Pennsylvania quizbowl action got off to a competitive 2016 with a classic, every buzz counts brawl at Allderdice High in Pittsburgh yesterday. Here are the stats.
As is always the case with Steel City events, this was a close one with lots of games decided by small margins and many teams in the hunt for a trophy until late. The Alagar Homeschool, featuring siblings Rajan and Jaya Alagar, took home the big win with a 10-1 record. Rajan’s 48 powers led the event, which he seems to do often these days. Coming just shy of being ranked in the GPQB midseason poll, Alagar came out in force and looks to be making a push for the big rankings at the end.
Second place was shared between Winchester Thurston A and Norwin. This could have been messy, for going into the last round, Alagar was 10-0, Thurston 9-1 with a loss to only Alagar, and Norwin 8-2. Norwin pulled past Alagar to put a tiebreaker final on the table, but Winchester Thurston was unable to recover from letting host school Allderdice A get a big lead, despite a very spirited comeback effort in a round I read. All of these teams performed well. Particular commendations go out to Jack Challiet’s tournament leading 106 ppg for Thurston, reinforcing his status as one of the state’s elite players, and a breakout 71 ppg performance from Norwin’s Andy Halza (with just one neg!), which has put him on Pennsylvanian radars.
Also in the playoffs were Winchester Thurston B, who took fourth and have by now pretty firmly claimed the rank of one of the state’s deeper teams. Three Pittsburgh private schools in the form of Central Catholic, Shady Side A, and Eden Christian Academy A rounded out the top bracket. This was the first playoff finish for all these teams this season, which was great to see. Each one came away with some big wins, and Eden Christian came within 10 points of upsetting Winchester Thurston A. These schools all could join Western PA’s elite teams soon, studying provided!
Also competing were teams from Hampton, Kane, Westinghouse, Keystone Oaks, and Chartiers Valley high schools. It was nice to see all of them continue to make Pittsburgh a vibrant and growing place to play quizbowl. I read for a number of these teams and saw some good buzzes from them. One feature here is remarkably consistent peripheral stats like bonus conversion- this suggests nice competitive balance between the teams at this tournament.
Allderdice itself fielded an F team- this has to make it the biggest program going in Pennsylvania right now. Well done for getting so many people involved and opening up the building for good play. Great start to the second half.