2010 North Central Region Playoffs Recaps
Final: 1NC Windy City 132, 7NC Minnesota 83 -- Although Windy City had looked a little shaky for most of their opening game against Naptown on Friday and had had to fight extremely hard to turn back a semifinal challenge from Cincinnati on Saturday, they played a very effective game here against surprising Minnesota to deny MNRG their third upset in a row and become repeat North Central champions.
For the first ten minutes of the game, though, it looked like Minnesota might not be out of magic. After a scoreless opening jam, Minnesota got on the board on three consecutive jams while continuing to blank Windy City. By the beginning of the fifth jam, it was 15-0 favoring the underdogs -- but a big 14-0 powerjam for Windy City's Varla Vendetta erased almost the entire margin with 20 minutes left in the half. For the next 40 minutes worth of gameplay, it was pretty much all Windy City. Particularly hard hitting from Go Go Hatchet and Hoosier Mama seemed to sap the strength of Minnesota's jammers, and the Windy scoring attack was again led by Shocka Conduit. By the half it was 73-24 for the defending regional champs.
Although Minnesota's previous two games had featured epic second-half comebacks, Windy City seemed to come out after the break determined to not give them a chance to adjust. Ten minutes deep into the half, Windy City's lead peaked at 92 points, 117-25, and hovered around 90 until there were 12 minutes left to play.
Minnesota finally got their offense restarted at about that point and went on an impressive 46-5 run to the end of the game, but there wasn't enough time remaining for Windy City's lead to seem seriously threatened. They did, though, manage to make the final margin a more respectable 49 points. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
Third Place: 3NC Madison 164, 4NC Cincinnati 143 -- For the third day in a row, Cincinnati treated the audience to a thriller of a back-and-forth contest. For almost the entire running length of the bout, the margin between Madison and Cincinnati was fewer than 10 points, but in the very end, Cincy was brought low by an accumulation of track cuts on their jammers that gave Madison room to open it up. For the second year in a row, Cincy was stopped one bout short of a trip to the championship tournament, while Madison heads back for their second appearance.
Like Cincy's semifinal game against Windy City, this one was a relatively high-scoring affair. In a bit of foreshadowing, Cincy jammer K Lethal went to the box on the first jam, allowing Madison to go up 19-2 early, but they weren't able to extend that lead at all as Cincinnati came storming back. Eight minutes in, a chaotic jam had Cincy's Wheezy on a powerjam against a full Madison box, leading to a 14-0 jam and Cincinnati's first lead at 38-27.
Cincinnati held that lead until about the 11 minute mark. Madison's Lil' Miss Behavin' took a 8-0 to put Madison back up 54-50, but that lead wouldn't get wider than 10 points before Hannah Ouchocinco took it back at 64-63with 5 minutes left in the half on a quick 4-0. But by the break, Madison was barely in front again, 78-71.
Madison was once again unable to extend the lead beyond single-jam range early in the second, and stayed ahead by a hair for the first 12 minutes of the half. At last Cincinnati put together two jam wins in a row -- 4-0 K Lethal and 2-0 to Hannah Ouchocinco -- to make it Cincinnati 99, Madison 98 with 17:45 left to play.
Right here was where a whole slew of Cincinnati jammer track cuts, most going to K. Lethal, made things quite a bit tougher for them. Cincy only had the lead for one jam before K Lethal took a major cut and a 4th minor cut in the same jam, leading to two jams in a row where Madison scored at will. They put up 24 unopposed points to take their biggest lead of the game at 123-99 with 13:30 left on the clock.
After a 0-0 jam, the track cut bug bit K Lethal yet again - but this time Cincinnati's pack stepped up very effectively to kill the powerjam without a score. And then, with 9:44 left on the clock. Cincy's Hannah Ouchocinco delivered an explosive 29-0 jam as a light Madison pack simply couldn't build walls quickly enough to slow her roll. Once again Cincinnati was in front, 128-123, with 7:07 left in the game.
But the Cincy momentum was killed when K Lethal cut track to the box yet again. Madison's Mouse took 9 and put Madison in front for good, 132-128, with 5:37 left. K Lethal fouled out on that box trip, robbing Cincy of half of their primary jammer rotation.
