D2K: Burning River Lights Up Queen City, 197-163

KALAMAZOO, MI–As in yesterday’s match-up against Killamazoo, a Queen City victory seemed within reach–and often within a single jam–through much of their game against Burning River. However, a big jam for Cleveland’s Sugalumps late in the second period established a 30-point margin that Queen City were never able to close and Burning River took the win, 197-163.

The first five minutes were a wash; good work from both teams’ packs limited scoring and left it at 11-11. Packs raced and walls loosened as the teams traded points. LiBRAWLian put up multiple unopposed grand slams on a power jam before all of Burning River’s jammers cashed in as they nickle-and-dimed their way back in.

Slalom moves through loose and fast-moving packs kept the total down; with five minutes left in the half there were only six points in it; the Lake Effect Furies led 59-53. But LiBRAWLian put up a couple fighting with LuLu–and then Lulu handed QCRG a power jam engaging with Brawl after the whistles.

That power jam didn’t make much of a difference to the score as …oooh SHINEE forced a cut on Bikini Whacks, and Lulu came out of the box for lead and quick points to cut the gap to three. The lead stayed in single digits ’til the half–Queen City took a 68-61 lead back to the locker room.

Burning River took the lead in the first jam of the second half as LiBRAWLian hit the box on a cut following an unsuccessful apex jump; Maulibu Barbie had put it within a single pass on an apex jump of her own and took the score to 83-68 favouring Burning River over the course of the power jam. LiBRAWLian returned to play on the next jam, only to head straight back there–and five minutes into the half, Burning River held their largest lead of the game, 112-72.

A power jam a few minutes later made it seem that Queen City could strike back–but even working with a 4-3 pack advantage, they only came out ahead 5-4 on the jam as Burning River’s defence locked down. They had another power jam next time out after a botched apex jump by Maulibu Barbie; LiBRAWLian put up a couple of scoring passes before losing a wheel, forcing a star pass as Barbie returned to play. That made it 120 Burning River, 98 Queen City with 19 to play.

With 8 minutes left to play, just five points separated the teams–but Burning River had the opportunity to close it out as they sent Sugalumps out to jam and Queen City lost their jammer on a first-pass cut. She made short work of a 3-1 pack to put up 24-0.

The 30-point margin established there proved critical–while both teams put up small numbers of points over the rest of the game, Queen City was unable to close the margin (nor Burning River to extend it) and at the final whistle, Burning River had secured a 197-163 victory.