MILWAUKEE, WI–What started out as a game of power jams ended up the tightest and most exciting game of the weekend. Jet City dominated in the first half, scoring most of their points on power jams alone despite Santa Cruz getting more lead jammer calls. The Boardwalk Bombshells went 15-0 in the first two jams but had clawed their way back from a 58 point deficit to within one point before the half. The teams got fast and loose in the second half, with more blocker penalties and fewer jammer penalties. Santa Cruz consistently had the lead within reach, but when the dust of the last jam settled, they lost by one point.
All final four teams involved in Champs wore either black and blue or white and blue. Jet took the track in blue and Santa Cruz white, although the officiating crew remained the same as in the earlier third-place game. Santa Cruz started the first jam from the pivot line, which seemed to work for them as they got the first lead jammer status of the bout. Sierra Fist had an uncharacteristically hard time in the pack, allowing Queen Litigious to score two grand slams on her.
Whoa Nellie! also struggled in the next jam against Hellaluna and it looked like Santa Cruz’s defense was going to dominate the bout. Nasty Nikki Nightstick and Pippy Longstalker make life hell for the other Pippi Hard Socking, resulting in her trying to pass the star to Shamrock N. Roller. A pivot for Santa Cruz was standing in the box, so Shamrock dropped the star panty and Pippi picked it up on her way to the box with an illegal procedure.
An official time out was taken after that confusion, and Ump pulled Shamrock off the bench, giving her an insubordination and two minutes in the box. In the meantime, Jet killed Cruz’s short-lived lead with 34 points over two jams.
ILL-Ninja took the jammer line next for Jet, having not seen play time in any of the playoff bouts. She proved to be an asset, scoring 19 more points in a power jam on a boxed Bettie the Kid.
Santa Cruz finally got their own power jam, when a struggling Sierra got called on a low block, allowing them to double their own score with 20 minutes left on the clock. Again, Cruz’s luck was cut short when Hellaluna ended up in the box with a track cut and two of her blockers. Whoa Nellie!, Eva Derci and Ivana Hercha scored 27 points combined over three jams to give Jet City a 50 point lead. ILL-Ninja scored another 13 power jam points for Jet, but then the tide changed and Santa Cruz came roaring back.
Sierra Fist’s bad luck continued when she sat in the box with a forearm penalty, and Cruz started their return with 28 points. Their blockers held the line for the next line, guaranteeing the back line and lead status for the next seven jams, and gave themselves a 44-4 run.
Now that Santa Cruz’s jammers were staying on the track, they redeemed their penalties with quick, agile moves. Hellaluna jumped and jived through the pack, while Bettie the Kid performed a beautiful apex jump call off. Liv N. Letdie and CoraZone were notable blockers giving Jet jammers a hard time and big hits.
In the final minutes of the half, Foxee Firestorm hit out Whoa Nellie! to the outside again and again, even pulling her back from apex to apex. Queen Litigious made the rounds in the next jam on a trapped Eva Derci bringing the score within one point, 101-100, and the crowd to their feet. Jet grabbed a bit of the momentum back with a 14 point power jam, and the half ended 115-100.
Ivana Hercha and fresh face Ill-Ninja were the top scorers for Jet in the first half at 33 and 32 respectively, while Sierra Fist only earned 6. Queen Litigious was working hard for Santa Cruz scoring more than half their points at 58, and Hellaluna scoring 27. The second half began and it seemed like a completely different game.
Two of the three second half power jams happened in the first seven minutes, giving Jet a comfy 49 point lead, but Santa Cruz came back with 24 points on the boxed Ivana Hercha. With their blockers on the track, Santa Cruz felt more in control, getting lead status calls and chipping away at Jet’s lead. CoraZone worked over Whoa Nellie! and allowed Queen Litigious to bring it to an eight point game.
The packs started moving faster and the action was more chaotic as the teams tried to control the pack, and the jammers had to give it everything they had to score points. Nasty Nikki Nightstick and Pippy Longstalker seemed to be hunting down Hellaluna until Sierra reached for a shirt whip and inadvertently knocked out her own blockers.
Whoa Nellie! and Bettie the Kid took the jam line with only Shamrock from Santa Cruz on the track. She played passive to help get her jammer out of the pack and both were racing around the track. Shamrock lined up at the back as Nellie! came around and caught her on the outside of turn four. They both tumbled to the ground and a Jet City blocker flew over Shamrock, also tripping outside pack ref WernHer Von Bombed, who recovered to call a lowblock on Shamrock. Whoa Nellie! was also sent to the box for a low block in the confusion, but after some officiating consulting, they removed her.
Jet kept a 3-10 point lead for the next few jams as whistles began to crazy and blockers rotated to the box. Whoa Nellie! snuck down the inside line in the second to last jam and got lead but struggled against a solid Foxee Firestorm and called it off after only three points and 35 seconds left on the clock. Santa Cruz called their last time out and set up for an epic last jam.
Pippy Longstalker took the jam line for the first time in the bout with six penalties on the board, and Hellaluna lined up next to her with only two blockers from each team in the pack. Hellaluna tried to play defense at first but Nasty Nikki knocked her to the inside. Pippy also got caught up against Foxee and had to recycle while Hellaluna exploded out of the pack with lead status. Jet started to race the pack to make her work for points, and she got caught up as Pippy made her first scoring pass. Hellaluna finally got out and had no choice but to keep pushing it if Santa Cruz wanted to win.
Envy slowed down Pippy and Hellaluna made another pass attempting to call it but decided to keep going. The clock ticked down and everyone on the track was chaotically trying to hold on and everyone in the venue was going crazy. Hellaluna finally called it off and the scoreboard showed Santa Cruz on top, but as Pippy’s last pass got counted, the unofficial final showed 195-194 in favor of Jet City. The officials doubled checked the score but Santa Cruz used their official review to triple check the score. The crowd started chanting ‘one more jam’, and Santa Cruz took to the track hoping it might come true. Ump declared that the score was final and Jet City became the first D2 champion.