Game 11 of Day 2 at 2016 International WFTDA D2 Playoffs in Wichita, KS, USA featured the Kansas City Roller Warriors of Kansas City, MO, USA (seed #5, WFTDA #50) against Boulder County Bombers of Longmont, CO, USA (seed #8, WFTDA #58). Two teams, one state and three seeding spots apart. And in the end, it was just one point that made the difference as Boulder County upset Kansas City, 201-200.
Kansas City hit rough water early against the Boulder County Bombers, as two KC blockers went to the box in the opening jams, and the Bombers picked up lead in four consecutive jams. One jam, the second in the period, saw KC’s jammer Lady Killshot going to the box for a forearm; during the jam, Boulder County’s Smashalotapus picked up 12 points. After seven minutes of play, however, Kansas City found their footing and took the lead in a series of jams when they outscored the Bombers 30-0. The lead change occurred as Kansas City’s Turtle Power jammed for the first time in tournament play; she picked up a back block, but that was quickly negated due to a track cut and out of play penalty by Bomber jammer Sauce. Turtle Power put up 20 points.
Mayhem Myers and Foxxi Brown, along with Baby Buster and Rayna Pain led the Kansas City pack, holding jammer X-Ray Vixon despite her having lead jammer; the Warriors held Vixon, giving pivot-turned-jammer Enigma a chance to grab 10 points to Vixon’s nine. Enigma’s 10-point snatch was followed up by 50 more points for Kansas City, compared to Boulder County’s 14. Aggressive blocking continued to play prominently in the period, with Brassica I’llRaceYa, Dinah Fire, and Her She Bad sticking to Kansas City skaters on each and every turn.
Kansas City, in an effort to neutralize Boulder County’s impressive lead jammer status, passed the star cover five times during the first period (nine times throughout the game). In some instances, the pass worked out in the team’s favor, but not in jams 15 and 16 when the Bombers scored 18 unanswered points. Jammer Sauce earned a trip to the box in the last jam of the first period after she picked up the pivot cover illegally. She sat for moments when KC jammer Xcelerator cut the track with just under 30 seconds before the end of the half. The period ended with a 14-point differential in favor of the Kansas City Roller Warriors, 95-81.
To avoid their jammer starting in the penalty box, Kansas City called for an official review on Xcelerator’s cut penalty; the review was denied, and Boulder started on a power jam with captain and jammer Feist E. One. She picked up five points. Just three jams later, Feist E. swung the point pendulum back into Boulder County’s favor with a 19-point jam despite huge hits from Kansas City’s blocker Baby Buster. The Bombers went into the sixth minute of play of the period up 13, 112-99. The momentum they gained during Feist E.’s 19-point jam was shut down, however, when the game stopped for an injury to Kansas City’s blocker Bit. The injury and subsequent warm-up laps took 23 minutes.
“It’s always hard when someone gets hurt,” Feist E. said. “We try to stay calm and focused, but it’s always tough.”
The play was noticeably slower and hits moderately lighter as play resumed after the injury stoppage. Kansas City surged with 20 unanswered points, but 32 points from Bombers jammer Smashalotapus with 17 minutes remaining in the game put things out of reach for the Warriors. Or so it seemed from jams 11 through 14. The Warriors, with blocking work from Foxxi and Myers, managed to come within striking distance in the game’s final four jams; the strategic use of timeouts to stop game play also helped. Kansas City’s high-scoring jammer JessiKaboom picked up 24 points with just under four minutes of play remaining, putting the Roller Warriors up by six points, 191-185. Bomber jammer X-Ray Vixon never made it out of the pack as KC blockers Xcelerator, Enigma, Myers, and Foxxi recycled her for a full two minutes.
It looked as though KC had assured their fifth place play for Sunday with 1:49 remaining on the game clock. With the potential of one last jam, Boulder County leaned on Smashalotapus, and Kansas City called Lady Killshot to the jammer line. The two lined up facing the pack, though Kansas City had two blockers in the box. The pack advantage played into Boulder County’s hand, and Smashalotapus slid through the pack to gain lead jammer status. The Bombers picked up 11 before Smashalotapus went to the box on a forearm, leaving Kansas City on a power jam. Lady Killshot thought she had enough points as she cleared the pack and the final whistle blew. But Kansas City came up short by one point, as Smashalotapus’s final five points went on the board after the whistle.
“The last jam was amazing,” Feist E. One said. “[Kansas City] is an amazing team to play. As for tomorrow, we’ve never played Houston, so tonight we’re going to eat and get some sleep. We’re planning to come back prepared.”
Boulder County moves on to play for fifth place in Game 15 at 2 p.m. against Houston Roller Derby (seed #2). Kansas City moves to play for seventh in Game 14 at noon against the Tucson Roller Derby Saddletramps (seed #6).
Kansas City Roller Warriors (seed #5, WFTDA #50) 200
Boulder County Bombers (seed #8, WFTDA #58) 201