FORT WAYNE, IN–In game five, Montreal looked to break a three-year losing run of opening playoff games against a Wasatch team still buzzing after thrashing Grand Raggidy earlier in the day. Wasatch led for almost the entire first half and periods in the second–but just didn’t have the legs to seal the deal. Ill-timed power jams buried Wasatch in the end and Montreal secured their place in tomorrow’s semifinals with a 188-159 win.
Montreal held the lead for one jam before Mel E Juana cut in jam two to let Moonraker in for points–but Moonraker was herself boxed and Mel restored the lead. Montreal led 15-14 with five minutes gone.
Jam five saw Lil’ Mama boxed as powerjams ruled; Harry Slaughter gave Wasatch a 33-15 lead. A false start by Moonraker saw her boxed in jam six; Tush followed her before putting up any points in the power jam, thanks to a backblock, making for the second two-minute jam in a row.
Wasatch got the better of that jam before a scrappy period saw lead jam calls and points equally distributed; the Midnight Terror kept their noses in front. Alli3 Kitten spun Wasatch into a 68-40 lead to send the subdued crowd into rapturous applause as Wasatch extended the lead a little–but Wench pinned them back as Jess Bandit and Lil’ Mama tag-teamed Bunz Bunny and the lead was immediately under 20.
But Alli3 was again the hero in the dying jams of the half as she kept on going through a relentless assault from the Montreal blocking corps. A single Iron Wench power jam inside the final two minutes of the half brought the game within a pass before she froze Harry Slaughter in the box. Lil’ Mama finished the job as Slaughter got stuck behind Georgia W. Tush–and Montreal took a 77-73 lead into half-time.
Pfister recycled Wench at the start of the second period as Moonraker instantly restored the Wasatch lead. Mel cut her way to the box as Alli3 again showed off her ability to accelerate in all directions as she spun round blocker after blocker for a 15-0 jam that ended with Mel still sat in the box. Moonraker made the lead 20 again.
But a cut on Alli3 as she got into a terrible mess with Chasing Amy, Iron Wench and Smack Daddy right off the line. Lil’ Mama threw up 20 to give Montreal a 101-100 lead–but then smashed into a Wasatch wall on her next pass and was boxed on a back block, so the lead lasted mere seconds of clock time once again.
But it was Wench who effected a lead change as Jess Bandit and Chasing Amy combined to hold Slaughter. That twosome eventually frustrated a box trip out of Slaughter just as Wench called it with Montreal leading 118-113.
Mama and Iron Wench finished the powerjam across two jams as signs of fatigue started to creep into the Wasatch game. The white-and-blue Midnight Terror packs started to loosen just as the spring started to go from their jammers legs and the penalties started to mount.
Montreal suddenly found themselves holding a 146-113 lead, the largest either team had held at any point in the bout, with 12 minutes to play. Fatigue increasingly told as mistakes crept into Wasatch’s game, too–late call-offs and sloppy penalties replaced what had been sharp calls and strong penalty forcing in the first half.
But Greta Bobo hit the box on a cut with 6 minutes to go and Moonraker injected fresh life into the ailing Utah team, suddenly bringing their cheering section to life. She made the gap five at 155-150 with 5 minutes to go. Alli3 got lead unopposed and cut the lead to three–but then Iron Wench stepped in and stopped the rot with a 4-0.
Alli3 was boxed on a forearm inside the final two minutes to snuff out hopes of a comeback to seal an upset, though, as it drained the life out of Wasatch again. Mel put up a 20-0 on the power jam and Wench concluded matters as she traded points with the returning Alli3 as the clock expired.
Montreal took the bout 188-157 and progress to the semifinal tomorrow against the winner of Ohio and Arch Rival at 4pm EDT tomorrow. Wasatch descend into the consolation bracket at 8pm tomorrow.