INDIANAPOLIS, IN — In an matchup between Windy City home team The Fury and Naptown’s B-team the Warning Belles, the first 20 minutes belonged to the Fury and the last 15 minutes belonged to the Belles. While the Fury led by as much as 26 points in the first half, the mid-game was marked by 7 lead changes before the Belles capitalized on an avalanche of late-game jammer penalties on the Fury and pulled ahead to win by a solid final of 150-115.
The Fury’s offense was keyed by captain Kola Loka, who immediately quieted the hometown crowd by putting up a 19-0 opening jam. For the majority of the bout, the Belles had significantly more trouble handling her than any other Fury jammer, but managed to make inroads into the Fury lead when the rest of the rookie-heavy rotation (Lynn E.R. Aggression, Beaux Dozer and Rusty Razorskates all skating in their first public bout) came up.
The Warning Belles finally claimed the lead on a 12-0 to their ace Willa Hoeflinch 53-50 with 8:22 in the first half, which kicked off a series of lead changes in the waning minutes of the half. Kola Loka took it right back for the Fury with a 4-0 up an undefended inside line; it was 54-53 there with 7 minutes in the half, but the Belles were on the right side of a close 0-0, 1-0 Fury, 5-0 Belles exchange that made it 58-55 Belles.
The marquee jammer matchup came up next with Willa Hoeflinch against Kola Loka, but it turned out becoming a powerjam flip as both Kola and Willa hit the penalty box during the sequence; it ended up being a wash at 10-10, making it 68-65 Belles with 41 seconds left in the half. Following an official timeout, Kola Loka took the star for the second time and rolled through for an 8-0, giving the Fury a 73-68 lead at the break.
A strong 4-0, 3-0, 9-0 run from the Belles kicked off the second half with the Belles holding their biggest lead of the game; while it was only 11 points at 84-73, they had all the momentum and the crowd re-engaged in the game. Things were very narrowly matched over the next four jams, which went 4-0 Fury, 4-0 Fury, 4-0 Belles and 3-0 Belles to leave it a ten point game at 91-81 Belles with about 20 minutes to play.
Fury jammer Rusty Razorskates, who’d been having trouble navigating the Belles defense for most of the first half, finally managed to get a big jam next as Belles jammer Piper Sonic had no luck getting around Fury blocker K-Wow. The Fury 10-0 frame tied it the game at 91-91, and Kola put up 4-0 to get her team back in the front for the first time in the second half at 95-91.
Willa Hoeflinch went back to aggressive jammer offense against a rookie Fury jammer next, smacking Beaux Dozer out of bounds early and then backing up to give herself a head start on attacking the pack – but Willa back blocked in her opening pass and it ended up going to the Fury as Dozer took a hard-fought 4-0, making it 99-91 with just under 15 minutes to play.
However, the Belles turned things around for good then, helped along considerably by 5 Fury jammer penalties in the final 15 minutes.
Hoosier Mama was boxed as Fury jammer in the next jam, and Bloody Waters capitalized by escaping hits from Janiscide Joplin and K-Wow to put up a 15-0 and ice Hoosier in the box; that made it 106-99 Belles with 12:39 left. It was the 7th and final lead change of the game.
After a 2-0 to the Belles’ G-Rocket, the Belles caught a break when the Kola Loka / Willa Hoeflinch matchup once again led to Kola hitting the penalty box on her opening pass; this time, though, Willa did not follow her into the box and swept through for a 19-0. That made it 127-99, the Belles’ biggest lead of the game. When Rusty Razorskates also hit the penalty box on the following jam and handed the Belles their second consecutive powerjam, Piper Sonic racked up a 10-0 and also iced Razorskates in the box.
At that point, the Belles were in the driver’s seat at 137-99 with about 6 minutes to play; the Fury’s last chance slipped away with about three minutes to play and a score of 141-109 when Kola Loka again hit the penalty box against Willa Hoeflinch. Willa put the nail in the coffin with a 7-0, leaving it 150-115 with less than a minute to play, and Kola would end up boxed a second time in the same jam, leaving the Belles’ G-Rocket unopposed going into the final jam. She closed it out with an 0-0 as soon as time expired, giving the Warning Belles the 35-point victory.