D2 Champs: Sacred City Contains Kansas City, 242-160.

D2 Champs: Sacred City Contains Kansas City, 242-160. Photo by Danforth Johnson. facebook.com/danforth.johnson

ST. PAUL, MN– Sacred City took an early lead over Kansas City thanks to a big first jam by Ariel-LA-Twister and rode it out to win, 242-160. The second D2 semi-final game was penalty heavy on both sides, though more so on Sacred City’s bench. By the end of the game, Sacred City lost a total of three skaters: one by ejection and two foul-outs. Despite a game total of 57 penalties, 14 of which were against their jammers, Sacred City managed to control the game. Sacred City will advance to play Nashville, a rematch of the final game of D2 Playoffs.
Sacred City’s Ariel-LA-Twister found an open inside line to earn the first lead and then racked up a quick 23 points by finding the open lanes on the outside easily while Kansas City’s Mary Lou Wretched struggled to ever get out of the pack. JessiKaboom scored first for Kansas City in the next jam after Pink Freud went to the box. The 4closer picked up the next lead for Sacred City, extending their lead to 33-12.

Sacred City’s defense alternated between a tripod and a flat four wall that were both effective in trapping Kansas City jammers. Throughout the first half, Sacred focused on containment, moving as a unit laterally with the jammer. The majority of the time, Sacred’s wall was able to maintain their formation while fending off offensive blockers. Despite their focus on containment, near the end of the first half Gnar Gnar Jinx was ejected for an egregious directional block, her first and only penalty of the game.

Kansas City’s walls often left the boundary lines wide open–a flaw that Sacred’s jammers were quick to exploit. Kansas City elected to start at the pivot line on a couple of occasions and the tactic had varying levels of effectiveness depending on which Sacred City jammer they faced. Ariel-LA-Twister’s speed and agility were not a good matchup for the pivot line start which only served to provide Ariel-LA-Twister with room to pick up speed before hitting the wall. The same was true for the 4closer, who’s tight footwork allowed her to juke around blockers.

In spite of 7 power jams against Sacred City and an expulsion, the Sacrificers led 109-69 over Kansas City at the half.

Kansas City’s walls maintained their formation while Sacred’s defense began to break up and deteriorated into one-on-one play with blockers swinging for big hits rather than the containment they found success with in the first half.  Engima and Annie Maul commanded Kansas’ defense and cleared the way for their jammer to pass through.

Kansas City’s most successful jammers were Case Closed, Track Rat, and JessiKaboom. Case Closed picked up lead 69.2% of the time and scored a total of 54 points. Track Rat scored 39 and JessiKaboom put up 38. Ariel-LA-Twister topped scoring for the Sacrificers with 103 points.

As the minutes ticked down, Sacred’s lead was too much to overcome and with a final score of 242 -160, Sacred City will move on to the final D2 game on Sunday at 2pm CST while Kansas will redo their Playoff game with Demolition City at 12pm CST.

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