NASHVILLE, TN – The championship bout for WFTDA D2 was a far less narrow fight for winners Detroit, a team who had played as though they had been under-ranked all through Duluth. When the updated rankings were announced a few short weeks later, they had ascended into 39th position (from their #44 entry into playoffs), proving this to be technically true. They put together some solid pack work and doubled in on offensive and defensive play, predominating on lead jammer statuses and taking the win and first place in Division 2, 244-125, against Rideau Valley.
Right off the whistle, Feta Sleeze took an early easy lead, which corresponded to fast packs and anxious play. And while Detroit added easy points, to take the first jam score to 11-0, they continued to hold Rideau Valley unscoring for the first two jams.
In the second, AustinTatious of Rideau took lead and then with a pop-off a block against an opposing team blocker, she earned a penalty and lost lead, leaving a full two minute jam in Detroit’s hands. Detroit then extended their lead further, 20-10.
When right after Meryl Slaughterburgh took a 15-1 jam pushing Detroit to 35-11, Rideau immediately responded with a team time-out, probably trying to regroup and break the roll that Detroit were on.
But Detroit weren’t about to be dissuaded, immediately putting up an extra 10 points, and then continuing with incremental additions to 61-11, holding Rideau scoreless from that ill-fated time-out.
Detroit focused their jamming between Racer MsChaseher and Feta Sleeze in the main, with leads and points coming thick and fast between them, eventually tying them for top game scorers at 71 apiece. While Shania Pain was the most successful jammer for Rideau at 52pts, taking the majority of leads in the second half of the game.
Detroit blockers preferred facing the reverse direction, with backwards-facing bracing and hits seeing them at the front of the pack frequently. Although both teams kept quite scattered and scrappy play going, Detroit were big hitters in the main, and frequently held pack control, reshaping, moving and speeding and slowing packs repeatedly.
By the last five minutes of the first period, the score was at 95-37, to Detroit, and although Soul Rekker took the lead and added in 5 points, it wasn’t about to change her team’s fortunes. With a few seconds to go in the period, an injury call-off for Rideau’s Sister Disaster took her out of play temporarily. And the two teams entered the half with 117-46.
Fortunately Sister Disaster returned to the bench, albeit with an ice pack to her face, in the initial jams of the second half. In fact, by 12 mins remaining in play, she was jamming for Rideau, and took 5 points before another player went down, this time Detroit’s Meryl Slaughterburgh. This put Lazer Beam abruptly in the top-two jammer rotation all of a sudden, and eliminated one of Detroit’s key scorers.
By the time the score hit 120-65, with a 15 point addition for Rideau, Detroit called the first of their team time-outs. They immediately busted out the sneak attack of Lazer Beam, who snuck in and around, keeping the advantage (as well as her small stature) of being a relative unknown entity to opponents, and being able to confound their in-jam play adaptations.
Packs alternated between clustering and sprawling, while Detroit managed to double-up on activity as their defensive walls held at two and three-abreast, leaving them players to make offensive plays.
Shania Pain was the first of the Rideau Valley jammers to take advantage of the jamming lead opening, taking lead for herself, and repeating the feat throughout the rest of the game, in fact assisting in maintaining lead for Rideau in the majority at 62.5% (an almost direct reversal of leads from the first half). But Lazer Beam wasn’t about to let lead slide so quickly taking it for herself in the next jam, and made the most of a powerjam as Sister Disaster was boxed.
In the final 2 mins, Lazer Beam took jam lead and wasn’t about to be dissuaded from points, even on a hit on the apex that kept her balancing on one single foot to stay in bounds. Then with only 20 seconds remaining, and no further team time-outs, Rideau called an official review, teetering on half the points of those of their opponents, at 240-119.
Soul Rekker claimed lead at that point, and a frantic pack tried to keep hold of Racer McChaseher, but lost her so that each team made neck-and-neck gains to take the score to 244-125, Detroit taking the D2 Championship win.
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