2008 WFTDA Nationals: Complete Recaps
(1w) Texas 125, (4e) Carolina 61 -- Carolina fell into a big early hole in the first 10 minutes of the tournament's opening bout, as Texas threw a total of 36 points up on the board before Carolina jammer Betty Rumble finally grabbed their first points at the 17:00 mark. That started a mini-rally for Carolina, as Roxy Rockett soon followed with 5-0 over a penalized Bloody Mary and Princess America tossed in a 4-0 over a light Texas pack, bringing the score to 36-13.
Texas would nearly erase that rally with 12 unanswered points of their own, but with the score 48-13 with 7:20 left in the first half, Carolina once again took advantage of penalty box troubles for Texas to mount their most serious run of the bout.
First off was a 10-0 power jam for Betty Rumble over a boxed Rice Rocket, followed by a chaotic jam that saw Texas blocker Cheap Trixie and Carolina blocker Zella Lugosi deliver a couple of massive jammer takeouts on Lucille Brawl and Princess America and ended 5-2 for Carolina. DVS took a 4-0 over Texas' Bloody Mary, and in the half's final jam, Texas' Desi Cration and Betty Rumble skated to a 4-4 tie.
The halftime score was 52-36, but the Carolina rally climaxed on the opening jam of the second half, as Texas jammer Rice Rocket visited the penalty box, opening the door for Carolina's biggest jam of the night with Zella Lugosi running wild behind some stellar clearing blocks from Roxy Rockett for a 15-0 that closed the gap to Texas 52, Carolina 49.
Unfortunately for the underdog fans, Rice Rocket came out of the box to instantly make the previous jam irrelevant, busting loose for a 17-0 as her opposing jammer DVS spent a minute of her own in the penalty box.
Carolina managed to hang around for about another 10 minutes -- in large part due to consistent standout blocking from Kitty Crowbar and Roxy Rockett, with Roxy gamely playing through a shoulder injury that was visibly bothering her throughout the bout -- but Texas finally began to reassert their early-game dominance as the game entered its final third, with Friction VixXxen and Bullet Tooth Tracy particularly stepping up in the Texas pack.
The knockout blow came with about 12:35 to play and Texas up 85-57 -- Rice Rocket dropped another huge power jam on a boxed Zella Lugosi for a full-length 19-0 that made the score 104-57 with barely 10 minutes left to play, and Carolina didn't quite have the firepower to answer, only scoring 4 more points over those last 10 while Texas came up with 21.
Texas advanced to play in the Saturday semifinals against Windy City with this victory.
See the stats from this bout.
Read the play by play in the archived boutcast.
(1e) Gotham 182, (4w) Duke City 25 -- Gotham made sure that there would be no more surprises from upstart Duke City in 2008, putting the game far out of reach by halftime by running up a 90 point lead and continuing the punishment through the second half -- Gotham would break triple digits before Duke could get into the doubles.
The game started rather slow in the first ten minutes, as it appeared that Gotham was feeling out Duke's swarming-defense strategy -- most packs were quite slow as both packs focused on locking up the opposing blockers. Duke City jammer Muffin managed to grab a point for the Albuquerque girls on the fourth jam of the half, but it was 10-1 at that point and then Gotham started dropping the big jams.
Gotham's Suzy Hotrod worked her way through a particularly heavy-hitting pack to drop a 13-0 on Kamikaze Kim, and that was followed by a 15-0 for Bonnie Thunders over Meep Meep. That brought the score to 38-1 with 19:41 still to play in the half, and though Muffin was able to get Duke City's first jam win of the bout with a 3-0 over Fisti Cuffs, Duke City scoring continued to be rare. By the time Meep Meep was able to get Duke's next points in a 14-3 loss to Cheap Skate, the score was 70-7 with 10 minutes to play in the half, and would sit at 98-8 going into the halftime.
Gotham's defensive dominance came both physically and positionally, as the Duke City pack seemed consistently stymied in any attempts to create holes for their jammers, which often caused the Duke jammers to attempt outside passes -- which the heavy-hitters of the Gotham defense like Surly Temple and Beyonslay were all too happy to end with big collisions that sent them flying off the tracks to the corner dead zones.
