CLEVELAND, OH– Kansas City Roller Warriors (#45), the second seed in the D2 Playoffs: Cleveland, defeated the 6th seed Houston Roller Derby (#53), 249-196 after trailing in the first half. Game 12 decided who would win a berth to Championships in November and compete for 1st place here in Cleveland.
Houston will take on the #1 seed Santa Cruz to claim 3rd place tomorrow afternoon at 4pm (EDT). Kansas City will advance to challenge the lower ranked Demolition City tomorrow at 6pm (EDT), who have played a spectacular tournament so far, for the title.
Houston got off to an early lead but A P Leasure (Reptar) for Kansas City tied up the game 5 minutes in. Kansas City took the lead in the third jam and expanded it to twice that of Houston. A track cut on Mary Lou Wretched left lead to be claimed by Slayer Moon, who closed the gap to 6 points.
Both Kansas City and Houston were D1 teams last year who were knocked out of Playoffs in the first round. Both teams used similar defensive formations, power quads and tripods when they are down a blocker. Another similarity between these teams was the hustle of the jammers to get out of the pack and around the track when they were not lead. This enabled both teams to occasionally steal points and almost always force the call off, perhaps not in time for a 0-0 jam—but consistently the jammer’s hustle cut the scoring pass of the opposing team short. Houston used the star stash with a bit too much frequency and it quickly lost its effectiveness, particularly as the pivot made no attempt to move forward in the pack.
A power jam to Houston allowed Speed O’ to retake the lead, 39-31 after 10 minutes in the first half of play. Houston extended their lead slightly over the next few jams with the help of Death by Chocolate. Kansas City was held scoreless for 3 jams. Over the next few jams Kansas City inched forward, adding 2 points per jam, closing the gap to 2 points halfway through the first period.
Houston then responded to Kansas City’s run with a 22 point jam.
After a string of penalties against Kansas City, the result of trying to make up ground, KCRW was able to close the gap to 108-91 with 2 minutes remaining in the half. Kansas City picked up the last 2 lead calls and added a few more points.
Houston called a time out with 8 seconds on the clock, to halt the momentum of Kansas City, but a star pass to the pivot ended with the new jammer of record, Brandi Brown, headed to the box, leaving Case Closed on a power jam. Kansas City’s blockers picked up a string of penalties in the last jam, but their jammer was able to add 4 points, ending the half at 108-104 with Houston clinging to their lead.
At the start of the second half, Houston’s Big Bad Voodoo Dollie won lead status, but Kansas City forced a track cut on Dollie, leaving JessiKaboom on a power jam—where Kanas City pulled away 129-112, after another consecutive penalty on Dollie.
Reptar continued KCRW’s point scoring streak, adding 25 points. In response to two huge jams from Kansas City, Houston called a time out in hopes of killing the momentum and refocusing the team.
Unfortunately after the time out, Speed O’ from Houston picked up a forearm, and then an insubordination. This created a huge opportunity for Kansas City but it was unfulfilled after Mary Lou Wretched collected a low block.
KCRW’s standout blocker, Enigma, fouled out after 35 jams shortly after Houston’s Betty Watchett also fouled out.
Kansas City took advantage of multiple power jams and extended their differential to 50 points.
With 3 minutes to go in the game Houston used it’s last time out to no avail as Kansas City had long run away with score, 249-196.
Check out our Cleveland Central post for more scores and recaps.