36 teams from the Philadelphia and the New York area gathered at the University of Pennsylvania for the latest round of quizbowl activity. Using the less common HSAPQ set, teams were challenged more heavily on their fine arts knowledge and a bit less on their geography and general knowledge than most events we have covered. It all resulted in 10 exiting rounds of action. Here’s the takeaways from the day:
- Our region’s Wilmington Charter A bested Central New Jersey’s High Tech A with a 405-340 win in the final. Charter has continued to develop and continue to rack up wins at events, and all four members of the team contributed over 30 points per game.
- Manheim Township A rallied for their best performance in quite some time, finishing tied for third and putting up a similarly balanced team effort.
- Lehigh Valley Academy’s Alex Schmidt lead the tournament in scoring for individual performance. Without teammates, he finished 9th. The exiting freshman continues to emerge as a threat on all kinds of questions, but he’ll have to find some teammates to take it to the next level.
- West Chester Henderson, as a three-man squad, made it to the playoffs for the first time this year but were badly outclassed once there. Their star player Alex Sankaran struggled a bit on this set, but his supporting players Ashish Kumbhardare and Nick Luca has their best tournaments yet. While I don’t see Henderson winning any tournaments this year, on the right packet they can surprise.
- PALCS competed as a conglomerate seven man team, with lots of substituting. They were unable to repeat their 5th place finish from Henderson, coming in 15th, but they were missing their best player from the Henderson event. The team is extremely balanced and all seven members contributed to their six wins. I see PALCS as a program really establishing itself and about a year from true contention.
- Missing elite player Ryan Bilger for this event, Emmaus A and B finished near the bottom. We did get to see what their other players are like out from under Ryan’s shadow, and I’d have to be pleased as an Emmaus fan. Katie Xue, Justine Wang, and Zooey He all cleared 30 points per game. This is yet another young program, and with hard work they can position themselves to remain a long-term threat after Ryan graduates this year.
- Four teams from Wissahickon High School competed. A long time bottom dweller at these events, Wissahickon manged to send their A team to the middle and have improved since we last saw them. Max Berkowitz’s 65 points a game on their C team gives them a great player to build around in the future.
- Springfield Township, Central Bucks East, and William Tennant High Schools competed for the first time at an invitational. As would be expected, there was a learning curve and none of their finished in the top half. However, I am encouraged by their effort and I hope they continue to study up and compete. Justin Cammarota of William Tennant’s 59.5 points per game at his first event (8th in the tournament) in particular should be applauded.