LINCOLN. NE — Texas took a second straight South Central title with a 20-point win over Atlanta, but the Dirty South were in the game right up the the final jam. Atlanta led for much of the first half before Texas came back on them to lead at the half. They came back again to lead in the second half–but Atlanta handed Texas two powerjams in the final three jams to eventually succumb 144-124 and go to their home-town Championships tournament as the second seed from the South Central region.
The first lead jam call went to Merchant of Menace–Texas took the back from the first whistle, but relentless pressure from Menace combined with stout defence from Switchblade Siouxsie meant Atlanta got their jammer out first. They were already five points to the good when Olivia Shootin’ John hit the box; that made it 15-0 with two minutes gone.
Jammunition got lead, but Polly Gone made her work very hard for her first five points to limit the powerjam damage. She got three more before being forced into a call with Atlanta leading 23-0 with 26:06 on the clock.
The lead hovered around the 20-point mark for the next ten minutes until a run of lead calls for Texas pulled them back to within 13–and a 4-2 win for Killbox over Jammunition triggered by a late call from the Atlanta jammer made that deficit 11.
But next time out Vicious Van Go Go was battling with Alassin Sane with Merchant of Menace stuck at the back of the pack, and found herself boxed. Barbara Ambush, Bloody Mary, Curvette and Smarty Pants limited the damage in that whole powerjam to 8 points as Atlanta ran into pack penalty problems.
That meant Killbox had little trouble putting three grand slams with Jammunition stuck in the pack–and she made sure Jammunition stayed there when they broke the pack at the same time and she slowed the Atlanta jammer down sufficiently to make sure she was re-absorbed and stayed in the pack for long enough to ensure Texas took a 45-44 with eight minutes left in the half.
Losing the lead wasn’t the worst thing that happened to Atlanta that jam, however–an egregious low block from Queen Loseyateefa meant the Atlanta blocking star was expelled. The lead had stretched to 12 with single-pass jams when Vicious Van Go Go was boxed on a major forearm. Again Texas had four blockers on the track for the majority of that powerjam and limited Merchant’s scoring to 8 for a second consecutive powerjam.
Killbox then got a powerjam of her own–but it was Atlanta’s turn to give a lesson in penalty killing with Belle of the Brawl, Scout Snipe Her, Wild Cherri and Alassin Sane holding her for long periods, and limited her to 10 points. Olivia Shootin John closed out the half with a lead call and a quick 4-0 to give Texas a 72-54 lead at the half.
A 0-0 opened the second period, but Alassin Sane did some sterling lone work at the front of the Atlanta pack for long enough for Mercant of Menace to grab a natural grand slam. Her second pass was only two points though, which OSJ matched for a 7-2 total.
Atlanta nibbled their way back to a 10-point deficit before Texas’ defence started to switch on again, with Belle Star doing a particularly effective job demoralising Atlanta’s jammers. They made that lead 20 before Killbox hit the box. Texas only had two blockers on the track this time, and Nora Gretz put up the 20 she needed to tie it up with some incredible displays of toe-stop balance before Killbox got out of the box, and three more after she was out to give Atlanta a 94-91 lead with 16:26 left.
Over the next two minutes the teams traded points to keep that gap–and then OSJ and Hollicidal traded powerjams. That gave Atlanta an 8-point lead as they came off slightly the better with Rebel Yellow and Wild Cherri holding OSJ when she came out of the box towards the end of the jam. That left it 107-99 with 11:54 on the clock.
Both teams spent the next five minutes looking for a big jam to give either a decisive advantage, but it didn’t come. Five high speed single-pass took the game into its closing minutes. Vicious Van Go Go got lead with five minutes to go, but badly botched an apex jump and found herself on the way to the box on a misconduct call as she levelled an Atlanta blocker as she landed.
That looked likely to have cost Texas the game–but stout defence from Texas limited Menace’s scoring, and then Menace tried to call the jam despite not having been called lead. That resulted in an IP minor–but it was her fourth, and it sent her to the box.
With 3:09 on the clock Smarty Pants lined up unopposed 112-124, but with an Atlanta four-wall in front of her. She put up 12 points in that jam before calling it after a massive sternum hit from Wild Cherri to tie the game up.
That meant that with 1:40 on the clock the teams were tied on 124, and Atlanta held a 4:3 pack advantage courtesy of a high block call on Killbox at the end of that power jam. Vicious took the star for what turned out to be the last time–she got lead and Merchant of Menace was boxed for the second time in three jams on a deeply unfortunate major cut as she pivoted around a hit and just skidded back in bounds.
This time Vicious made no mistake and put up a 20-0 jam to close it out, with Texas taking another South Central title 144-124.