LINCOLN, NE — In a rematch of Friday’s opening game, 8th seeded Omaha met 9th seed Tallahassee in a low-scoring battle for 7th place in the Landlocked Lace-Up. Despite substantial blocker penalty trouble, especially in the first period, Tallahassee were able to stay within spitting distance throughout the game — but they were never able to close the gap. Omaha held a 10 to 20 point lead for two-thirds of the game and when the final whistle blew, and repeated their opening day triumph with a 132-118 victory. As a result both teams move up a spot in the South Central rankings, at the expense of the free-falling Houston.
A string of low-scoring jams in the opening minutes of the bout saw Tallahassee establish a narrow lead, leading 9-6 when an official time-out stopped the clock four minutes in, and when play resumed, a string of 4-0 jams for Low Maim and Stone Her saw that lead stretch to 17-6.
The tide started to turn shortly thereafter, though; Anna Maniac and Ima Firestarter had little trouble adding to Omaha’s score over slender Tallahassee packs. Omaha took a one-point lead with about ten minutes gone and, working with a substantial pack advantage, Ima Firestarter opened the gap with the first multi-pass jam of the game, leaving the score at 30-20 with 18.30 remaining in the period.
An official timeout stopped the clock with 18 minutes to play and your intrepid reporter recommenced grading papers. When play resumed, sterling defence from The Great Wall of Gina, the lone Tallahassee blocker on the track, let her jammer grab lead but that was followed by a quick call-off, leaving the score unchanged for the fourth consecutive minute. Stone Her added Tallahassee’s first points in five minutes, running for 4-0 over a 2-2 pack. With 13 minutes left to play, Omaha led 35-28.
Without about ten minutes remaining in the half, it seemed like it was Omaha’sturn to fill the penalty box; Tallahassee jammers found themselves facing a 4-2 pack advantage in three consecutive jams and translated that into lead jammer calls — but not into points until the third such jam, when Catchup brought her team’s tally to 31 to Omaha’s 39.
The teams continued to trade low-scoring jams over micropacks, with Omaha’s lead hovering around ten points, stretching to 15, 49-34 with two minutes left in the half. Anna Maniac opened the game up just a little further in the last jam of the period, adding 4-0 to send Omaha to the locker room with a 55-35 lead over Tallahassee.
The second half opened in the established pattern — alternating lead jammer calls with low- and non-scoring jams over slender packs. Tallahassee looked set to have a big opportunity in the fourth jam — facing a 4-2 pack advantage, Low Maim was able to add 4-0 to bring the score to 61 Omaha, 39 Tallahassee; Stone Her doubled up on this in the next jam, picking up another 4-0 over a 4-1 pack; Low Maim returned for another 4-0 to bring Tallahassee back within ten points, 61-51.
With seven minutes elapsed, Stone Her picked up a major cut while facing a 4-2 pack advantage. It was the first jammer penalty of the game and seemed to precipitate a string of duelling powerjams; she was seated for only a few seconds when Ima Firestarter headed to the box with the Omaha star. Both jammers returned to the track before the pack had moved and in the ensuing full-length jam, Tallahassee came out with a 12-10 differential, closing the gap to 71-63 in Omaha’s favor.
A subsequent 4-0 for Stone Her brought them within a single pass but two jams later, Omaha had the opportunity to open the game up when Low Maim headed to the penalty box after a major low block. Starting with a 3-2 pack advantage, Ima Firestarter added 9-0 and called off the jam from the floor before Low Maim returned. Eblastagirl faced a 2-2 pack and picked up lead jammer status before the opposing jammer hit the track; she added 4-0 to bring the score to 87-67 with Tallahasse trailing and 17 minutes on the clock.
Another string of low-scoring jams over micropacks let Omaha maintain their lead but halfway through the period, Tallahassee picked up a needed power jam when Ima Firestarter cut her way to the box. Stone Her added a couple of points before hitting the deck thanks to Daisy Mayhem; she called off the jam and Tallahassee sent out Low Maim to jam while Firestarter served the remainder of her time. With a 4-3 pack advantage, she ran for two grand slams before Firestarter’s penalty expired; as soon as that happened, Low Maim committed a major high block, giving Omaha a power jam of their own. When the jam expired, just under 12 minutes remained on the clock and the score stood at 102 Omaha, 85 Tallahassee.
Omaha stretched their lead to a less-than-comfortable 24 points with eight and a half minutes remaining to play but, again, went back to trading low-scoring jams over slim packs. Tallahassee would close the gap to 16 or 20, and Omaha would come right back with 4 of their own. An official time-out stopped the clock with just over 4 minutes remaining and Omaha leading 120-100.
When play resumed, Anna Maniac translated a 3-2 pack advantage into a 4-2 points advantage over Low Maim; in the next jam, Catchup picked up a 4-0 for Tallahassee to bring it within 18 points with two and a half minutes to play.
At that point, Omaha seemed content to run the clock in the hopes of maintaining their narrow lead; Ima Firestarter picked up lead jammer status but got overtaken by Low Maim. Instead of calling off the jam, she signalled the pack to run. With few blockers on the track, both jammers racked up multiple scoring passes and when the period clock expired, Omaha had escaped 132-118. They’ll leave the tournament ranked 7th, with Tallahassee scooping up 8th place.