Offensively, Gotham's fastest jammers -- Bonnie Thunders and Suzy Hotrod -- just kept making Duke blockers miss with their hits, constantly one step ahead of where the blockers seemed to think they'd be.
Gotham moved on to face off with Philly in the semifinals on Saturday.
Read the play-by-play in the archived boutcast.
(2e) Windy City 157, (3w) Rat City 63 -- While the Chicago girls might have been the nominal seeding favorite here, very few people were expecting the blowout they delivered on Rat City. Previously to this bout, Rat City's biggest loss in a sanctioned game had been a mere 11 points.
The girls from Seattle were severely hampered by three major factors in this one -- first, an early injury after about 15 minutes to star blocker D-Bomb, who was unable to return to the bout afterwards; secondly, a first-half expulsion for critical jammer Femme Fatale for repeated low blocking; and thirdly -- and most consistently -- immense penalty trouble that constantly left the Rat City penalty box full of blockers, giving the already stellar Windy City offensive blockers easier opportunities to help their jammers run wild for big scores.
Rat City actually jumped out to a 12-4 lead to start the bout as Femme Fatale raced to a big win over Windy City's Kola Loka, who had been boxed for part of the jam. But Windy City asserted total defensive dominance for the next 15 minutes, scoring 33 unanswered points to establish a 37-12 lead with 13:30 to play. (It was late in that sequence that D-Bomb suffered her injury, apparently having a helmet collision with Windy City's Eva Dead that left her a bit disoriented and unable to regain her footing. Play would be stopped to remove her from the track, and she would not return.)
Rat City's Blonde 'n' Bitchin gave the Seattle fans a big moment with an 8-0 over a penalized Kola Loka that made the score 37-20 in Windy City's favor, but it was the next scoring jam that most vividly illustrated Rat City's penalty troubles. With the Rat City penalty box full to the brim and the two blockers on the floor whistled off, there were two separate occasions in the same jam where not a single Rat City player was on the track for a few moments, allowing Windy City's Eva Dead to get a couple of the easiest grand-slams imaginable. To underline the Rat City penalty problem, that jam would also end with Femme Fatale's expulsion from the bout for consistent low blocking.
That pushed the score to 47-20 for Windy City, and a clearly flustered Rat City gave up another 19 points to leave the score 66-20 with about 3:24 left in the half. They did, however, manage to end the half strong with a 10-0 jam for Ann R. Kissed that left the intermission score at 70-34.
The second half, though, was almost completely Windy City, as they nearly broke 100 points before Rat City was able to reach 40. The Seattle crew continued to deal with penalty hell, as they were often reduced to just one blocker on the floor for snippets of time while their penalty-box queue backed up.
Just to put the exclamation point on the victory, WCR's Kola Loka managed to put up a 25-0 jam (over, of course, a very light Rat City pack) with about 15 minutes left, joining Duke City's Kamikaze Kim and Kansas City's Snot Rocket as the only players to accomplish that feat in tournament play (and making Kola the sole holder of the record for Nationals play.)
Windy City advanced to play Texas later on Saturday in the semifinals.
(3e) Philly 107, (2e) Bay Area 103 -- In the last opening-round bout, the crew from Philadelphia held a solid but not overwhelming lead for nearly the entire bout, with their advantage hovering between 20 and 30 points and being as large as 46 points at one point in the first half -- but a heart-stopping full-length final jam featuring a superhuman turn with the star from Bay Area's Kitt Turbo brought the San Francisco crew to within 4 points of what would have been the biggest comeback in WFTDA tournament history.
Philly never lost the lead from the jump, when Mo Pain put up a 8-0 spot on Brawllen Angel, and ten minutes into the bout they'd opened up a twenty point lead at 31-11. Bay Area was having slightly more penalty trouble than Philly, and the girls in blue were successful at exploiting power plays throughout the half. By the 15 minute mark, it was 39-14 and, with two big jams from Teflon Donna and Mo Pain to follow that up, Philly held their largest lead of the bout at 64-18 with 10:41 to play in the first half.
Bay Area's Grr Lee Burly would step up with the jam star just in time, though, taking advantage of a power-jam situation to score 14 points, nearly equalling Bay Area's point output to that point in the game and making it a slightly more reasonable 64-32. Bay Area managed to shave a few more points off the deficit by halftime, but they'd still be behind by 27 points at 71-44 when the intermission hit.
