D2K: Santa Cruz Hangs Up On NEO, 241-135

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KALAMAZOO, MI–The first semifinal of the second Division 2 playoff saw Santa Cruz secure the penultimate place in the Division 2 games in Milwaukee as they comfortably dispatched NEO, 241-135.

Foxee Firestorm starred with sharp hitting in the first jam as Santa Cruz came out hot. NEO showed off their offensive credentials in the third jam when Hummuscide got on the board.

Mary Khaos then busted NEO into a lead when a backblock call handed her a powerjam. But Hell Louise held Twin Pistol as Queen Litigious immediately restored the lead. The next jam looked to be going the same way as Hummuscide was held by Liv N. Letdie–but then Pippi Hard Socking was boxed on a forearm when she was out and scoring. But Hummus swiftly followed on a cut and the Santa Cruz lead was maintained.

A run of relatively low-scoring power jams stretched the lead slowly past 40 points as halftime approached. Envy Atoms raced back perfectly to force a track cut on Mary Khaos as she spotted the NEO jammer just stepping out of bounds struggling with two other Santa Cruz blockers. Mary picked up a low block after being sent spinning across the floor into a Santa Cruz blocker’s legs.

Queen and Dusty Roadz used those penalties to push the lead up–and Dusty got the final points of the half as CoraZone and Foxee worked over Kaos after she returned. That left Santa Cruz with a comfortable 142-65 lead.

The lead was 100 within five minutes of the restart–but a power jam for NEO followed as Santa Cruz’ blockers filled the box and the lead was rapidly sliced into by Taking Names on her first jam of the day, with some fine juking and one sweetly timed apex jump to make it 170-83. Duelling powerjams between Twin Pistol and Betty the Kid followed–and jam 9 was whistled dead jammerless, with the scoreboard reading 179-96.

Pistols added five next time out–and Betty was called out on a cut very shortly after returning. 15 points went up on the power jam, before NEO got another–but Envy Atoms again came to the rescue for Santa Cruz as she sent Professor Booty to the box on an expertly forced cut.

Hummuscide then hit the box after another forced cut–which let Roadz and Queen restore the 100-point advantage. The closing minutes featured more trading of power jams despite Santa Cruz’ shift to a much more defensive posture, letting speeds rise even on power jams to run the clock down.

Queen made the lead 100 again in the very last jam as Foxee and Cleopatra Catastrophe controlled the pack; the bout finished 241-135.

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