Editor’s Note: We thank CMU’s club resident, Steven Silverman, for this guest post and insight into Western PA clubs.
A shorthanded Taylor Allderdice High School took home first-place honors at the 2016 edition of the Tartan Invitational tournament at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on Saturday (February 20, 2016).
Allderdice, down several players due to illness, did an admirable job of playing with fewer than four at a time. Alexander Novara played solo for three-plus rounds, losing only to eventual second-place finisher Pittsburgh Central Catholic, before Jordan Abbott showed up midway through round four and proceeded to pace the tournament with 101.6 PPG.
Central Catholic improved on their fifth-place finish from the Allderdice Invitational last month to reach their first-ever pyramidal final and earn a qualifying bid for HSNCT in the process. Dan Crawford led the way with just over 40 PPG, supported nicely by Colin Toreskin at 33.9. They scraped their way into the finals with a 215-210 win over South Side by getting a power and 20 after South Side negged the final tossup of the round, but were remarkably consistent throughout the day, scoring over 200 points in every preliminary match except one.
DuBois (left) and Central Catholic before their preliminary round match. DuBois won, 310-105. Western PA stalwarts DuBois finished in third, paced by captain Eli Kirks’s 91.67 PPG, and led the tournament with 16.10 PPB. They were followed by relative newcomers Eden Christian Academy A, who were also playing with only two members. The fourth-place finish was the best result for an Eden team at a pyramidal tournament to date, improving on the A team’s seventh place at the Allderdice Invitational. Their best win was a 195-160 victory over DuBois which included four powers.
Saegertown made the trip down from Erie with two teams, and their top scorer Sydney Knightlinger showed a good knowledge base with over 40 PPG and 10 powers, fifth-most at the tournament. Shady Side, again down some players due to Southwestern PA Science Bowl being held at the same time (which affected many of the teams, including some who were unable to even enter the tournament), was led by a breakout performance from Fuad Youssef, who nearly doubled his previous career high scoring average by placing fourth with 57 PPG.
With only ten teams on hand, Tartan Invitational was missing several Western PA regulars we’re used to seeing dominate the circuit, chief among them Alagar and Winchester Thurston, but there were still lots of great performances and close matches. Many of these teams will be back for more at the University of Pittsburgh’s “Battle of the Burgh” in March.