BROOMFIELD, CO — After an epic near-upset against the heavily favored Oly Rollers to close out Saturday night’s action, Kansas City ended up having more trouble with longtime rivals Texas. It was a rematch of October’s very closely matched South Central championship bout, and once again the outcome was up in the air until Texas had a solid game-ending run to pull away. There were six lead changes in the first half, but Texas took the lead for good ten minutes into the second half and ended up winning by 24, 136-112.
The bout started on four very closely contested jams — 1-0 to KCRW, 0-0 and 2-0 to Texas. Excellent blocking from Texas’ Luce Bandit and Barbara Ambush was able to hold up Kansas City jammer Kelley Young long enough for Vicious Van Go Go to get the first full scoring pass of the game on jam 4 with a 4-0.
Jam 5 would spell trouble for Kansas City, as they filled their box while Texas had everybody available on the power jam – Tuff Noogies and Archie Lee, left alone on the track, could not slow Olivia Shootin’ John’s roll to 15-2. About ten minutes into the game, Texas was solidly up 21-3.
Kansas City rallied with three lead jammer calls in a row following that; the score was 24-13 before Kansas City got their first power jam opportunity when Olivia Shootin’ John was boxed. Unfortunately for KC, that jam ended early on an injury to their jammer Track Rat. She did put up 5 on that one, and Kelley Young added 9-0 on the other side of the power jam for a lead change at 27-24 Kansas CIty with 15 minutes left in the first half.
After a 0-0 to follow, Texas broke a string of 7 KC lead jams in a row and retook the lead with a 9-0 from Vicious Van Go Go, but when Kelley Young grabbed a natural grand slam to follow, it was a one point game at Texas 33, Kansas City 32 with 10:53 to play.
It was still a one point game at 45-44 Texas about five minutes later, but Texas completely filled their penalty box; Luce Bandit and Belle Starr did a excellent job of keeping the damage low at 5-0; Kansas City took the lead at 49-45.
The next jam began bizarrely as Texas jammer OSJ blasted through a pack that didn’t seem to realize the jam had started; meanwhile, Kansas City pivot Bruz Her mysteriously put on the jammer star and was immediately boxed. OSJ was only able to get 5-0 of her own from the odd sequence before getting boxed on a track cut.
That jam gave Texas the lead at 50-49, but Kelley Young got 9-0 on the following power jam and Kansas City had the game’s sixth lead change at 58-50 with just enough time for one more jam. Case Closed put up 4-0 on that power jam to give Kansas City their largest lead of the game at 62-50 at the break.
Kansas City extended that lead to twenty points at 79-59 about 7 minutes into the half. They’d catch a bad break there when Kelley Young had lead jammer status but was called for a major forearm for jammer-on-jammer contact as she and Olivia Shootin’ John were on their way to the pack. That ended up erasing almost all of the Kansas City lead, making it 81-79 Kansas City. One jam later, Texas was on the right side of the bout’s 7th lead change at 83-81 with about 19 minutes to play.
Texas was still up 91-85 with 14 minutes to play, but Kansas City got a power jam opportunity to Jade Lightning when OSJ was boxed as lead jammer. However, Curvette, Bloody Mary, Luce Bandit and Killbox killed the penalty very effectively, and Jade stopped skating early when she apparently incorrectly believed the jam was over. Jade ended up being outscored on the jam 8-7, and Texas got out of the powerjam still ahead at 99-92.
That seemed to be the turning point of the game. Texas took advantage of a jammer penalty spanning two jams to put up back to back 9-0 jams, giving them their largest lead of the game at 117-92 with about 8 minutes to go, and Kansas City could not mount another comeback. In the end, Texas took third place with a final score of 136-112.