The second half was much more closely contested than the first, with neither team able to put together lopsided jam wins -- which worked in Philly's favor, as they massaged their first-half lead.
With about 17:50 left to play, Philly's advantage stood at 30 points, 91-61, but a nice 15-3 run by Bay Area at that point, capped off by an impressive defensive stand by Sassy Slayher and Killer Vee helping BAD's Kitt Turbo get a rare 5-0 over a locked-down Teflon Donna, got the margin below 20 for the first time since the opening minutes, at 94-76.
Still, though, Bay Area could not get within striking distance against Philly's stingy defense, and when the margin was still 19 points with under two minutes to play, it seemed that Bay Area was out of time. But with the score 103-84 and Kitt Turbo on the line for BAD against Mo Pain for Philly, a near-miracle occurred -- with Turbo lead jammer, an early-jam major penalty for Mo Pain, and a sudden complete collapse in pack cohesion from Philly, Kitt reached deep for a phenomenal two-minute sprint, making 4 scoring passes over a pack that had been dwindled by penalties down to 2 Philly blockers against 2 Bay Area blockers.
Kitt made her final scoring pass just the whistle blew to end the jam, and when Bay Area's points went up on the board -- 19 -- the crowd exploded and the entire Bay Area bench mobbed Kitt on the floor, as it appeared that she'd just tied the bout at 103-103. After about a minute of celebratory chaos, though, confusion reigned as the scoreboard updated to show that Mo Pain had scored 4 points, seemingly giving Philly the win.
A lengthy ref conference would follow, in which it was determined that Mo Pain had scored 4 points before going to the penalty box, but that the points hadn't been reported till the end of the jam because she had not yet completed that same scoring pass. The final score stood, and Philly barely escaped the first round to move on to face Gotham later that night in the semifinals.
(2e) Windy City 110, (1w) Texas 97 (OT) -- In the most closely-contested bout of Nationals weekend, Windy City and Texas battled to a stalemate after the full 60 minutes and had to go to overtime before Windy City was able to claim a thrilling upset and stop Texas one game short of the championship bout.
Neither team was ever able to open up more than a 15 point lead in this one, with Texas holding one early in the first half and Windy City having one early in the second, and for the great majority of the bout, only one or two scoring passes separated the teams.
The first ten minutes featured a couple of big double-digit jams for each team. Jam 2 staked Windy City to a quick early lead as their jammer Eva Dead was free to scamper for a 12-0 while WCR blockers Belle Diablo and Malice With Chains were all over opposing jammer Olivia Shootin' John, and on jam 6, with the score tied up at 13, the tables turned as it was Texas blockers Bullet Tooth Tracy and Shank giving Eva all kinds of grief while Texas jammer Lucille Brawl rolled on by for a 14-0 and put Texas up 27-13.
Texas would manage to hold the lead for the remainder of the half, but solid chipping away from Windy City had them in position to take over the lead on the half's final jam, with the score standing at Texas 45, Windy City 40.
The penultimate jam of the half went a full two minutes with no score, as a WCR pack featuring Megan Formor, Nina Millimeter and Hoosier Mama would torment Texas jammer Morphine to kill a full minute penalty, only to have Texas' Lucille Brawl, Sparkle Plenty and Friction VixXxen mirror the action against the freed WCR jammer Athena DeCrime when Morphine was sent off later in the jam.
But that set up a chance for Kola Loka to start unopposed to close the half, and she ran through for a 9-0 that put Windy City in the lead for the first time since the 4th jam, 49-45.
Windy City started the second half without the services of star Varla Vendetta, who suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half that would prove to be serious enough to keep her out of the rest of the tournament, but they opened strong, moving to a 15 point lead at 60-45 two jams in.
But, as usual, Texas' Rice Rocket was around to kill the opposing team's momentum with a big jam, running up a 12-3 with the help of Texas blockers Belle Starr, Bullet Tooth Tracy and Cat Tastrophe setting up grand slams by owning Windy City's Shocka Conduit in the half's third jam, bringing the score to 63-57 for Windy City.
