BREMERTON, WA–Friday night of Wild West Showdown featured an always dangerous Terminal City team versus a somewhat hot-and-cold Santa Cruz. Last year, they played each other twice and split the bouts, including a Santa Cruz victory at the 2012 WWS. This year, both teams sported a lot of the same faces with many of the Terminal City skaters wearing new names: half of Terminal City’s all-star team skated under their legal names.
In a bout that featured one tie and seven lead changes, including two on the final two jams, it was the ladies from Santa Cruz who took home the victory, 138-136.
The first six minutes of this bout belonged to Santa Cruz. They built a 27-0 lead, their largest of the game, and picked up lead on all four jams. Two jams later, Terminal City’s Bobbi Barbarich (formerly Beretta Lynch), who led all scorers with 61 points, posted a 20-0 power jam thanks to well-executed passive offense by Terminal City’s blockers. They were dominant during power jams throughout the bout. Terminal City kept up the pressure going on a 76-31 run after their early deficit to finish out the half ahead 76-58.
Santa Cruz began the second half much like the first and quickly disposed of Terminal City’s lead. With the score tied at 97 with 13:30 to go in the bout, Santa Cruz made their move to put Terminal City away for good. With the help of great blocking from CoraZone and Shamrock N. Roller; Pippi HardSocking, who led Santa Cruz with 59 points, scored a 20-0 non-power jam. A 4-0 jam on the next frame gave Santa Cruz a 121-97 lead.
Terminal City would come back. They took the lead 136-135 with nine seconds left on a 7-0 power jam by Lisa Suggitt (formerly Rollergirl). A quick Santa Cruz timeout assured there would be one more jam. Barbarich donned the star for Terminal City. Queen Litigious jammed for Santa Cruz. At first, it appeared Barbarich might get through first but was stopped by Shamrock N. Roller who seemingly held Barbarich forever with her chest blocking. Meanwhile, Queen Litigious picked up lead and called off the jam once it was clear she had the points she needed. Final score: 138-136 Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz was perhaps the most impressive team of the weekend. They won all three of their bouts beating Slaughter County 186-141 and Jet City 165-162 as well. The Jet City bout on Sunday also came down to the final jam. With Santa Cruz up by one going into the final jam, their jammer Queen Litigious got a quick lead and proceeded to skate slowly hoping to run out the clock. Unfortunately for her, there was too much time left to do that, so as Jet City’s Tabula Rasa came up on her for her scoring pass, the two were battling it out to see who could complete the scoring pass first. Santa Cruz avoided disaster as Queen Litigious picked up the most points. Santa Cruz entered the tournament as an upper tier Division 2 team and left as a strong early candidate for the Division 1 playoffs.
Terminal City continues to be a strong Division 1 candidate after soundly beating Sac City (207-126) and Treasure Valley (204-131).