D2K: NEO Boots Carolina, 222-178

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KALAMAZOO, MI–NEO got lead within seconds of the first whistle, and had the lead within 30 seconds. A 7-0 first jam for NEO was followed by a lead call for Carolina–but it was 7 minutes in before CRG got their first points on the board. Carolina took the lead in the dying seconds of the half with a 34-0 run, but a second half that featured multiple lead changes ended up favoring NEO, who took the game 222-178.

In the jam after Carolina’s first points, Hummuscide and Ginger Clobbers both hit the box on cuts but it was Hummuscide who got the better of the power jam, making the most of a 4:2 pack advantage to make it 34-7 with 20:46 remaining.

Sheeza Freak was boxed in the next jam with the Carolina star and 22 points went up for NEO. But Carolina started to nickle and dime their way back in as they started to rack up a few lead jam calls, but NEO put a stop to that as Carolina began to rack up out-of-play and contact penalties in the pack. Jammer penalties plagued both sides too–one jam alone featured four–and Carolina managed to stay in touch. NEO’s Take Out was ruled out by injury in this stretch, though, taking NEO’s 12-woman line-up down to 11.

In the dying minutes of the half Hummuscide watched from the box as Carolina took the game to within 15. Sheeza Freak made it a one-point game with the period clock reading zero as Hummusicide returned to play on her initial pass. Freak took the lead for Carolina as the Carolina pack dominated Hummuscide, repeatedly knocking her out on the straightaway and keeping the pack stationary as they recycled her back to the turn time and time again. The made Freak’s total for the jam 35-0–and Carolina held their first lead going into the interval ahead 107-93.

Carolina forced a cut after a star pass to Finnish-HER with Freak already throwing up grand slams in the second jam of the closing period. Caddy Compton finished off that power jam to make the lead 43 before being sent off on a cut as she toe-stopped round the outside. But Finnish-HER was boxed on a cut on her very first pass after coming out of the box and couldn’t put any points on the board.

Hummuscide cut into the lead as Clobbers got clobbered before an injury to Wes Cravin Brainz ended the next jam prematurely. That took NEO to 10 skaters, but it didn’t halt their momentum. Mary Kaos made it 145-127 next time out and called it in time for Bad Mooney to start her first jam unopposed.

After that 4-0 Hummuscide lapped as Taking Names single-handedly controlled Clobbers; two grand slams in Hummuscide saw Clobbers head to the box–and she retook the lead for Carolina with Clobbers still seated as NEO extended their run to 49-0. A 4-0 for Compton put Carolina’s noses back in front.

Wes Craven Brains then returned to the action after some brief attention from the EMTs earlier–and Twin Pistols put up a 9-0 for yet another lead change. The NEO lead was 7 when Carolina took the first team time-out of the bout. While the next jam went NEO’s way, things very soon started to go wrong. Twin Pistols took a huge hit with the star for NEO and found herself on the way to the box for a low block after she tangled with the blocker who levelled her as she fell out of control.

That let Freak retake the lead for Carolina and make it 175-163–but she was boxed on a cut just as Pistols returned and the jam clock expired. Mary Khaos retook the lead on the powerjam with a 20-0 jam, only having to deal with one or two blockers each pass.

A time-out to correct the score after both teams traded single-digit jams made it 191-178 in NEO’s favour with four minutes to go.

But the very next jam put the bout to bed. Hummuscide had a 4-1 pack advantage for some of it as she made it 217-178 as the bout entered its final two minutes. Inside the final minute, Pistols got lead and a quick grand slam–and called it for a 222-178 NEO victory.

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