#25 Columbia Survives Tallahassee, 155-154

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COLUMBIA, SC — Columbia (#25 DNN, unofficially unranked by WFTDA) and Tallahassee (officially #15 in the South Central via WFTDA) took their bout to the last second on March 31, with a last second power jam allowing Columbia to pull out a 155-154 squeaker of a victory.

Coming into the game, Tallahassee and Columbia were both undefeated on the year and fresh off a highly successful first quarter. Tallahassee had notched an upset win over South Central regional #7 Green Country, and Columbia landed a huge upset win of their own on the East’s #8 Carolina. The game started off as a low scoring affair, but by halftime Columbia had secured a 66-58 lead.

The game began with Tallahassee’s low maim drawing first blood against Columbia’s Crystal Cut, picking up the only point for the first three jams, as each team played tight and defensively. After the first ten jams, there were 18 minutes left in the half and the score was a paltry 13-8 for Columbia.

Columbia’s Grafix and Tallahassee’s Catchup took to the line together, and took the penalty box together just a lap later. Both sat in the box for no more than a second but had two hard hitting minutes on the track in a 12-12 tie, nearly doubling the score to 25-22. A follow up no-lead power-jam for Tallahassee’s The Great Wall of Gina over Columbia’s Mel Anoma allowed Tallahassee to retake the lead, 34-29. The game stayed close over the next five jams but Tallahassee maintained their tenuous five point lead at 42-37 with eight minutes left in the half.
   
Tallahassee’s low maim and Columbia’s Crystal Cutt took to the track again, and were both sent to the box for back to back track cuts. After serving a few seconds each, low maim was sent back almost immediately for a second track cut allowing Crystal Cut to pick up a huge 27 points to low’s 8. The result was a Columbia 61-45 lead with just five minutes left in the half. Tallahassee nickel and dimed their way to a slightly closer game before the break, with Columbia up by 8 at 66-58 at the half.
   
Columbia started the second half strong, dominating the first four jams so that jammers Grafik, Crystal Cutt, and Mel Anoma added 11 points to Tallahassee’s 1, widening the lead to 77-59. Three jams later the margin remained exactly the same at Columbia 83, Tallahassee 65.

There was a major momentum swing to the Floridans there, though, as a major cut sent Columbia’s Crystal Cutt to the box and Tallahassee’s low maim, led by blockers Pixie Pounder, Vaginamite, Titanium Whip and Stone Her, scored 28 points on a huge power jam to retake the lead at 93-83.

That lead lasted through three more jams before Columbia rode their own power jam and 4-2 pack advantage to a 107-92 lead. The energy was high, and Tallahassee’s Great Wall tied it up on the next jam at 107-107, and then the lead at 121-112 with Catchup on a power jam, only to have the lead snatched away by Grafix the next jam, 128-122.

Tallahassee reclaimed the lead with a 19 point power jam with Catchup at the jammer position, and two 2 point follow up jams expanded Tallahassee’s lead to 145-128 with just about five minutes left in the game. With two minutes left, Tallahassee seemed almost secure in a 154-136 lead.
   
But that cushion was just barely not enough. On the penultimate jam, low maim went to the box for Tallahassee as the jammer, allowing Grafik to take a key14 points. With less than 30 seconds left on the clock, they still trailed 154-150, but had a timeout left to force another jam. With Tallahassee’s low maim standing in the box, Columbia put Mel Anoma out to jam. Despite a furious defense by Tallahassee, Columbia took the lead and five points, calling the jam off just in time to win 155-154.
   
Columbia’s record for 2012 improves to 3-0, and their next game is against the East’s unranked Cape Fear on April 21.. Tallahassee dropped to 3-1, but steamrolled the East’s unranked Lowcountry Highrollers (Charleston, SC) 234-70 the next day to finish the weekend at 4-1 on the year; Tallahassee’s next game is on April 14 against Big Easy, currently ranked #18 in the South Central.

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