Texas Shootout Bout Recap: Kansas City 116, Gotham 101
Posted by Justice Feelgood Marshall on September 30, 2007
The Texas Shootout opened with a significant upset, as the highest seed from the East, Gotham, was booted by the lowest seed from the West, Kansas City.
photo credit: insanitylabs
Kansas City kicked off the bout by picking up lead jammer on nearly every jam, apparently crossing up the normally effective Gotham defense with the blinding speed of their two star jammers Xcelerator and Snot Rocket. Kansas City jumped out to a 10-5 lead on the second jam and built their lead slowly but steadily for the first 15 minutes of the half. After 8 jams, Gotham still had yet to secure lead jammer status and Kansas City was up 31-17 — however, after a timeout, Gotham seemed set to take control of the game as they picked up lead jammer three times in a row. That keyed a 14-3 Gotham run that gave Gotham their first lead of the bout, 36-34, with about 10 minutes in the half. At about this time, though, Gotham was already showing clear (and somewhat surprising, given their machine-like performance at Heartland Havoc) signs of fatigue, with some blockers unable to stay with the pack and some jammers unable to fully accelerate when approaching the pack. Kansas City showed no such signs, though, and on a full 2-minute Jam 15, Snot Rocket tied the game back up at 43 with a 9-7 win over Cheap Skate. The remainder of the half was marked by fairly low-scoing jams, but the margins favored Kansas City, and the half ended with Kansas City up 60-53.
For nearly the entire second half, the Kansas City lead would hover around 10 points, but Gotham was never able to get any decisive jam wins against them to erase that lead, in large part due to the speed of the Kansas City pack and the nimbleness of their jammers. Kansas City’s Xeclerator, in particular, often elected not to call off jams in situations where it would have seemed strategically advantageous due to a KCRW advantage in the jam score, but her choice was correct more often than not, as the Kansas City pack was usually able to hold back a Gotham jammer while Xcelerator used her speed to close the gap and add a few more points before calling it off. Meanwhile, Gotham made a small but crucial error in Jam 8, when they got a rare advantage over Xeclerator — first, Gotham blocker Fisti Cuffs laid her out on a hard but clean fit, and second, Xeclerator went the box on a fourth minor before completing her opening pass. Bonnie Thunders picked up four points and was coming around for more, but when Xeclerator got back out on the track, Thunders called the jam, thinking she was on the verge of scoring points. Thunders won the jam 4-0, and that made the score 86-75, but against Kansas City playing as well as they were, Gotham would need every last potential point just to stay in the bout.
Gotham just could not close that gap, and with about 4 minutes, the score was 102-90. That was when Snot Rocket would close the door on the New Yorkers, running up a back-breaking 14-1 jam over Bonnie Thunders that put the game out of reach at Kansas City 116, Gotham 91 with only enough time for one more jam. Gotham’s Cheap Skate was able to put up a 10-0 on that final jam when Jade Lightning went to the box, but it was too little, too late, and Kansas City knocked off the Heartland Havoc champions a mere hour into the Texas Shootout by 15, 116-101.