The final two games of the day didn’t disappoint, and looked like the theme of the day would be seeding upsets. Although Minnesota and Dallas confirmed their initial placements in the 9th place game, Arch Rival’s Saint Lunachix and Angel City’s Rocket Queens both left tournament higher than they were seeded. (Read about those games here.)
The Texas Firing Squad made Gotham’s stock plummet, but Rose City defended their Championship title and fought back against a bruising Denver opponent.
3rd Place – #4 Texas Firing Squad over #2 Gotham Wall Street Traitors: 177-138
The Texas Firing Squad started the weekend with a 233-99 win over #5 Atlanta and then lost to #1 Rose City 195-107 to bring them to the 3rd Place game. The #2 Gotham Wall Street Traitors took down a strong #7 Angel City 203-150 on Friday before a tough game against #6 Denver ended in a 205-100 loss. Playing for the bronze medal, these two defensively tough teams had a tight battle in the first period as Texas capitalized on jammer consistency and power jams and took the lead by two points going into halftime. Each held each other scoreless for periods of time in the first half, but the Wall Street Traitors just couldn’t quite come back in the second half.
The game opened up with a two-minute jam as Gotham’s Kate Sera Sera got out of the pack first but not with lead status, and Alley Oops pre-emptively stashed the star. Both sides had grinding tripod defense that often would clump together on turn 1 as the jammers tried to push up the middle of the pack. Gotham lost three blockers right away to penalties but by the final four whistles, they still had a slight edge in the score, 8-7. Beauty Andie Beast took it four points further after that with a quick hit it and quit it jam.
The Wall Street Traitors gave up the first jammer penalty when Kid Vicious was boxed with a forearm penalty, and Texas lined up in lane one to enact their sweeping power jam offense that was highly effective all weekend. Veronica Ache quickly went from an effective brace for the Gotham defense to turning around and receiving a star pass before racing out of the pack. The damage was done, however, and 14 points flipped lead to the Firing Squad’s favor at 21-12 just five minutes in.
Kate grabbed another four points as she nearly face-planted while calling off the jam, but a power jam and two more lead calls for Texas helped them nearly double Gotham’s score at 30-16. The two teams traded points as jammers raced around the track to get as many as they could, exploding into the pack as the whistles were blown. The Texas defense focused on cornering jammers off the jam line and then boxing them in against the boundary line so they would have to pull all the way back in order to escape.
Gotham got their first power jam about a quarter into the game with Kate Sera Sera in the star. Their blockers just held strong at the edges which helped impede Texas and allow Kate to skip through the pack. Following up with another power jam, the score swung 31 points in a matter of minutes with 14 by Kate and 17 more by Beauty Andie Beast, giving the Traitors the game lead back and then some. So far Kate had scored 35 of their 56 points while Texas’s main rotation of Alley Oops, Thugs Bunny, and Grace Lightning was more evenly effective throughout the game.
Gotham’s stock continued upward with five lead statuses in a row, although Texas matched some points in a power jam opportunity, and with 7:36 left in the first half, Texas called a timeout while down 73-49.
Another power jam for Texas paved the way for Alley Oops to red rover her way through the pack, scoring 14 points and only calling it after Kid Vicious passed the star. That brought it to a six-point game with four minutes in the period. A jammer race between Grace Lightning and Kate Sera Sera ended with a backward somersault call off by Grace while Kate snuck in two points. Gotham used the official review and retained it when they challenged the score and got one point off Texas’s total. Either way, Texas was chipping away at the lead, and by halftime, they pushed just two points ahead, 75-73.
The Firing Squad came back with the first four lead statuses, but Gotham stayed right behind them with star passes, even sneaking in points with risky last minute Texas call offs. Gotham earned their lead status when the defense locked in, and Cherry Napalm could pull off to play offense. Texas had a sneaky star handoff through Gotham’s tripod, but by then Beauty Andie Beast had already racked up 15 points, erasing most of lead Texas built up in the first five minutes of the second half.
