Demolition City’s Bambi ThumpHer took the jam line first, and after a 40-second battle, a patient Bambi escaped the pack with lead jammer status. Since Mary Lou was stuck in a strong back wall, Kansas City had a hard time dropping back to play offense, and after two grand slams, Mary Lou finally freed herself to force the call off.

Case Closed got the Roller Warriors on the board next with 4 points while a braced 3-wall held up Hurtz Donut. Both teams defaulted to defense at the start, and another 40 second initial pass ended with Lickety-Splint popping out with lead, and sped back through virtually untouched for four points.

Demolition City picked up lead again when a KC blocker inadvertently let her go when she thought she had knocked Bambi out of bounds. By then, Kansas City’s JessiKaboom was nearly out behind her, but began to trade blows with a backwards-facing Flex A. Belle. About 5 minutes into the game, Demolition City extended their lead to a low 18-4.

Hurtz Donut then fell into double penalty trouble when she tried to tip toe out of the pack, picking up lead for Demolition, but also a cut. This gave Kansas City the first power jam with recent transfer, Turtle Power, in the star. Donut allowed her to score for the whole two minutes when she promptly cut the track again upon her return. Kansas City worked at isolating a blocker to help out their jammer, and at the four whistles they brought Demolition City’s lead to down to 2 points. With Donut finishing her penalty, Mary Lou Wretched got a power start and tied up the game at 18 points with 20 minutes still left in the half.

Demolition regained the lead while a continuously recycling Shelby N. Pain and Stepheree worked over Case Closed, eventually forcing a star stash due to Kansas City’s lack of offense. With their focus on defense, they kept Bambi to just one grand slam, helping them regain the lead. In her first appearance of the weekend, Godjilla took to the jam line for the Dynamite Dolls, and despite getting lead, A P Leasure (Reptar) quickly followed her out, forcing a no point jam.

A chaotic pack in the next jam led to a handful of penalties, as both jammers found their way to the box in their initial pass. JessiKaboom flew through the pack to pick up 5 points while Shelby N. Pain and Flex A. Belle both picked up 2 blocker penalties apiece in the two minute jam. This tied the game up again at 23 points, and with 16:20 a timeout was called.

Fighting through heavy defense, jammers often found their way out of the pack if they stayed patient and forced a penalty on an opposing blocker. This worked well for KCRW midway through the first half, as Demolition City found themselves with just one blocker on the track, allowing the Kansas City blockers to swarm Hurtz Donut and force her into another track cut. This kick started a 36-point run for Roller Warriors while the Dynamite Dolls couldn’t stay out of the box.

With Hurtz Donut’s penalty woes, and Lickety-Splint taking a hard fall, Demolition City had to quickly make some changes if they wanted to keep their deficit from going any further. Stepharee took on jamming duties for a while, trading off with Bambi ThumpHer for 6 jams. They really needed their blocking to clean up as well, because at about the 10 minute mark Kansas City only had 9 box trips compared to Demolition City’s 22.

With 4 minutes left in the half, Kansas City had pushed to a 33-point lead, but a 17-point power jam by Stepheree helped keep them from running away with the momentum. A brutal 2-minute jam never let anyone complete their initial pass, as Bambi tried to push advantage with her forearm, heading to the box with 18 seconds left, while Mary Lou got nailed out of bounds again and again. After a few more point grabs by Kansas City, the half concluded with them leading, 73-45.

Demolition City started the second half with just two blockers on the track, which aided JessiKaboom in getting lead jammer quickly, and she came back around for 3 quick points. She missed the 4th point though, due to a battle of shoulder blows again with the last blocker. Distracted by this, the whole pack blew by her as Stepheree came around the the track, sneaking in two points. While JessiKaboom let herself be drawn into these backwards blockers, Reptar was better at disengaging and using her agility to escape, and after adding 8 points, KCRW lead 89-47.

The Dynamite Dolls mixed it up again by throwing Bangs Mccoy on the jam line, who was successful at picking up lead and forcing Turtle power to pass the star. Xcelerator was on the receiving end, and as she tried to force her way out of the pack, she used a forearm and sat in the box.  In the following jam she tried to get rid of the star with a pass to JessiKaboom, but the Demolition City blockers swarmed them both, causing an illegal procedure. Confusion ensued over who the actual jammer was and after 3 jams at 10 points apiece, Demolition City brought it to an 11 point-game with about 22 minutes on the clock.

Case Close attempted to widen the gap some more with a power jam, but Flex E. Belle made it difficult with a quick run back. Beautiful offense by Lady Killshot helped her escape however, and add 8 points. Reptar and JessiKaboom kept the run going with a total of 27 points when Hurtz Donut fell into double penalty trouble yet again. In fact, of the 9 total times Donut jammed Sunday, she sat in the box for 6 of them.

After not seeing Bambi ThumpHer for five jams, she made a return and picked up a grand slam during a power jam, but tangled with a couple blockers in her next pass. One of them hit her out but received a penalty and someone else ran back, making her unsure who had control of her position. Bambi looked around for advice about whether she could step back on the track or not, and when she did so tentatively, she got an immediate track cut penalty.

Photo by Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography.

Photo by Steve Jurkovic Roller Derby Photography.

After a few more back-and-forth power jams, Kansas City held a 20-point lead with 10 minutes left. Demolition tried Hurtz Donut one more time, and after 8 points in her 9th jam, she picked up her 6th jammer penalty. Her blockers weren’t going down without a fight though, and after keeping Reptar to 8 points, they forced her on a cut that was assessed between jams.

With the power start, Stepheree picked up 10 points as Enigma fouled out, who had played every single jam until that point. With under 5 minutes, Kansas City was back just an 11 point lead, 141-130.

Despite being thrown into the jammer rotation towards the end of the first half, Stepheree ended up being Demolition City’s top scorer at 73 points. With minutes left in the game, she seemed a bit overworked and was forced to pass the star. Kansas City had control of the clock though and in the final jam, Reptar eased up as she let the time tick down, and the Roller Warrriors became the 1st place finishers in Cleveland, 171-142.

Despite Demolition City placing 2nd in this event, they can still aim for 1st place overall now that WFTDA added 2 games to Champs for Division 2. Kansas City will play the 2nd place finisher from Detroit, while Demolition City takes on the 1st place team, and then the winners will play each other for the D2 title.

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