CLEVELAND, OH– The #1 seed Santa Cruz (#42) was upset by the #5 seed Demolition City (#50) in a crucial game that decided who would advance not only for the Championship Game in D2: Cleveland, but also determine who would qualify for the 2015 International Championships November 6-8 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Demolition City Dynamite Dolls blew the seeding out of the water (and a lot of brackets) by defeating the Santa Cruz Boardwalk Bombshells, 165-137.
The game leaned in Demolition City’s favor quickly as they earned the first two lead calls of the game. The first lead call for Santa Cruz came 4 minutes in the game but Lickety-Splint forced the call off. In the next jam, Dynamite Dolls’ Bambi Thumper was out for lead while Frisky Biscuits was stuck in the pack. Frisky Biscuits ultimately received a high block but was released before Bambi ThumpHer received a blocking with the head penalty as she tried to duck under and between a Santa Cruz two-wall. 10 minutes in Santa Cruz trailed 22-2.
What followed was a series of jammer penalties against Santa Cruz that spurred a flurry of blocker penalties from key players, such as pivot Shamrock N. Roller. Demolition City took full advantage of the opportunities presented to them, including a 19-point jam by Bambi ThumpHer. Throughout the first half Santa Cruz struggled to contain Bambi, who’s fast lateral movement and ability to change her height enabled her to thwart the rapid fire hits from Beans and Shamrock N. Roller.
Queen Litigious broke Santa Cruz’s lead jammer drought, earning the Bombshells first lead call in 6 jams. Despite the heavy jammer penalties, Santa Cruz’s lead percentage for many of their jammers was higher than Demolition City. The jammer penalties called against Santa Cruz were varied: some were cuts that Demolition City drew while others were high blocks, low blocks, and forearms. The Dynamite Dolls played excellent defense throughout the game, maintaining their formations and reforming quickly when needed. Santa Cruz’s walls were spread out for much of the first half and well into the second, giving deadly space for the fast, jukey jammers in Demolition City’s rotation.
In need of a change, Santa Cruz moved CoraZone into the jammer rotation. CoraZone took the star for the first time with 5 minutes left in the first half, although no points were scored, she got out of the pack and stayed clean. With just under 1 minute, Santa Cruz used their official review as a team time out. Coming out of the time out, CoraZone took the star and added 2 points. Queen Litigious finished off the half with the fourth lead status call in a row for Santa Cruz, adding 4 points. Though the Boardwalk Bombshells began a slow climb back, including the last five jams where they had a 16 -0 point run, Demolition City led at the half, 80-45.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Bambi ThumpHer as lead, putting up 9 points for Demolition City. In the next jam, TARAism was awarded lead for Santa Cruz, but after a couple of scoring passes received a penalty for a high block. The jammer penalties continued for Santa Cruz again, even when Demolition City left the Bombshells on a power jam. Santa Cruz could not seem to make it through a jam without a penalty. 10 minutes into the half, Shamrock N. Roller took her 6th trip to the box after skating in 18 jams.
In the second half the jammer penalties, though still high, almost evened out for both teams. With under 10 minutes to go in the game, Santa Cruz racked up 11 jammer penalties and Demolition City’s jammers took 8 trips to the box.
Despite the penalties, Santa Cruz did put together a comeback and won lead 7 out of 9 jams in a row that helped close the differential to the closest it had been since the second jam of the game. After a series of power jams for both teams, and 3 minutes to go, Santa Cruz took a team time out, trailing 140-134.
Stepheree, a utility player for Demolition City, fouled out with 2:30 to go. It looked as if Santa Cruz might pull off the comeback, but a low block called on CoraZone allowed Demolition City to take an 11 point lead. Santa Cruz called their final team time out with 1:42 on the clock.
Lickety-Splint juked to the front of the pack during the power jam but CoraZone flew out of the box to pick up lead. On her scoring pass CoraZone crashed into the back of the pack and was assessed a back block, leaving Lickety-Splint on another power jam. Shamrock N. Roller fouled out with 17 seconds to go for a high block, in an attempt to hold back the jammer.
With the final two power jams Demolition City pulled away once more ending the game, 165-137.
Demolition City Dynamite Dolls were the first to punch their tickets to the 2015 International Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota. Santa Cruz will play again tomorrow for 3rd place against the Loser of Game 12.
Check out our Cleveland Central post for more scores and recaps.