Texas took back the lead with about 17 minutes to play, but it was a very narrow one that remained in single digits, with Windy always just one jam away from taking it over. In the final ten minutes of the bout, though, it would come down to repeated jammer penalties on Texas' Rice Rocket that gave Windy City the chance for the win -- a chance they almost threw away with back-to-back untimely jam calls in the last moments.
With about 5:43 to play and the score 88-83 in favor of Texas, Windy City sent Kola Loka to the line to face off against Rice Rocket, who had spent the majority of the previous jam in the box. Kola would take lead and looked to have a big opportunity when Rice got re-exiled to the penalty box, but Kola only grabbed 3 points before joining her there, causing the jam to go jammerless.
On the reset, with 3:40 left on the clock and a narrow 2 point Texas lead at 88-86, Sparkle Plenty was nearly about to get what would have been a critical lead jammer call for Texas, but her escape was stopped at the last possible second by a desperation block from Hoosier Mama that sent Sparkle out of bounds and killed her momentum as she had to wait to re-enter to avoid the cutting major. Blossom took advantage of that to get lead and take a 0-0 with 2:27 left to play.
With Texas still up by two, Windy City jammer Malice with Chains got the lead back during the next jam against Lucille Brawl, able to grand-slam with the help of Windy blockers Megan Formor and Ying O Fire tying up Lucille for a full lap -- but coming for her next pass, Malice critically delayed too long in calling it off, giving Lucille just enough time to score three points and turn what was going to be a 91-88 Windy City lead with under a minute on the clock to a 91-91 tie.
The drama would only be amped up on the next jam. WIth about 30 seconds to play and both teams sending out their best jammers -- Rice Rocket for Texas and Kola Loka for Windy -- it looked like Texas was dead in the water when Rice Rocket committed a major and went to the box during her opening pass, meaning Windy City would win if Kola Loka could get lead and just one point. With the period clock showing 0:00, Kola did indeed get that lead call -- but inexplicably called off the jam immediately, perhaps believing she had already started her scoring pass.
The mistake gave Texas a reprieve, sending the bout to overtime -- but they were still at a disadvantage, as Rice Rocket had to finish serving about 30 seconds of the penalty she'd picked up in the last regulation jam. Kola took the star again, and was able to take advantage of a 3-2 pack in Windy City's favor to immediately grand-slam, and did it again before Rice was out of the box. When Rice Rocket was released from the box, she came out like a bolt, knowing she had to make up at least 10 points on Kola just to tie -- but coming slightly too aggressively during her second scoring pass, she'd get sent off to the box again for a track cut, ensuring a Windy win.
The win sent Windy City to the championship bout against Gotham, and sent Texas to the third-place consolation bout for the second Nationals in a row.
(1e) Gotham 189, (3e) Philly 52 -- Gotham followed up their opening round devastation of Duke City with another utterly dominating performance over Philly. The last times the two teams met, last month at Eastern Regionals, Philly had nearly emerged victorious, holding a last jam lead but falling just 5 points short in the end. This time, a less cohesive Philly defense would meet a Gotham team firing on every single cylinder, and the result was far different.
After two jams, Gotham was out to a 13-0 lead, but Philly was able to get on the board with a grand slam for Mo Pain over a penalized Cheap Skate, bringing the score to 14-5. Gotham extended that lead to 27-5 with 16:40 to play before another Philly power-jam grand slam -- this one for Shenita Stretcher over Bonnie Thunders -- got Philly back on the board at 27-10.
Still, though, it seemed as if Philly was only able to score in situations where Gotham was missing their jammer. Gotham gave up their biggest jam of the half when they lost jammer Fisti Cuffs to the penalty box, and Mo Pain managed to scramble past defense from Gotham's Kandy Kakes and Surly Temple twice on her way to a 9-0 jam that made it 40-19, still a reasonable score to make up with 7:50 left in the half.
Unfortunately for Philly, Gotham ended that half with a flurry of points that put the game all but out of reach. Bonnie Thunders opened with a 14-0 while her teammate Beyonslay put Philly jammer Shenita Stretcher into the audience with a massive hip check, and that set off a devastating 43-0 Gotham run to close the half -- Gotham doubled their score to that point while not allowing a single point for Philly.