The rest of the game was riddled with power jams, and the fifth lead change of the game put Texas ahead by three points, where they only continued from there. Nonetheless, the game stayed fast and aggressive, with 0-0 jams and powerful blocking. Kate Sera Sera jammed in the last four jams, but Texas had built a big enough gap that there wouldn’t be enough time to make up the difference. Grace Lightning earned the final lead status of the game, and after waiting out the period clock, she called it off for a Firing Squad victory, 177-138.
1st Place – #1 Rose City Axles of Annihilation vs #6 Denver Bruising Altitude: 204-158
Rose City took wins over #8 Arch Rival Saint Lunachix (401-77) and #4 Texas Firing Squad (195-107) to make it to the Championship game. Denver upset #3 Tampa Bruise Crew (251-105) first before taking down #2 Gotham Wall Street Traitors (205-100). This game was much like the 3rd placer with the lead flipping seven times, tying up once, and multiple jammer penalties helping swing the momentum. The Bruising Altitude played a solid game defensively and looked like they could very pull off yet another upset this weekend, but the final quarter of the game was controlled by the Axles of Annihilation, earning them another gold medal.
The game kicked off with four points for Denver, and Curtis gave up the first jammer penalty for Rose City after miscalculating which blocker to return in front of. With the early 18-point power jam by Susy Pow, Bruising Altitude led 22-0. Then it was Rose’s turn to put up points in nearly the same fashion; first, a quick four-point jam and then 29 points by Beyond Thunderdame caused the first lead change, only Dame did it while her teammates held Supersonic in the pack.
In this game, both teams were more likely to stick a blocker in the opposing team’s defense from the jam start, and sometimes that tiny assist was all one jammer would need to push the front defensive line out of play. Andee battled intense buddy blocking by the Axles and added 20 points with 20 minutes left in the half to earn the lead back for Denver, 42-33.
Heading into the second quarter of the game, power jams took over and helped influence the back and forth lead changes. Rose City jammers would often wait until the last second to call off the jam to maximize time on the track, but more than once, Andee was able to speed back around and match a few points. However, back to back penalties by Susy Pow with Thunderdame on the track led to a 19-point jam that put Rose City up by 11 points with seven minutes left in the half.
With both jammers on the track, it was a tough battle against tightly rotating tripod formations, and it looked like Denver was going to work out the point spread slowly but surely. The last jam of the half saw Susy Pow give up another power jam after an impressive apex jump went awry. After facing penalties woes earlier herself, Curtis lapped the pack multiple times, and although her apex jump was denied by Dixie Dash, she added a 20-4 jam that took the Axles of Annihilation into halftime on top 102-78.
After Rose City extended their lead for two jams in the second half, Susy Pow was on the receiving end of a power jam and added 14 points. The Bruising Altitude’s transition game between offense and defense was good, but Beyond Thunderdame’s toe stop work was even better. She added 9 points to Rose City’s total, but again Andee snuck in a few, and the game was at a 20-point difference.
After two power jams in a row and a Denver tripod that moved fluidly around Rose City’s offense, the Bruising Altitude regained the lead yet again at 125-122 with under 20 minutes left in the game. Thunderdame’s ability to get lead looked like it would just earn the lead back for Rose City, but while getting caught up in the pack and overtaken by Andee, Thunderdame took a seat in the box, and the power jam ended 14-11 in Rose’s favor but tied up the score at 136.
Heading into the last quarter of the game, each side was able to add a few points, but penalty kills and 0-0 jams kept anyone from making any statements. At one point Thunderdame switched spots in their rotation, possibly trying to unpair with Andee on the jam line or set her against a different set of blockers, and it seemed to work better for the Dame. As the clock started to run out, Denver started to manage time with their full arsenal of timeouts.
While Denver couldn’t find their break out jam to retake the score, Beyond Thunderdame seemed to lock things down for Rose City in a 17-point jam that brought their lead to 188-140 with under four minutes left in the half. Denver did get a late power jam, but it was too little too late, and Rose City confirmed their gold medal with a score of 204-158.