D2K: Sac City Stifles Killamazoo, 283-173

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KALAMAZOO, MI–In the last game of the night, the Killamazoo Derby Darlin’s thrilled the hometown crowd with a back-and-forth first half against Sac City, offering multiple lead changes and trailing by just 18 points at halftime. But the second half was all Sac City all the time; the visiting–and higher-seeded–team outscored Killamazoo by a factor of two (160-68) over the period en route to a 283-173 win. That secured them a date with Santa Cruz in tomorrow’s grand final, as well as a trip to November’s Division 1 championships.

The home side opened the game with 15-4 on a power jam but Sac City edged their way up over the next few jams to take the lead 35-20 with 7 minutes gone; Killamazoo’s pack dwindled to just two skaters as the Sac City jammer repeatedly lapped Doobie Trap.

Just one jam later, though, Jessie Girl equalized it with natural grand slams of her own over La Lucha, retaking the lead 39-35.

The next lead change came just before the period’s halfway mark when Doobie Trap landed in the penalty box with the Killamazoo star–La Lucha took the opportunity to close the gap and made it 57-50. Killamazoo called their official review then, requesting a direction of game play penalty on the blocker who’d forced Doobie’s cut, but the no-call stood.

Alykate Contusions picked up a crowd-pleasing lead jammer call and a natural grand slam before La Lucha landed in the box, handing her a power jam–and a lead change with 12 left in the period. It was 75 Killamazoo, 65 Sac City when she called off the jam after being hit to the outfield with La Lucha standing in the box.

That ten-point margin stood over the next five minutes but Killamazoo were able to push it out to 96-72 after Alykate picked up a power jam over La Lucha–and Doobie made it 101-72 before La Lucha returned to play. But then it was Sac City’s turn for a power jam when Doobie ploughed into a blue blocker–and by the time the jam ended, Killamazoo’s lead was just 14 at 101-87 with five minutes to play.

That margin evaporated as the half closed out, with La Lucha putting Sac City in the lead with 90 seconds left in the period, 114-105. Too Short looked set to finish out the half strong as she took the star for the closing seconds of the power jam–but she cut the track right as Jessie Girl returned to play. At the final whistle, Killamazoo trailed 105-123.

Quick Fire returned to play in the second jam of the second half after a hit to the face in the first half; she had a power start to pick up lead jammer status and a full power jam after Jessie Girl was released from the box and immediately sent back there for an illegal procedure. At the end of that jam, Sac City had established the largest lead of the game so far at 153-105.

And it was all uphill from there as Sac City continued to outscore Killamazoo to the tune of 2:1, breaking the 200-mark halfway with 17 minutes left to play at 201-126. Penalties were a considerable factor here, as Killamazoo struggled to keep a jammer on the track–and frequently found themselves defending with two or three blockers, too.

A 4-0 jam for Neva in her first turn with the star thrilled the home crowd–and the Killamazoo team played up to it, clapping and waving as they took the track for the next jam. That went 0-0; the Sac City jammer got out first but it was Alykate Contusions who took lead jammer status and immediately called off the jam, leaving it 213-136 in Sac City’s favour with 11:30 to play.

The momentum continued as Doobie Trap ran up natural grand slams over Too Short, trapped in the pack by Lily St Smear and friends, adding 13-0–and setting up a 4-2 pack advantage when Heckler faced Quick Fire in the next, 0-0, jam. But as the clock ticked past nine minutes, Alykate Contusions cut her way to the box and La Lucha used a 4-2 pack advantage of her own to make it 232-149.

From there it was a foregone conclusion: Sac City put their lead into the triple digits with three minutes left to play, 259-155. Alykate Conclusion picked up lead jammer status to cheers in what looked set to be the last jam–but called it off with four seconds remaining and the team requested a time-out to ensure one last opportunity to finish strong.

Doobie Trap picked up lead jammer status then and seemed to want to skate out the jam clock–but picked up a penalty with 30 seconds to go, leaving Too Short jamming unopposed. When time expired, Sac City had picked up the win 283-173. They’ll meet Santa Cruz tomorrow at 6 p.m in the grand final, while Killamazoo will battle NEO for 3rd.

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