It would not be until there were about 12 minutes to play in the second half that Philly got back on the board with a 3-0 over Violet Temper over second-string Gotham jammer Hyper Lynx, and by that point Gotham had scored an unbelievable 128 unanswered points going back to the first half and held a 168-22 lead. While Philly got a little bit more offense going as the second half closed, there was no prayer of closing that gap.
Gotham advanced to the championship bout against Windy City, while Philly went on to match up with Texas in the third-place bout.
3rd Place Bout
(3e) Philly 114, (1w) Texas 95 -- In a bout that was considerably closer than the final score implied, Texas lost a lead just before halftime and then fell behind by 31 points early in the second before battling their way back into the game to tie it up with only about 2 minutes to play -- but, as had been the story in their semifinal loss to Windy City, Texas lost their jammer in both of the final two jams and could not score, leaving the door open for Philly to take the win and the tournament's third place.
This one opened with a battle between two of the tournament's smallest and fastest jammers, with Rice Rocket for Texas taking a 1-0 over Philly's Mo Pain. On the followup, Philly blockers Dara Licks and Violet Temper were the only Philly players on the floor for a short spell as the rest of their team stewed in the penalty box, and stepped up to keep the jam score a narrow 5-3 in favor of Texas' Olivia Shootin' John.
Philly pulled ahead 12-6 on the third jam as Persephone got a grand slam and 9 big points over OSJ, who'd ended the previous jam in the box, and managed to keep a small lead alive through the half's sixth jam at 20-15. At that point, though, Philly suffered two big setbacks -- multiple-threat Shenita Stretcher found herself ejected from the half on multiple box trips after just 11 minutes of play, and the following jam found the Philly box totally full, allowing Texas jammer Lucille Brawl to race for a 16-4 Texas win that put them ahead 31-24.
Texas went on an 18-2 run over the next 4 jams to follow that up, marked by a 9-0 for Morphine over Persephone, and it looked like Texas was threatening to take control for a moment with the score standing at 49-26. But the half's 13th jam proved to be lucky for Philly, as Texas jammer Bloody Mary had lead but lost it on a back-block major against Persephone, giving Philly jammer Teflon Donna a full two minutes to work -- and she fully capitalized with a 20-0 that all but erased Texas' lead at Texas 49 Philly 46.
This marked the beginning of a 42-5 run for Philly through the rest of the half. Texas clung to the advantage for a couple more jams, but with 3:30 to play in the half, a full-length, no-lead jam went to Persephone's advantage, as opposing Texas jammer Rice Rocket took a trip to the penalty box that opened up the chance for Philly to go 9-0 and take over the lead, 58-50.
On the following and final jam of the half, Rice Rocket exited the box only to go directly back into it against a lap, and it was Mo Pain's turn to capitalize with a 10-0, giving Philly a 68-50 advantage at the half.
Philly held their lead at about the same margin for the first few jams of the second half, and then Texas got in serious penalty trouble on the half's 4th jam. With Texas having two blockers in the box, their Belle Starr and Friction VixXxen were out on the track to take on a full complement of Philly blockers in Ivana Rock, Nina Knockout, Robin Drugstores and Ginger Vitis -- and when Texas jammer Lucille Brawl took a major track cut, it was once again Teflon Donna's chance for a big power jam that went 14-0, putting Philly up 87-60. Additionally, Texas lost Vicious Van Go-Go on accumulated box trips here even more quickly than Philly had lost Shenita in the first half.
Philly extended their lead to 91-60 on the following jam before Texas finally started to get some traction. From the 17:25 mark to just over the 5 minute mark, Philly's offense went totally cold while Texas went on a 27-0 run.
The Texas rally really started to pick up momentum with about 12:50 left to play, when Philly blocker Robin Drugstores collected her 4th major with a flying block on Bloody Mary. Robin was ejected with the score standing at 93-71, and it seemed to have a significant effect on Philly's pack work.
Philly finally managed to get some points on the board just when it looked certain Texas would catch them at Philly 93, Texas 87 and 5:38 left on the game clock. Shenita Stretcher took Philly's first lead in a long time but could only squeeze 2 points out of it as Texas walled up at the front of the pack, making it 95-87 with 4:10 to play. But then Texas would finally erase the lead entirely as Rice Rocket picked up an 8-0 over Persephone to tie the game at 95 with just over two minutes to go.