On the game's 2nd to last jam, it was, fittingly enough, a jammer track cut that would be the final nail in the coffin for Cincy. This time it was Trauma off to the box as Madison's Darling Nikki trucked through for 20 unanswered points, making it 157-132 with only a few ticks left on the period clock.
Cincy called timeout to force a last jam; Hannah Ouchocinco needed a 25-0 just to tie and ran the full 2 minutes in hopes of a miracle, but the last jam's score of 11-7 was far from enough. -- Justice Feelgood Marshall
7th Place: 6NC North Star 138, 5NC Brewcity 84 -- After taking the lead from Milwaukee’s Brewcity Bruisers in the third jam, the North Star Supernovas refused to give it up and closed out the bout with a 138-84 win. NSRG and BCB finish the tournament in 7th and 8th places, respectively.
Brewcity jammer Rejected Seoul started the bout with four unanswered points, but North Star quickly erased their lead and created a twelve-point cushion in their favor over the next three jams. Jamming again 13 minutes in, Seoul did her best to even it up while opposing jammer Jawbreaker sat in the penalty box, but NSRG took only three minutes to undo all of her work. Midway through the half, BCB jammer Rhoda Ruin took advantage of two North Star blockers serving penalties to put up seven points but ended up in the box herself, allowing North Star jammer MEDUSA to gain eight on the following power jam.
BCB jammers ZoTay and Skittle added five points apiece to bring the Bruisers up to 35, but a track-cutting call on BCB jammer Skittle gave North Star's Stalker Channing the chance to put up five more while skating unopposed. MEDUSA literally leapt in the lead jammer position with two minutes remaining and she and Jawbreaker brought the score to 55 NSRG - 35 BCB at halftime.
For the first 1:07 of the second half, the pack literally went nowhere, finally crossing the line and releasing the jammers after BCB’s pivot left the penalty box. North Star employed the slow pack start again at the start of the second jam, drawing loud boos from the crowd but creating a confused Brewcity pack which, combined with a major penalty against BCB jammer High D. Voltage, gave North Star Katarina Hit the chance to rack up 20 points.
This led into several jams rife with major penalties against blockers and jammers for both teams. The box emptied with just over 15 minutes left and a score of 89 NSRG – 57 BCB, but major penalties leading to unopposed jams allowed BCB to earn 19 and NSRG jammers 35 in the final ten minutes. Skaters and refs took a knee with less than one minute on the clock for NSRG jammer Stalker Channing, who was injured coming around a turn but left the track under her own power. After an official timeout and discussion with both teams, the match was ended with the final score 138-84. -- Ayn Rant
9th Place: 10NC Omaha 169, 8NC Arch Rival 112 -- With the Green Bay Packers playing away in Philadelphia, Lambeau Field sat empty on Sunday morning. The action was right across the street in the Brown County Arena, where the Omaha Rollergirls and Arch Rival kicked off another long day of the WFTDA North Central Regional tournament. It was a free-wheeling affair, with tournament newcomers Omaha steam rolling St. Louis 169-112.
More experienced Arch Rival gained the early lead at 34-8 ten minutes into the game. Omaha slowly found their confidence and edged back to within 17, 54-31. After that, the flood gates opened up for Omaha. Omaha captured nine lead jams in a row for a 64-0 run, highlighted by 25-0 and 15-0 power jams from Anna Maniac and Ima Firestarter. While points rained for Omaha, the penalties came for Arch Rival. Omaha led at half, 87-54.
Thirty-seven combined points from Artemischief and South City Shiner in five short minutes closed the gap for Arch Rival to 120-94 at the 16:30 mark in the second half. Penalties would plague Arch Rival once again, and Omaha finished the game on a 49-18 run. Arch Rival would end the game with 33 majors and 85 minors compared to 22 majors and 76 minors for Omaha.
While the jammers went round-and-round, both packs time and again resorted to stop pack defense and counter-rotation skating. Sometimes the bout was more of a contra dance than a jammer race. The slow and stop game was something new for Omaha, but they learned how to play it and defend it well during the bout.
Anna Maniac finished the game with 81 points. Ima Firestarter added 42 points more. South City Shiner scored 48 points for Arch Rival, while Artemischief had 37 points. -- Geoffrey Saucer
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