DETROIT, MI – As a D1 tournament team last year, Naptown (#48) finished 6th in Charleston, while Chicago Outfit (#52) picked up 5th at the D2 tournament in Kitchener-Waterloo. Meeting up this year in D2, the two mid-western teams hadn’t faced off since 2010, when Naptown came away with the win, twice.
Chicago kept things fairly even in the first half, but Naptown’s defensive dominance locked onto the Outfit, helping their jammers get lead status to control the second half of play. With the addition of offense off the line, it was the one-two punch combo that the Tornado Sirens needed to result in their 190-107 win, placing 3rd.
Lola Blow and Cherry-oto-Fire took the line for the first jam, and in a very quick jam Chicago got lead and was forced to call it after just 2 points. Ice Hurt followed up with 1 more before Eve Anne Hellical got a full 4 for Naptown in the 3rd jam, giving them the lead 4-3. This set the tone for the first half, as almost every jam was one jammer chasing down the other and getting as many quick points as they could.
Lola Blow managed to pick up all but two lead statuses in her jams in the first half, and with one 4 point grab she put Chicago back in the lead. It didn’t help that Naptown only had 1 blocker on the track as they struggled with penalties early on. Mutant Jean took the line alone to follow, trying to provide only offense for Cherry, but Ice Hurt grabbed 5 points to further their lead.
Once Naptown collected themselves, they had one of their blockers wedge into the Chicago wall at the start, and this helped Cherry get lead but had Ice Hurt out shortly behind her. The two sped back to the pack, both earning 2 points, but Ice also picking up a track cut. With the power jam start and a bit of offensive sweeping, Maiden America powered through the pack and jumped apexes to put up the biggest jam thus far at 19 points. This put Naptown in the lead, 30-18 with 20 minutes left.
Sticking mostly to a three jammer rotation of Lola Blow, Ice Hurt and Matza Ball Breaker, the Syndicate utilized Shebiscuit for a few jams as well. Jumping back on the track too quickly after a run back, she sat in the box with a cut, giving Cherry a power jam. It was short lived, however, as when Kill Ems teetered on the line after a knockout, Cherry tripped her and took Shebiscuit’s place in the box. After the 2 minute jam, Naptown had extended their lead by 10 points.
With the score at 40-23, Chicago took the back line, which helped Lola get another lead, but was forced to a 0-0 jam. After scoring 87 and 75 in her previous games, Naptown was doing a good job shutting her down in this game, and Co-Captain Cherry-oto-Fire attested to this strategy. “Each of our 4 jammers have different strengths and we adjusted our jammer rotation to neutralize their strongest jammer.”
Scoring resumed its slow crawl again, with both teams getting their jammer out quickly when the other picked up lead. Chicago Outfit actually had a higher lead jam percentage in the first half at 53%, but Naptown’s big jam earlier was what really made the ultimate difference.
With 2 minutes left, Maiden’s deft footwork earned them a grand slam, making the score 59-36. Then Sneer and Loathing caught Maiden America in the last jam of the half, keeping it 0-0 and at the half-time break, Naptown led 62-36.
Chicago’s blockers started to struggle with penalties in the second half, and with Naptown’s continued jam-line offense, Mutant Jean, Lethal Vixen, Deadie Page, and Shiva Diva converted to a strong defense. Clinging to Ice Hurt, they helped Cherry put up 9 points, the largest jam total since the middle of the first half.
Scorpiopathic earned a forearm in the following jam however, and with a power jam Matza Ball Breaker put up 9 unreplied points.
It seemed maybe the momentum was just going to keep ping-ponging back and forth, but a big jam for Eve Anne Hellical broke their lead wide open. After Ice Hurt struggled in the pack for over a minute, Eve Anne kept the jam going until the final seconds, making it a 24-4 jam with 23 minutes left in the game.
At 99-51, the scoring slowed down again, and in 7 jams Chicago picked up only 4 points to Naptown’s 13. Asian Sinsation was often seen at the front, nabbing jammers before they could escape, and Maiden’s quick speed change abilities helped make her the biggest scorer of the game at 96 points.
With 13 minutes left, the Outfit had a power jam opportunity, and while Lola Blow juked and dodged for 15 points, Maiden returned for 19, thanks to her formidable blockers. In the end, Lola sat with a cut, setting Naptown up for a power start. The Syndicate’s Lady K ensured that Scorpiopathic didn’t put up any big points, and kept her at just 4 points with a massive hit to the infield.
As the final minutes ticked down, and Chicago couldn’t pick up big points when they had opportunity to do so, Naptown began to run the clock to preserve their lead. Cherry-oto-Fire named their focus as being strong, defensive containment and it certainly showed in their score. “We wanted to suffocate their strong jammers, and keep our hips and shoulders sealed to make our defense rock solid.”
Naptown finished the weekend in 3rd place with a score of 190-107, putting Chicago Outfit in 4th.
Read more recaps, find scores and brackets at Detroit Central.