But in an unwelcome flashback to the Windy City game for Texas and their fans, Texas could not keep their jammer on the track in the final jams. The penultimate jam saw Philly's Mo Pain get lead and take full advantage of opposing jammer Morphine's trip to the box with a huge 14-0 that set the bar high for a Texas last-jam comeback.
With the score Philly 109, Texas 95 and 25 seconds remaining on the clock, it was Lucille Brawl for Texas up against Persephone for Philly -- and though the drama was ratcheted up a few notches when neither jammer was able to get lead, the Philly defense locked down on Lucille Brawl. Ivana Rock and Violet Temper sent her to the sport court, and as she attempted to work her way through, she'd pick up a box trip that put the win in Philly hands, 114-95.
(1e) Gotham 134, (2e) Windy City 66 -- Windy City managed to stay in the ring with Gotham longer and keep the final closer than their previous victims Duke City and Philly, but in the end the result was the same -- a early knockout that made the outcome clear long before the clock had expired.
Windy City was without Varla Vendetta in this bout, who was missed after a shoulder injury suffered in the Texas bout. Peg Legs would step up to take her place on the WCR gametime roster.
Windy's jammer Kola Loka managed to skip past Gotham pivot Kandy Kakes for lead jammer and a 4-0 over Bonnie Thunders on the opening jam, but that was the first and only time Gotham would be behind all tournament. Suzy Hotrod raced for 8 points on the following jam as her blockers Fisti Cuffs and Donna Matrix did a spectacular job of keeping WCR jammer Eva Dead stymied in the back of the pack, and Gotham was up for good at 8-4.
Gotham opened it up to 22-8 after about 10 minutes, but Windy City wouldn't let them get out of sight ... yet. Upon closing to 25-15, Windy City had a statement jam when blockers Malice With Chains and Hoosier Mama managed to kill the full minute of a jammer penalty of Eva Dead by utterly locking up the extremely dangerous Bonnie Thunders, leaving what could have been a big power jam as a 0-0.
But Gotham got their points anyway on the next jam, when Cheap Skate, jamming for Gotham, tore through for a 13-0 as Gotham pivot Sweet Sherry Pie had complete control over the front inside line for her, bringing the score to 38-15.
Still, Windy fought for the small-margin wins they could get to close the gap. They grabbed five lead jammer calls in a row, scored 11 unanswered points and narrowed the score to 38-26, but suffered a significant setback when they lost crucial all-around star Malice with Chains with about 8 minutes left in the half.
Just two jams after losing Malice, Gotham busted out with one of their trademark momentum-crushing jams, shrugging off the hard-fought, painstakingly constructed Windy City comeback with a monster 19-0 jam for Cheap Skate as Surly Temple, Donna Matrix and Sweet Sherry Pie utterly owned Windy City jammer Shocka Conduit for a full two minutes.
The last three jams of the half were close -- all 3-0, two for Gotham and one for Windy -- but even though Gotham's 63-29 was much smaller than their previous halftime leads, it certainly felt as if Gotham was solidly in the driver's seat.
When Gotham opened the second half with 22 unanswered points to make it 85-29, a New York championship seemed a foregone conclusion. The Gotham lead would grow to as large as 105-36 with 13:27 to play and stay around 60 or so points for the remainder of the bout.
In the ongoing battle for East Coast dominance -- the two teams had also met in the finals of Eastern Regionals -- Gotham defeated Windy City for the fourth time in a row by their largest margin to date, 68 points, and took home the 2008 WFTDA National Championship in most convincing fashion. The bout marked Gotham's 12th win in a row.
Gotham's Bonnie Thunders was named the tournament MVP.
DNN coverage of the Northwest Knockdown 2008 WFTDA National
Championship Tournament was made possible through generous financial
support from Broken Cherry rock 'n' roll boutique, custom apparel & design studio. Final four bout coverage was presented by Sin City Skates - buy skates from a skater!
Stats provided courtesy of AK-40oz
Photos: Kerry McClain