Tri-State Tussle 2016 Wrap-Up

18 teams were on hand last Saturday (10/15) for the second annual Tri-State Tussle at Delaware Valley High School in Matamoras, PA. As the first regular difficulty event in-state this year, we got a chance to see some of the top teams in action for the first time and see how things have improved and changed with a summer’s worth of study.

Full stats for the tournament can be found at this link.

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Paul Nelson moderates the final between Manheim Township A (left) and a 2-man Great Valley A team. Photo courtesy Manheim Township Quizbowl.

Pre-season #1 team Manheim Township A defeated #4 Great Valley A to win the tournament, winning two matches in what functionally came out to a best-of-three final. The two teams both entered their final matches undefeated. Both teams also played undermanned, though they had their respective two-man cores in tow (Ahan and Shayar for Manheim Township; Sam and Daniel for Great Valley) with MT’s C team rounding out the A team this time. Both teams justified their ranking with some serious power buzzing, each averaging over 6 powers per game. The Blue Streaks looked to have benefited from having two additional players on hand this week, as their points-per-bonus average was significantly higher than GV’s. Keep an eye on these two teams as they duke it out for trophies across the season.

Small Schools also thrived at this event, with Camp Hill and Lakeland A making the top bracket. Camp Hill’s Colton Sanden finished with a tournament leading 78 correct answers and 80 points per game. Meanwhile, Lakeland took Manheim Township A to the brink, losing a close match 315-265. With Camp Hill long established as a powerhouse at SSNCT, and Lakeland looking motivated and feisty, it will be worth continuing to monitor them as they look to follow up on playoff berths at small school nationals last year with even better results.

The rest of the playoff bracket was rounded off by a Delaware Valley house team and neighboring district Wallenpaupack A. With both teams putting up solid numbers, it is awesome to see this Delaware Water Gap rivalry grow. Of note, Collin Kawan-Hemler, the lone returnee from Delaware Valley’s A team last year which finished #2 in Pennsylvania, emerged from the shadow of all-stars Saimun and Drake to score 57 points per game. Will his leadership bear similar fruit? Wallenpaupack, meanwhile, continued their balanced attack, aided in part by keeping all their major scoring from last year.

The consolation brackets mostly consisted of B, C, and D teams, as well as teams from Moravian Academy and Berwick. Though none of these are a major threat for titles any time soon, it was great to see that these teams continue to come out, and hopefully they all had fun and learned a few new things from this set.

Who will build on Tri-State Tussle and snag the next victory? Tune in and see in the next few weeks!

-Ben Herman

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