BALLWIN, MO — Top seed Your Mom (Des Moines, IA) defended their seeding with authority in the first semifinal of the MRDA championship bout, getting their Saturday penalty problems under relative control and outskating a fiery #3 Magic City (Jacksonville, FL) team to put up a surprisingly big 101 point victory at 188-87.
The victory sends Your Mom to the championship game in their first time at the tournament, where they’ll face the winner of New York / St. Louis.
The disparity in jammer penalties proved to be a big factor in this one. Magic City lost their jammer 7 times to just 2 for Your Mom. Equally critically, Magic City had the bad luck to often have YMMD ace Frank Notsohotra on the floor as the opposing jammer in those situations, whose patient style and preternatural balance made him particularly suited to taking advantage of them.
Things started quite tightly, as neither team was able to pick up a full 4-point scoring pass in the first six minutes of play; jammers were forced to call after grabbing a couple of points, but Your Mom was taking lead more consistently and stretched a 4-3 lead after three jams to a 14-3 after six. B.S. Smacker finally got the first clean 4-0 of the bout there to move the score to 18-3 for Your Mom; three jams later, there had just been one more point put on the board, and it was 18-4 Your Mom after ten minutes.
Finally Your Mom got a lap point in a a brutal jam that saw YMMD blockers Seahorses Forever and Dirty Larry bang around Magic City’s Chuck Best for long enough for Frank Notsohotra to pick up a 6-1 frame. A bang-bang call-off for Magic City Jeremy Strecker over Your Mom’s B.S. Smacker for 3-0 proved to be Magic City’s best jam of the game to that point; on an official timeout, it was 24-8 Your Mom with 17:36 on the first-half clock.
Magic City started trying to switch up the starts around this point by moving closer to the pivot line, but Your Mom mostly effectively countered by moving just far enough away from the jammer line to avoid instant pack splits. With about 13:30 to play, Magic City had finally gotten a little something going with three lead jam calls in a row; on the third, MCM pivot Jonny Wical seriously had YMMD’s jammer Mulatto Madness’ number while Mike Cowart jammed his way to an 8-0, which was Magic City’s first multiple-pass score of the game. The score was 32-24 Your Mom there.
Unfortunately for Magic City, that momentum got blunted when they were on the wrong side of the first power jam of the game; Derek Calkins cut his way around YMMD’s Seahorses Forever while Your Mom had ace Frank Notsohotra on the floor. He worked his way around tough defense for 16-0, giving Your Mom their largest lead of the game so far at 48-24. It was still a close and low-scoring game at 51-31 Your Mom going into the last 5 minutes.
Once again, though, Magic City made a tough job a little harder on themselves by losing Calkins as jammer, and this time it cost them more dearly. A 10-0 for Your Mom left Calkins frozen in the box, and Your Mom went to passive offense on the followup to the undisguised disapproval of Chuck Best. BS Smacker put up 15-0 for Your Mom on the other side of that power jam, and for the first time it looked like Magic City was in real trouble.
Magic City tried to change it up by putting out Hunter Collins for his first jam of the tournament, but instead Frank Notsohotra juked and sped his way to another lopsided Your Mom jam win at 14-0 and suddenly it was a 90-31 game favoring Your Mom. When the half closed out on 3-0 to YMMD, Your Mom had finished the half on a 42-0 run and led 93-31.
The first jam of the second started with plenty of action as both YMMD’s Twinkletoes and Magic City’s TJ Binkley got out neck and neck without lead; Binkley ran into a lot of trouble against Seahorses Forever and Sugar Boots, while Twinkletoes had his own problems against Chuck Best and Strecker. In the end Magic City barely got the better of a 7-6 frame for their first points of the last five jams, and it was 99-38 early in the second half.
A chaotic third jam saw YMMD’s Sugar Boots take the star for the first time in a very tough jam that saw him just barely fail to escape the pack on multiple occasions due to being blocked or knocked down at the very last second; Jeremy Strecker turned that into 12-3 for Magic City’s best jam of the bout and a new score of 102-50.
Though called lead twice in a row to follow, Your Mom could only squeeze two points out of the next two jams; however, the jammer penalty bug was back to bite Magic City on the follow up, once again with Frank Notsohotra on the floor as YMMD jammer. And once again, Your Mom’s passive offense allowed Frank to carefully make his way to a big jam at 17-0, and Your Mom was sitting on a comfortable lead at 121-50 with just over 20 minutes left in the game.
After Magic City lost a 4-3 even though they had lead, it looked like they were finally going to get a good jam when Jonny Wical took lead and multiple scoring passes while YMMD jammer Mulatto Madness was trapped behind good work from Calkins, Cowart and Smith — but then Magic City lost their jammer yet again. When that sequence was over, it was 132-61 Your Mom with 14:15 to play.
Magic City finally got their first power jam opportunity following that one, which they would call immediately to hand off the opportunity to Jeremy Strecker — but then things got seriously chaotic. Strecker was boxed after a controversial low block call, but then Your Mom lost their jammer after a long one on one battle with Chuck Best. With the crowd getting amped up — and the conversation in the pack getting quite a little more confrontational — Magic City started getting something a little going over that jam and the next, cutting 12 more points off the lead and making it 132-73.
But — again — Magic City suffered an ill timed jammer penalty to Calkins. Although Best, Binkley and Smith did a rather impressive job of stringing out the pack against Your Mom’s passive offense, they could only hold the patient Frank Notsohotra in play for so long, and his 19-0 put it almost out of reach for Magic City at a new score of 152-73 with only about 7 minutes to play.
Both teams committed one more jammer penalty each in the game, but that jam was the last point in the game where Magic City looked like they had a a chance. In the end, Your Mom’s margin of victory was just barely double digits at 188-87.