DETROIT, MI – #10 Bear City (#61) already upset the #7 seed on Friday, nearly beat the #2 seed later that day, and now faced the #3 seed, again as the underdog. Emerald City was already usurped by #6 Chicago Outfit in the first round, but won against #9 Brewcity earlier in the day by 128 points.
In a tumultuous, penalty-heavy game, it was hard to say where the chips were going to fall after the first half. Power jam points cushioned Bear City’s lead at the half, 138-110, but they took charge in the second to ensure their victory, 236-216.
Emerald City got to a quick start as Bear City immediately had penalty problems in their pack. With only Emmazon on the track at the start of jam 3, she could only hold Ogden for so long before she picked up the 3rd straight lead for Emerald and 4 more points making the score 8-0. Master Blaster quickly erased that and then some in the next jam, when Swoff sat down with a back block penalty-twice- and Bear City took the lead 30-8.
Emerald City used a braced 3 wall that focused more on lateral movement and coverage, while Bear City used a rotating 3 or 4 formation to contain jammers. It failed them on the corner though as Psychotic Rage snuck out and picked up an easy 4 points. Wonder Dread did the same in the next jam and they crept up on Bear City 30-16, with 22 minutes left in the half.
After 3 scoreless jams, Bear City got another power jam opportunity when Swoff picked up her 3rd jammer penalty with a cut. Mia Missile struggled against Miss Kitty La Rue, Jenesis O’sin and Aerial Strike, until her teammates provided some offense and she ended the jam with 12 points. This was just the beginning of 7 of 9 straight jams affected by jammer penalties, causing the momentum to swing back and forth like a pendulum.
First Psychotic Rage picked up 28 points to Donner Doro’s 15 when they swapped seats in the penalty box, and then the series ended with a 26-point jam by Master Blaster and the lead for Bear City, 120-76. With the penalty heavy 3-jammer rotation, Bear City tried Jane Van Pain, but she ended up in the box as well with a cut.
In the last jam of the half, Emerald put Swoff on the line against Master Blaster, a leggy jammer lineup, and this time Master Blaster sat in the box. Ouch Capone, Hanna Hellfire, and Catherine Beat-Her Bonez did a nice job hanging on to Swoff, and after she managed 10 points, they forced her on a cut. This was Swoff’s 5th penalty, and after Master Blaster returned to put up 14, Bear City led at the break by 28 points.
If power jam opportunity points were taking out of the equation, then Emerald City would have led at the half 29-7. They did seem stronger in the first half when they had skaters on the track, but Bear City did provide more offense for their stuck jammers.
Things settled down a bit in the second half, and with Swoff’s penalty bleeding over the halftime, Bear City began with a power start. Bear City picked up most of the following lead jam statuses, but could only manage 15 points, and held the lead by 52 points.
Some high scoring jams happened over the next few minutes when Wonder Dread sat in the box for a forearm, and left Donner Doro on a power jam. She got two passes before Emerald’s blockers locked her down and Dread returned to the track. After some hard defense by the StrangeHer and Gemini, Dread ended up matching Donner’s points at 18. Ogden gave Master Blaster a power jam to follow and after a few passes Master sat down for her 3rd penalty. Ouch Capone helped keep Ogden from picking up too many points, and the two minutes ended with a 20-5 advantage for Bear City, and the lead by 67 points.
Emerald City took advantage of 3 power jams and started to chip away at Bear City’s lead as they entered the final quarter of the game. The high penalty count meant that some blockers started to foul out at this point, including Hanna Hellfire leaving from Bear City, and Coop from Emerald City. Berlin’s scoring began to slow down, but Emerald wasn’t earning enough to make a big difference.
With all their timeouts and an official review left, Emerald City began to use them in order to stall the clock while Master Blaster wasted the clock with her lead jammer power. A late 24 point surge over two jams by Ogden and Wonder Dread was the biggest push they could manage, and Bear City ended up with the win by 20 points 236-216.
Master Blaster, with the help of many large power jams, was the highest scorer of both teams at 139 points, with the next highest on her team being Donner Doro at 60. Psychotic Rage came out on top for Emerald City after her teammate Wonder Dread had been lead scorer for their previous jams.
Emerald City will play for 7th Sunday against #8 seed Sac City at 12pm (EDT), while Bear City has a chance at 5th against #5 seed Wasatch following that.
Read more recaps, find scores and brackets at Detroit Central.