Blue Hen (3/14 at U-Delaware) Tournament Wrap-Up

Blue Hen XVII Champions Wilmington Charter A. From L to R: Mohan Malhotra, Varun Wadha, Rohan Narayan, and Shrayus Sortur

Blue Hen XVII Champions Wilmington Charter A. From L to R: Mohan Malhotra, Varun Wadha, Rohan Narayan, and Shrayus Sortur

A brief wrap-up of yesterday’s 34-team Blue Hen tournament on NAQT’s IS-144 set on a rainy day at the University of Delaware. Full stats here.

Wilmington Charter A had a routine demolition derby for the most part, with only GDS “B” challenging them in a couple of matches. They continued their aggressive buzzing with 38 negs (along with an impressive 103 powers) for a still-solid 2.71 Power-to-Neg ratio, but one has to think that at some point such aggressive play could come back to bite them (as it nearly did in their 20-point escape against GDS B with 6 negs). What’s interesting is how each player seems to have his own level of aggressiveness–two of their players had about 2-1 P/N ratios, while the other two had about 7-1.

Georgetown Day School “B” (actually a split of their A team and B team) was a worthy opponent for Charter A in the finals. Tajin is impressive–full knowledge of the canon, outstanding depth in some subjects, and a good appreciation for when to take risks. Their younger players also seemed enthusiastic and likely to continue the GDS tradition of excellence in the future. The true GDS A will be a tough out at any nationals tournament if they can stayed focused during matches.

Manheim A was missing their top scorer, Jake, so some drop-off was to be expected and they got blitzed by Charter A en route to a solid 3rd-place finish. Nevertheless, Manheim continued its trademark mix of balanced play and solid coverage of all categories. Though they may not always have the highest amount of depth, their coverage across the board gives them a good shot at buzzing on all categories and allows them to at least 20 most bonuses. It will be interesting to see how they scale up for nationals though.

Emmaus A once again lived and died on the play of top-scorer Ryan, winning a play-in game against Lehigh Valley Academy and then losing to Manheim A to finish 4th. It may be late in the season for this, but if his teammates can identify a few small categories and learn those in depth, this team has a real shot at taking down a full-strength Manheim A and making a good nationals run. On the other hand, their matches often make for great theater because of the streakiness–on any given TU, you can see Ryan weighing the odds of how aggressively to buzz and they can go on a roll (or, conversely, suffer a drought) at any time.

Other teams of note include solid performances by Cedar Crest (A and B) and Howard, a short-handed (lacking 2 A-teamers) Centennial A putting up good numbers and making some impressive science buzzes, Alex from Lehigh Valley knocking off Manheim B in a close-fought playoff match, and Brett from Moorestown Friends A putting up a solid 91 PPG in the prelims. It was good to see some other Delaware teams that don’t normally play as much coming out and hopefully more will continue to venture outwards in the future.

The set was a little strange–perhaps it could have stood a little bit more editing in terms of lead-in ordering and as usual there were some bizarrely hard questions–but overall it was a fair challenge for the teams here.

The next big PA tournament will be Eastern NAQT States at Manheim on April 18th. Teams interested in attending should contact Manheim’s coach, Missy Doll, to register.

Chris Chiego

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