Thursday, September 29, 2011

Show Me Der-B-Q South Central tournament

Tournament play continues to heat up with two more regional tournaments before the big dance. This weekend, the South Central Regional Tournament, Show Me Der-B-Q, takes place in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 30-October 2.
Last year, Kansas City managed to turn their 3rd-seed birth into a first-place finish against Texas in the finals of the South Central Regional in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Roller Warriors pulled off a first seed this year in an opportunity to see tournament play in front of their home crowd.

While KC isn’t counting out Gold Coast or Green Country Roller Girls, the Roller Warriors are already sizing up their second round when they’ll take on the winner of Atlanta versus Houston.

“Atlanta can be all on or off depending on if we have our stuff together,” said Kansas City blocker Kristin “Eclipse” Clarke, in an interview prior to KC’s game against Windy City on September 10, 2011, in Chicago.

Kansas City will put their 2011 season of 8-1 on the line as they try to do something no other team has done before – host a Big 5 tournament and win first place.

“Our goal is to be the first host to win our first tournament,” Clarke, No. 0, said. “Our goal is to win our own tournament. Obviously secondary to that is to punch our ticket to nationals.”

"Really you just have to win twice to punch your ticket" for championships, she said.

That might not be so easy for the derby darlings from Austin, Texas. The 9-7 Texecutioners have seen several battles in the 2011 season, including four bouts against Houston, in which Sisters from Space City narrowed the gaps from 126 and 118 points in the first two bouts, to more meaningful point spreads of 54 and 50. With losses to Oly, Philly and Rose City, Texas will have get past the first-round winner between Nebraska rivals No Coast and Omaha. And then they get to play the winner between Tampa and Nashville, which surprised everyone last year to earn a third-place finish and the right to go to the Championship tournament.

Last year, “we had to go through Tampa, Clarke said. “You have to work hard to put them down for the win. They don't go quietly into the night.”

Texas will have to work if the team plans a return to the South Central Tournament finals this year, but if they slip before then, plenty of other teams will look to capitalize.