Championships Opening Round: 3NC Naptown Comes Back on 2SC Atlanta, 169-153

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ATLANTA, GA — In the final opening-round bout of the WFTDA Championships tournament, host league 2SC Atlanta jumped out to a 50-0 lead in the first ten minutes but could not hold back a determined comeback from 3NC Naptown. The Indianapolis crew finally erased the opening deficit with 16 minutes to play — and then put up an extraordinary defensive stand in the last jam of the game to hang on to a 169-153 victory.

Naptown’s win sends them up against tournament favorite 1E Gotham at 4pm on Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Bout stats via Rinxter.

Atlanta kicked things off by fielding the jammer MVP from the South Central playoffs, who provided her team with a 3-0 lead to the approval of the hometown crowd; Hollicidal added another lead jammer call but only 1 more point on the followup to make it 4-0 Atlanta early.

The hosts kept it coming with strong defense from Switchblade Siouxsie, Rebel Yellow and Scout SnipeHer creating two more lead jammer calls and two more shutout jams for Atlanta; on the second, Jammunition blew up the crowd by shaking off an attempted kill shot from Shadi Layne. Four jams and seven minutes into the game, Atlanta led 22-0.

Problems piled up for Naptown on the fifth jam as Naptown’s Maiden America created the first power jam of the game when she picked up a fourth minor; Nora Gretz had little trouble against an overwhelmingly lopsided 4-1 pack and more than doubled Atlanta’s advantage with a 24-0. Atlanta was cruising at 46-0 with less than ten minutes gone in the game.

It was 50-0 for Atlanta before Naptown’s Piper Sonic finally took lead and points for her team, making it 50-5 with 18:45 to play in the first half; that began a minor Naptown rally that got them to within 50-15 with 15 minutes to play in the first half.

With about 12 minutes left in the half, Naptown’s Blue Messiah got a desperately needed power jam opportunity when Atlanta’s Jammunition was boxed. Although Messiah got a 15-0 out of it — making the score a more reasonable 57-30 — and iced Jammunition in the box, the next jam went pear-shaped for Naptown quickly. Amooze Bouche traded the power jam away, and when Jammunition came out of the box, she was momentarily looking at the lightest pack possible as each team had only one blocker on the track. Her 15-0 there erased the Blue Messiah jam and Atlanta led 72-30.

But Naptown was resilient, launching a big rally from there. With 5:51 in the half, they’d narrowed the score to 80-50 with the help of another Atlanta jammer penalty. Amooze Booche took the other side of the power jam, and Dora the Destroyer, Asian Sinsation and Cereal Killer had some very effective defense work to make time for a Booche 9-0.

Naptown had turned a 50 point hole into a 21 point one at 80-59 with under 5 minutes in the half — going in the final jam of the half, it was 88-63 Atlanta. It looked like Maiden America was going to end the half on a very impressive 4-0 as Naptown had been reduced to just one blocker against 4 for Atlanta, but Naptown called a timeout with 5 seconds left on the period clock and the score 88-67; Booche finished off the Naptown surge by ending the half with 3-0 to make it just a 18 point game at 88-70.

Atlanta got a badly needed big jam on the second half opener, as Wild Cherri and Alassin Sane got all over Maiden America, allowing Atlanta jammer Merchant of Menace to lap Maiden in the course of a 8-0. But with the new score 96-70, a jammer penalty on Atlanta’s Hollicidal opened the floor for G-Rocket to press through for 15-2. It was just a 15 point game early in the half at 98-85.

After a lengthy official timeout that saw Atlanta blocker Queen Loseyateefa get hit with 3 majors in the same jam, Atlanta was in a particularly tough situation, looking at a 4-1 pack with only Ozzie Kamakazi out as a blocker to help jammer Merchant of Menace. Dora the Destroyer, Cereal Killer, Ima Hurchu and Asian Sinsation took advantage of the massive numbers disparity, but Booche could only take 4-0 before Atlanta’s box emptied. With 24:19 to play Naptown was nine points away at 98-89.

But Atlanta found their feet just in time, taking lead on the next four jams to keep Naptown blanked and open up the lead a bit at 106-89 with 20 minutes left in the game. That series ended with Hollicidal picking up a crowd-displeasing major track cut, and G-Rocket only had to navigate a 2-2 pack on her way to a big full-length 20-3 win — tying the game at 109-109 with 17:15 left in the game.

Amooze Booche took lead jammer with some supernatural footwork next up — and gave her team the lead for the first time in the game on her scoring pass with a 3-0. Piper Sonic added 4-0 with a smooth move to finish her pass, and the momentum was all Naptown with exactly 15 minutes to go as Atlanta called their second timeout; Naptown was up by 7, 116-109.

Booche added a quick 1-0 following a timeout that had the Atlanta crowd rallying hard for the hometown team; the next jam was a defensive showcase on both sides as Wild Cherri and Rebel Yellow bottled up Piper Sonic while Dora the Destroyer and Cereal Killer did the same to the Merchant of Menace. Although Menace finally got lead, the 90 second jam ended with just 1-0 to Atlanta, and it was still a 7 point game at 117-110 with 10:30 left in the game.

The Naptown defense stepped up again next, with Enya Grave and Ima Hurchu battering Hollicidal while Maiden American rolled to 10-0. Atlanta called their final timeout with 9:15 to play and Naptown holding their largest lead of the game at 127-110.

But things turned around dramatically after the timeout. Amooze Booche was boxed on a track cut and Jammunition ran wild in front of an equally wild Atlanta crowd, bursting past Naptown blockers for a lead-changing 20-0 that put the score at Atlanta 130, Naptown 127 with 7:20 to go. Jammunition froze Booche in the box, and The Merchant of Menace added 4 more to the home team’s lead on the flip. Atlanta had a crowd-pleasing 134-127 lead with 6:16 on the game clock.

Hard hits from Naptown blockers Dora the Destroyer and Ima Hurchu on Jammunition were key in the next frame as G-Rocket racked up a 150-0 that put Naptown in front again, 142-134, with 3:30 to play. It was the last lead change of the game, but the outcome was very much in question until the final whistle.

After Naptown added 3-0 on the next to make it 145-134, Atlanta put out Wild Cherri as jammer for the first time, who blew up the crowd with 4 points — but was just a hair late calling off the jam, allowing Maiden America to steal 4 last-second points of her own.

The score was 149-138 with under 2 minutes to play, with Atlanta needing a big jam. They went to their ace Merchant of Menace, who got lead but could not stay more than a lap ahead of Amooze Bouche. She pushed the jam past the last thirty seconds of the period clock, and when she called it off at 8-3 with only about 10 seconds left on the clock and Atlanta holding no timeouts, it looked like Atlanta was sunk, still trailing 152-146. But the Atlanta bench coach rushed the infield and was able to get an official review called with just 5 seconds left on the period clock.

The score stood at 152-146 Naptown — but just one blocker on the track for Naptown. That turned into a quick lead jammer call for The Merchant of Menace, but Naptown’s box emptied before she got into her second scoring pass — and almost every Naptown blocker had a key hit to force Menace out of bounds and backwards on the track, as Cereal Killer started the attack and was eventually joined by Enya Grave, Asian Sinsation and Ima Hurchu. Atlanta’s blockers, trapped out in the front, couldn’t get back in time to help her, and in the waning seconds of the jam Menace was finally sent off on a track cut to watch the final moments expire from the box. Maiden America won the jam 17-7, finally quieted the Atlanta fans for good — at the end of the jam, Naptown had stayed on top and survived the closest bout of the day, 169-153.

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