MILWAUKEE, WI – After two days of the 7th annual Midwest BrewHaHa, it seems that many games have been a story of two halves. Nearly half of the games so far have had a differential of under 30 points by half time, but only three games finished as close. There were six instances when the team who was down at the half came back to take the win, two of which were by the Mad Rollin’ Dolls. Only the Junior game came down to a single-digit win, but two teams from outside the U.S. fought to it out to 13-point victory.
The first game of the day was a close one between #71 Paradise City and #48 Bear City.* The score stayed neck and neck for most of the first half until a 36-0 run for Bear City put them ahead, helping them go into the halftime break with a 24-point lead, 89-65. Both teams mostly stuck to defense and only offered offense during power jams or when the opposing jammer got out of the pack. Bear City’s blockers found each other in pairs and sometimes swarmed the pack with one on one offense while Paradise City stuck to a cube formation and worked around opposing blockers to recycle and hold onto Berlin jammers.
Penalties started to effect certain Bear City players however, and Foxy Führer fouled out in the third jam of the second half while Lizzy Slaughter got her sixth one around the same time. She was then benched for awhile and only returned to the track one more time to foul out. Emmazon stretched her penalties out and fouled out in the last jam. With only 12 skaters on the track to begin with, they needed every skater to stay there to help them be successful. With 23 minutes left in the game, Paradise City took the lead by four points with a 17-point power jam by Bang Bang. Bear City was still within 16 points with about ten minutes left, but a 60-19 run by Paradise City kept the score out of reach and the Australians picked up their first win of the weekend, 201-144.
Bear City played again at 2:15pm CDT against #68 Grand Raggidy, and it looked like exhaustion was setting in when Berlin was down as much as 53 points towards the end of the first half. They worked their way back into contention however, and a 24-point jam by Mia Missile put them ahead 169-160. It tied up at 182 before the end, but Bear City held on and took their first win 199-182. Mia topped scoring for Berlin on Saturday at 129 points with Donner Doro behind her with 117 after their two games.
Team United also played two games, and after a physical win in the morning against #28 Detroit 266-151, they took on #9 Arch Rival. The Des Moines team only brought 10 skaters to Milwaukee and with two of their regulars unavailable for the weekend, they invited Crowe and Hockey Honey from San Diego to play with them. Crowe scored 127 points in their first game with her speed and ability to slip through the tiniest cracks. She had a harder time against the tough defense of Arch however (although was able to jump this apex successfully), and at times Des Moines’ jammers could barely make any forward movement on the track against immovable blockers such as Cloak N’ Drag-her or Shimmy Hoffa.
Arch Rival’s Bricktator had another successful day jamming and picked up a 28 and 24-point jam to add to her total of 90 points against Des Moines. Team United didn’t make it easy however, and they led for the first 10 minutes of the game. With penalties usually being Des Moines’ downfall, their jammers stayed out of the box in the first half altogether and they only got 29 total penalties by the end of the game. However, the fouls were concentrated on Lolli Pop Ya, who played all but seven jams, and Hockey Honey, Snot Face, and Vyolent GriMm who all also stayed on the track for a majority of the game. Arch took control of the game in the second half and outlasted Des Moines in a very physical and fast moving game to win 238-119.
Since Burning River didn’t attend this weekend and #62 Brewcity and #71 Paradise City originally had games against them, the two decided to fill a gap in the schedule at 5:45pm on Saturday and play each other. Brewcity has only retained about half their roster from last season, but most of the skaters filling in the gaps have had prior experience on their B team. Danger is newer to skating though, and as a rookie jammer she put up 21 points against Paradise City. After a halftime score of 113-79 with the Australians leading, they outscored Brewcity 116-36 in the second half to take the win 229-115 and finish the tournament 2-1. Brewcity will wrap up the weekend against Bear City at 7:15pm CDT Sunday evening.
#29 Madison had another close game on Saturday against #52 Tri-City, and after the Dairyland Dolls were down six points at the half, they came back to win 154-119. Ladie Who-ha was top scorer with 51 points but picking up 48 points was Black Velvet, who is new to the Dairyland Dolls this year but got her experience on their recreational league for a few seasons. Their focus on offense, usually by Thrill Show, helped them open up walls and get an edge on lead jammer calls.
Since this was Cincinnati’s first game of the weekend, they came in with fresh legs and jumped to a 40-18 head start about 15 minutes into the game. However, a 22-point power jam by Taz brought Calgary back into the game and from there it stayed close until the half where Cincinnati led by 9 points. Calgary only picked up nine penalties in the second half though, and they added 119 points to take the Black Sheep 212-161.
The final WFTDA game was between #34 Nashville and #39 Houston, and was another first half barn burner with Houston going into it ahead by 12 points. With Nashville’s 9 jammer penalties to Houston’s three in the second half, Houston took charge and won by 50 points, 166-116. This was Houston’s first win of the weekend since a canceled flight got them into Milwaukee late and they missed their first matchup against Tri-City. Nashville only had two games on the schedule so they finished out the weekend 0-2 but with two very exciting games.
West Coast vs Naptown’s B-Team. Photo credit: Danforth Johnson.
There were two unsanctioned women’s games on Saturday, and the first one was between the West Coast Derby Knockouts and Naptown’s B-team, the Warning Belles. Both teams managed to keep their penalties in check, although there were certain skaters on each team that seem to be collecting them more than others. Naptown was just able to pick up lead jammer status more consistently and while West Coast was within 46 points at the half, Naptown took the win 333-133.
Later Brewcity’s Battlestars and North Star’s Northern Lights went head to head and this one stayed pretty competitive the entire game. The Northern Lights kept pulling away in the score but Brewcity would come back with a big jam to bring the score within a reasonable distance again. As series of lead calls in the second half and a 25-point jam by Bobash Feory put North Star ahead by 76 points. Brewcity earned lead in 8 of the last 10 jams and went on a 49-19 run, but it was too little too late and North Star won 170-129.
Saturday’s men’s games weren’t as blown out as Friday’s, but one of the most anticipated games of the weekend didn’t go quite as expected. Twin Cities proved they could still work effectively with just two blockers on the track and Merlin used his wizardry to get lead jammer against a full Milwaukee Blitzdkreig pack. The #12 Twin Cities Terrors beat #40 Milwaukee Blitzdkreig 215-119 after a tight first half. Drive-By and Rock City also were closer at the half 102-80, and with Drive-By winning at the break they pressed on to take Rock City 222-139.
The last game of the evening was between the #1 GateKeepers and #3 Texas, and with St. Louis taking two of their previous three match-ups with the Texans, this game was expected to be close. Texas had a messy first half however, and St. Louis maintained control with effective penalty kills and strong duos such as Wrecking Bill and Bled Zepplin. They led by 95 points at the half and kept playing their game onto a 298-98 win.
One of the most exciting games of the day was the Junior bout between the Brewcity Micro Bruisers and the Quad City Orphan Brigade and they had a big crowd cheering them on. Although there were lots of power jams, these young skaters showed how they could effectively execute offense and lay some hefty face-to-face hits just like the adults. Just when it looked like the Micro Bruisers had fallen into an insurmountable deficit, they picked up some much needed points to bring it back to a nine-point game. They used their time outs to stretch out the last few jams and Pika Zoom returned to the track three times in a row to jam for the Bruisers. Although exhausted, she put up 23 points in the last jam, but the Orphan Brigade just barely squeaked out ahead, 306-302.
Check out a recap of Day 1, or head to our BrewHaHa Central page to stay up to date on scores.
*These rankings are as of the April WFTDA rankings release.
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