Championships Opening Round: 2NC Minnesota Stops 3SC Kansas City, 244-168
ATLANTA, GA -- In the second bout of the WFTDA Championships opening round, 2NC Minnesota got revenge for a late-second unsanctioned loss against 3SC Kansas City with a 96 point win, 244-168. Kansas City still had an outside chance with under ten minutes to play, but a late 23-0 followed by a 15-0 for Minnesota put the game far out of reach.
Minnesota's win will send them to the quarterfinals, where they will face 1W Oly at noon on Saturday.
Kansas City caught a break on the first jam of the game as Minnesota's Harmony Killerbruise pulled lead but was boxed on a track cut on her first scoring pass. Kansas City went right to the passive offense to the extreme disapproval of the Minnesota fans, and Track Rat forced her way through four time, turning the rest of that jam into 15 KC points for an opening frame of 15-2.
Big hits from MNRG blocker Shiva Shankin on Hypersmacktivity on the followup allowed L'exi Cuter to pick up a couple of grand slams on her way to a 10-0. Two more Minnesota lead jammer calls later, Minnesota had the lead back at 24-15.
Track Rat broke a four-jam scoreless sequence with a 4-0 at about the 20 minute mark that put the score at 27-19. A couple of jams later, solid recycling work from KCRW blocker Annie Maul kept L'exi Cuter in pack long enough for Enigma to make it a one point game at 28-27 with 17 minutes to play in the first half.
Unfortunately for Kansas City, that rally hit a wall when their jammer JamaLamaDingDong got boxed battling against a 4-2 pack. Minnesota caught a goat and dragged the pack to a halt as Diamond Rough and Evolution brutally went head to head in the pack; Medusa racked up a big 24-0 there and gave Minnesota their biggest lead of the game at 52-27.
JamaLamaDingDong was frozen in the box at the end of that one, and Hurtude Stein effectively locked her down for over a minute while Harmony Killerbruise added another 14 unanswered points. With 13 minutes in the half, Minnesota had a solid cushion at 66-27.
Things continued to go south for Kansas City, first forced to call off a jam at 0-0 and then losing jammer Track Rat to the box, setting up another power jam for Minnesota -- it was Medusa navigating a tough 3-2 Minnesota pack to take 10-4. Going into the last ten minutes of the half Minnesota led 76-31.
For the rest of the half, Kansas City was able to claim the majority of the lead jammer calls and take single-pass wins -- but Minnesota protected their lead with a big 20-0 jam to Harmony Killerbruise right in the middle of KCRW's rally. In the penultimate jam of the half, it looked as if Kansas City might pick up a much needed big jam, but after picking up lead jammer, a grand slam and 8 points while Medusa was stuck, KCRW jammer Enigma was boxed on a track. Minnesota eventually got all those points back and more during a 9-8.
Kansas City took a canny official review with 5 seconds left in the half -- it gave MNRG's Harmony Killerbruise a 10-0 power jam against the still boxed Enigma, but at least it allowed Minnesota to open the second half with a jammer. The half ended with Minnesota solidly up, 117-50.
A 3-0 for Kansas City's Trauma got KCRW off to a good start, but they lost an opportunity on the followup when Hypersmacktivity prematurely called a 0-0, apparently incorrectly believing her opposing jammer had already broken pack. After another 0-0, the same thing almost happened to Lexi C'uter when she broke out second after Trauma was boxed -- but she recognized the situation just in time and racked up 24-4 by keeping the power jam running. That had Minnesota's lead getting perilously close to triple digits at 141-57 with 24 minutes still to play.
Scoring slowed down for a little bit over the next series, as the score was 149-62 with about 20 minutes to play. Kansas City finally got their second power jam opportunity of the game there, which they exploited with some rule-bending passive offense that turned into 15-0 for Hypersmacktivity and once again drew some lusty boos from the Minnesota partisans.
Kansas City kept it coming, getting a little bit of help from Minnesota calling jams just a little too late on the next two frames. With 14 minutes to play, Minnesota held a solid but not completely safe lead of 162-90 as Kansas City got another power jam opportunity. That jam got complicated quickly as Kansas City's Trauma was boxed while trying to fight her lonely way through a tough Minnesota pack, but Minnesota's Harmony Killerbruise was boxed again out of the box at the very last moment of the full-length jam after winning a 13-4. Harmony fouled out on that box trip - problematic for MNRG as she was their highest-scoring jammer with 79 points.
Once again, Kansas City went to passive offense, leaving just Annie Maul to define the back of the pack while the rest of her team stood far behind the action. This time it worked out much better for KCRW with a big win of 24-0 to Bella Fire. That put the score at 175-118 with 8:49 to play.
That 57 point deficit was the closest Kansas City had been in the half, but Minnesota convincingly shut the door on their faint comeback hopes on the next three jams. In the first, Medusa killed some time off the clock in an extended 13-8. The second saw lockdown defense from Minnesota's Juke Boxx and Crust Almighty that gave Second Hand Smoke a huge 23-0 and put KCRW jammer Hypersmacktivity in the box at the very end, and L'exi Cuter put up an unopposed 15-0 to follow that.
That 51-8 run meant Minnesota's lead finally hit exactly 100 points at 226-126 with 2:07 to play. A full-length final jam allowed Kansas City to get the final margin into double digits at 244-148, but the final still sent Minnesota to the quarterfinals on a big win, where they will face 1W Oly at noon on Saturday.