Norwin Invitational Wrap-Up (2/4/17)

Yesterday, pyramidal quizbowl invitationals arrived in Westmoreland county for the first time, with a 22 team event at Norwin High School in Irwin. Directed by Senior Andy Halza, the event ran with impressive efficiency and continued the trend of quality tournaments and quality competition at first time hosts in the state this season.

Stats are here.

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Tournament champions Winchester Thurston A before a morning match. From L to R: Brenda, Aiden, Nathaniel, and Jacob.

Winchester Thurston A claimed their first tournament win of the season with a closely contested 370-310 win over Allderdice. They put up an undefeated 8-0 record. Jacob, Nathaniel, and Aiden all cleared 30 points per game for the tournament, giving Thurston a balanced attack. In particular, this team seemed to take well to science questions. Allderdice was down some of their better players for Norwin Invitational, but despite this, are improving readily throughout the year. This young team could be one of Western PA’s best by next season.

Third place went to a house team from Norwin A. Norwin managed to field nine entire teams for their own event while still having plenty of left over volunteers to read rounds, an incredible feat of preparation considering few had quizbowl experience. Norwin I is, to my knowledge, the first I team in PA quizbowl history. Winchester Thurston B was the final playoff team.

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Allderdice (left four) versus Norwin A.

Also of significance at this event was the presence of a host of first time teams from around Pennsylvania. A hearty welcome goes out to Franklin Regional, Penn Trafford, Penn Hills, Baldwin, and Washington, all of whom debuted on the pyramidal quizbowl circuit. The former two of these made the second bracket on their first go, which is no small feat. We also welcome back Bishop Canevin high school to the circuit after a long absence. I read for them twice, and this team is still a bit raw, but its lead scorers are freshmen, including an already 50 point per game player in Joe Skelley. I hope to have the chance to read for all of these teams in the future, welcome to the club.

Elsewhere, Shady Side A, despite a tough loss in the morning keeping them from the top bracket, put up stats comparable to the finalists. Lead by the one two punch of William Lu and Will Davis, the event’s 2nd and 4th scorers, they could well win a tournament this season before all is said and done. The final school in attendance was Westmont Hilltop, a perennial Small School team from the Johnstown area. They were solid as always, punching well above their weight class.

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Tournament director Andy Halza runs the closing awards ceremony, hitting a stellar 3pm end time.

Norwin ran an awesome event overall, and I would happily staff there again. Hopefully this is a new regular event! Next week, there will be split action in PA, as both Great Valley and Carnegie Mellon host. Stay tuned!

-Ben Herman

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