ST. PAUL, MN– The 2015 WFTDA Championships kicked off with the first Division 2 semi-final game between WFTDA-ranked #46, Nashville, the #1 seed out of the Detroit playoff, and the #29 Demolition City, #2 seed from Cleveland.
Demolition City’s performance at Playoffs helped them leap-frog the Music City All-Stars in the rankings, but gameplay illustrated the team may have landed a bit too high, as Nashville controlled most of the game.
Demolition City was missing Lickety-Splint from their jammer rotation, who had been a key jammer in Cleveland, and they struggled to get their jammers out of the pack first. While Nashville looked like the same team we saw at Playoffs, only more focused and calm, which helped them to their 232-91 win against the Dynamite Dolls, emphatically securing their place in the final D2 game on Sunday at 2pm CST.
Nashville took the back defensive wall from the start of almost every jam, and as Bambi ThumpHer pushed against their wall in the first jam they reinforced it, and had one blocker flip around to brace. Their slow and steady formation was consistently mirrored by Demolition City at the front, which became a pushing game for both jammers. Chelsea Dagger finally spun out for lead jammer status on the first jam, causing Bambi to pass the star, but as Demo City pivot Bangs Mccoy escaped with the star, Nashville jammer Chelsea sat in the box with a back block leaving Demo City with a powerjam. The Dynamite Dolls worked at trapping a goat while Bangs pushed through the full 2-minute jam for 11 points to Nashville’s 3, confirming a first lead for them.
Hurtz Donut picked up Demolition City’s first lead status next, and added 5 more points while two of Nashville’s blockers sat in the box. This was the only lead they would obtain for the next ten minutes, however, as Nashville held them to 16 points while the team went on a scoring spree aided by 3 consecutive power jams.
Typically a blocker this season, Flex A. Belle took the line as jammer for Demolition City, and was stuck making rounds to the penalty box with two consecutive cuts, and a low block, allowing Phantom Power to add 9 points. But then a 21 point jam by Lady Fury stretched Nashville’s lead to 49-16, with 2o minutes left in the first half.
After a team time-out, Demo’s Stepheree took the line and burst out of the pack with lead right away. She got a quick 5 points while Zip Drive stashed the star and called it off. From here, Nashville continued slow upward momentum in the score, while scoring by the Dynamite Dolls was few and far between. The focus on defense by both teams ultimately benefited only Nashville. Especially with a shortened jammer lineup, Demolition City’s team momentum could have used more offense from the start.
Demolition City then were handed another power jam, but when Godjilla came around to score, Cole Hearted snagged a piece of her, forcing a cut. There was one more jammer penalty by Lady Fury in the next jam, but from that point in time onwards jammers from both teams learned their lessons and kept things clean into the second half.
Demolition City’s blocking rotation also included a pack of their tallest skaters, in which Nashville jammer Lady Fury barely reached their shoulders. Boss-A-Train, Stepheree, Steel Stitches, and Bangs Mccoy towered over the pack, and their sheer physical presence on the track forced Nashville’s jammers to stash the star at times. When they lost the jammer however, one blocker would shoot off of their wall to try and catch her, leaving space in that individual grab attempt for the jammers to juke and evade them.
Nashville’s Sugar, Kill’N Dem Hose, Maulin Monroe, and Morgan Levy worked efficiently, whether positionally blocking on their own or utilizing each other to drive the jammer out of bounds. Their continued use of a back wall visibly contributed to their overall 70% lead jammer status for the game, which let them run time off the clock as needed. By the half, Nashville led 113-40.
The second half played out fairly similarly to the first, as Demolition City was held scoreless for the first 8 minutes. Things started to re-focus for both sides after this point, however, and it quickly became a pushing game for jammers. The Dynamite Dolls tried mixing a few game tactics up at the jam start, by trying to take the back line or the pivot line, but otherwise stuck to the same approach they’d been playing with.
Nashville gave up 3 more jammer penalties in the second half, while Demo City’s jammers stayed out of the box entirely. But those penalties didn’t seem to negatively effect Nashville, as effective blocking by Hose, Electra Cal, and Stella Live kept Hurtz Donut in the pack for nearly a full two minutes while Lady Fury added 21 points to the team’s total, taking the score to 159-53 with 18 game minutes left. With another 21 points in one first half jam, Lady Fury tallied 91 total game points, making her the highest scorer for Nashville and the game – in contrast, Demo City’s highest scorer, Hurtz Donut, trailed a full 60 points behind by game end.
The Dynamite Dolls fielded Slaughtermelons for just three jams this game, but she was impressively able to get lead in two of those and add 13 points in the second half. Despite the slightly higher penalty count, Nashville played a more consistent game across play than Demolition City, and with their 232-91 win they advance to the Division 2 Championship game on Sunday at 2pm CST. Demolition City will take on Kansas City at 12pm CST.
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