KANSAS CITY, MO — In a game that was all about lopsided powerjam wins on both sides, bottom seed Omaha rode a very impressive performance from jammer Anna Maniac to stay right with 5 seed Houston — until the last 12 minutes of the game, when daisy-chained jammer penalties on Omaha resulted in a 72-8 run for Houston to end the game. In the end, Houston got out with a 170-103 victory that didn’t reflect how close they’d come to an upset loss.
Bottom-seeded Omaha scored the majority of their first-half points in the first two jams here, leaving Houston to spend the first 20 minutes of the game slowly crawling out of that hole. Omaha took advantage of a big early powerjam to jump out to a 23-1 lead after two jams. Houston was able to settle down after the startling opening, though, rattling off 17 unanswered points over the next three jams to bring the score to 23-18.
It was Houston’s Betty Watchett getting lead and finally putting Houston in front at 39-30 with about 12 minutes in the half, but she ended that jam in the box. Omaha put out their ace Anna Maniac on the other side of their powerjam, and she blasted through for a 9-0 that tied the game at 39 with less than ten minutes to play in the half.
Houston’s Wicked Sweet broke the tie with authority two jams later, as she rolled through on a big 18-0 powerjam that gave Houston their biggest lead at 57-39; yet again, though, Houston ended their powerjam by sending their jammer to the box. Omaha tried to once again ride their best jammer Anna Maniac on the powerjam, but this time Houston’s defense stepped up and held her to only 3 points. Two jams later, the half ended with Houston up 65-41.
Houston opened up their lead to a seemingly comfortable 88-45 over the second half’s first four jams, but Omaha’s Anna Maniac yet again demonstrated she didn’t need too much in the way of offensive help by running up a 13-0 on powerjam and moving it to 88-58. Three jams later, it was Omaha’s Ima Firestarter with her chance to shine unopposed on a key 19-0; suddenly, Houston’s 43 point lead was reduced to single digits at 95-88 with 17 minutes still left in the game.
With about 12 minutes left, it looked like Omaha would be able to retake the lead during a powerjam to Ima Firestarter, but as she came around for a scoring pass on a score of 98-95 Houston, she cut track and flipped the powerjam back to Houston; the jam ended 103-95 Houston.
That proved to be the turning point in the game, as Houston’s Brand-Aid dropped 25-0 on the other side of the powerjam and Wicked Sweet added 15-0 as Ima Firestarter came out of the box only to go back in. It was 143-95 there, and Omaha gave up yet another powerjam on the next frame, which turned into a 20-0 for Beverly Kills. Suddenly, it was 163-95 with 4 minutes to play and Houston had it all but in the bag; the game closed a few jams later — fittingly, on a powerjam — at 170-103 Houston.
Omaha, now 0-2 on the weekend, will play either 6SC Tampa Bay or 8SC Green Country in the 9th place game at 10am on Sunday; Houston is 1-1 and will play 9SC Gold Coast at 6pm Saturday.