The Tucson Roller Derby Saddletramps of Tucson, AZ, USA (seed #6, WFTDA #50) ended the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs Wichita on a high note with a 223-119 win over the Kansas City Roller Warriors All Stars of Kansas City, MO, USA (seed #5, WFTDA #50). Tucson secures seventh place in the Wichita playoff.
These two original WFTDA member leagues have a friendly history dating back to the 2006 Dust Devil Tournament. They’ve met once this year already, with Tucson taking the 335-106 victory at the Clover Cup in Dallas, TX.
Tucson came out strong Sunday and blanked Kansas City for the first 10 minutes of the match. The Saddletramps’ shutout was thanks in part to blockers Blaxican Bomber, Pinky McLovin, Momo, Juno Gnomi, Metal Maiden, and Trouble Shooter, who kept packs fast and aggressive.
Kansas City jammer JessiKaBoom broke the drought with a 19-point show in jam seven.
Of the 19 jams in the first half, Tucson held Kansas City scoreless in 15 of them. Tucson took lead jammer status 13 times and only went to the penalty box twice. Kansas City had 22 first-half penalties; Tucson had half as many.
“We stuck to the same plan we had all weekend,” Tucson Head Coach Downtown Dave said. “We know our jammer rotation, know our blocking system. It’s not Xs and Os derby with us as much as it’s a mindset. There are no surprises.”
Tucson took advantage of multiple power jams early in the game and turned in some high-scoring jams: Mystery Meat had 24 points in one stretch and 14 in another, Pixie Axe had a 20-point jam. But mostly the strategy seemed to be take lead jammer status, turn in two scoring passes, and call it off before Kansas City could get on the board. The Saddletramps went into halftime with a 120-46 lead.
Kansas City jammers got into penalty trouble again early in the second half, and Tucson took advantage. Death Proof put up a 20-point jam, and with teammates Pixie Axe and Shana Banana Hammock stretched Tucson’s lead to a 134-point margin.
But each team was on their fourth game in three days, and jammer fatigue began to set in midway through the second half. Kansas City blockers Enigma, Rump Wrecker, and Xcelerator made life difficult for Tucson.
“The game they played last night [one-point loss to the Boulder County Bombers (seed #8)] was one of the best games I’ve seen them in. We knew they would be emotional, we knew they would be game-ready,” Downtown Dave said of Kansas City.
Kansas City got a late spark when regular blocker Enigma, also the team’s go-to star passer, started on the jam line. She quickly got lead jammer status and four points. Her team would gain lead jammer status five more times in the half, but Tucson jammers would always be right on their heels, forcing a call-off.
Tucson’s Pixie Axe led all jammers with 77 points, while Death Proof had 55, and Shana Banana Hammock had 42. Their teammate Mystery Meat had 44 points before leaving the game midway through the second half with a raging bloody nose. For Kansas City, Lady Killshot had 59 points and JessiKaBoom had 47.
Tucson Roller Derby (#6) 223
Kansas City Roller Warriors (#5) 119