D1R: (5) Kansas City Escapes (7) Tampa, 207-172

D1R: (5) Kansas City Escapes (7) Tampa, 207-172 Photo: Jennifer M. Ramos.

RICHMOND, VA — In the second game of Saturday action, 5th seed Kansas City faced off against 7th seed Tampa in the consolation bracket. It was a heated fight to escape the 9th place game, with both teams obviously frustrated by the previous day’s results. After an extremely close battle with numerous lead changes, Kansas City managed to emerge victorious, 207-172.

The result sends Kansas City to play New Hampshire at 8pm Saturday; Tampa tries to avoid last place when they face the also winless No Coast at 10am Sunday.

The game started with KCRW’s Case Closed claiming a power jam when Tampa’s Taz Maniac back-blocked less than 15 seconds into the game, though effective blocking from Little A limited the damage to 19-0. A couple small scoring jams dragged the KC lead to 23 to 1, when a Case Closed low block gave Tampa a power jam to answer. Laryn Kill took advantage and brought the score up to 23-16 before calling it off with Case still seated in the penalty box.

Tampa’s good fortune kept up in the following jam, as Case cut track after her return, which allowed Tampa’s Smooth Operator to smooth out the deficit and make the Tampa lead 35-23 with Case frozen in the box. Taz Maniac took over for the following jam and managed to pick up 10 more points, creating a 45-23 Tampa lead with Kansas City shouting on their bench.

10 minutes into the game, Track Rat got lead jammer for KCRW, after captain Trauma pulled Tampa jammer PhDiesel way back. Diesel got called on a back block, giving KC a power jam of their own; Track Rat took the opportunity and ferreted away 24 points, for another lead change at 47-45 KCRW.

Things turned around in the next jam, with Tampa’s Blaque Jac drawing a cut track major on jammer Reptar. Apolo Ana, for Tampa, called that one off with no scoring and sent Laryn Kill on to take the power jam. Laryn also enjoyed a pack advantage, with KCRW dwindling to a single blocker at one point. Kill got 15 before Reptar’s return, again switching the lead to 60-47 Tampa. KCRW took a time out at 14:34.

A series of jams with little to no scoring ensued, culminating with a last second multiplayer block penalty for Tampa jammer Laryn Kill, which gave a power jam opportunity to KCRW. Track Rat used that power jam to recover the lead, 74-67, with just over 7 minutes remaining in the half.

Fortunes changed four jams later with Track Rat leaving for a track cut. Apolo Ana, jamming for Tampa, put her team back in front, 89-86, and called it off with Track Rat standing. With a power start, Little A took a rare turn with the star for Tampa and expanded their lead to 104-86 at the halftime break.

After a 3-0 to Case Closed to open the second half, Mary Lou Wretched had better luck in the following jam, with a power jam granted by a PhDiesel track cut. Wretched wrenched 19 points from Tampa’s blockers, once again putting Kansas City in front at 108-104.

With the game hotly contested, KCRW’s Reptar and Tampa’s Apolo Ana took the line. Ana darted through the pack while teammate Lunch Lady pulled Reptar back. Ana got a grand slam for a 109-108 lead change, but it was short lived, as she was called on a cut track while ending the jam. Track Rat stepped up to take advantage of the power jam and did so admirably, putting up a 29-1 and making it 137-110, KCRW.

Tampa started to chip away at KCRW’s slight lead. Tampa blocker Bettie Kruger knocked Case Closed out and down to allow PhDiesel to keep scoring. In a bit of a comical gear / uniform malfunction, Case Closed got her skate stuck in Blaque Jac’s shorts, which took a few moments to disentangle. When the dust settled on that, there was 17:45 to play with the scoreboard showing a tied-up palindrome at 141-141.

The jam after saw Tampa’s Laryn Kill get a quick lead but she was assessed a back block on on her first scoring pass, granting Reptar a power jam opportunity. Reptar took it and ran with it, to the tune of 12 points before committing a track cut and sending Kill back onto the track for her own power jam. 153-144, KCRW lead restored.

Two jams later, Tampa had narrowed the game to 153-152, but that was as close at it would get in the remaining 15 minutes. Taz Maniac was called on a track cut the following jam, leading to 4-0 and 24-0 jams for Kansas City, making it 181-152 with 12 to play.

Although the teams gave each other some opportunities to change things in the remaining time with a power jam to each, they essentially canceled each other out; when things came to an end, Kansas City was victorious by 35, 207-172.