Month: March 2018

Penn State Spring Academic Bowl 2018 Wrap Up

Last Saturday the 17th, fifteen teams were on hand to compete at Penn State University, leading into the late push of the last few tournaments of the regular season. Stats are here.

Camp Hill finished first place, which is the first time in a long while they have claimed a tournament victory, an overdue and well deserved honor. Lit and myth ace Sydney led the way with an impressive 17 powers and 61 points per game, and this was also a 30+ ppg event for Alex and Ben. Keep an eye on this school that always seems to improve as the year goes on going into SSNCT and nationals season. Otherwise, State College controlled their backyard, with their B, E, and A teams finishing 2nd-4th. The star of the show was the E team’s Pabitra, who in an amazing breakout performance scored 105 points a game with 20 powers sprinkled in. Though he has not played much, he could be an X factor for State College. On A, team captain Lily challenged herself by playing solo, and B meanwhile deployed a typical balanced attack.

5th and 6th places went to Huntingdon A and B. Their gradual improvement is really evident, and I have a feeling they are not done. Max had a few impressive buzzes in my room which have stuck. A group of teams from State College, Westmont Hilltop, and Kane rounded out the consolation games. Teddy from Kane A merits mention, deploying his history specialty to the tune of 67 ppg.

This was a small but fun event that brought a lot of good questions to a central Pennsylvania audience up for the learning. I had a lot of fun, and I am excited for these teams, many of them smaller schools, to continue to thrive.

-Ben

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3rd-Annual Philadelphia City Championship Wrap-Up

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Members of the Friends Select A team with their first-place trophy.

Eighteen teams from seven schools in Philadelphia gathered in Center City on Saturday for the 3rd-annual Philadelphia City Championships. Though some schools mysteriously dropped off the map this year or had conflicts on the day of the tournament, the schools who stuck with it expanded the depth of their programs and often brought many teams. With several middle school teams getting more experience as well, the future of quizbowl throughout Philadelphia looks reasonably bright.

Full stats are available here.

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The top 5 individual scorers from the prelim rounds with their book prizes.

In the championship bracket, Friends Select continued their dominance of the city circuit with their top three teams taking the top three trophies. This wasn’t the result of just magical improvement by osmosis or base knowledge; core FSS A team members Jake and Richard have dramatically improved from their first experience on a NAQT IS-A set 2.5 years ago by hard work, studying and playing as much as possible along with their teammates. And members of the FSS B and FSS C teams have also steadily improved after pretty much every tournament they’ve played, with the B team in particular looking quite formidable. Even after graduation this year and the departure of founding coach Abbi Smith (whom we we all greatly miss, even if Delaware isn’t that far away), FSS looks well-stocked to continue on their march to dynasty status.

The Carver HSES A team took 4th after losing several close matches, including a tiebreak match with FSS C where they fell by only 5 points. The emergence of Aidan (44 PPG in the prelims), only a sophomore, as the team’s go-to scorer bodes well for their future, though the improvement of Mohammed (24 PPG throughout the day) was also key to Carver’s success this year. Science Leadership Academy’s A team came into this tournament with high hopes for a trophy, but despite Jack’s (64 PPG) all-star performance they lost their 2nd-leading scorer Gavin for the afternoon and fell to Carver A and the FSS teams in the playoff rounds. SLA A did, however, give FSS A their closest match of the day and returns an increasingly large group of talent. The championship bracket was rounded out by Bodine, whose team had an impressive 10 powers in the playoffs (only behind FSS A and B) and capped off their season with a solid win over Carver A. They’ll certainly be in the mix for the city championship next year with the complementary duo of Alex and Raquel at the helm.

The first consolation bracket ended in a three-way tie between Carver HSES B, Rush Arts A, and FSS D (a middle school team). Carver B had a well-balanced attack and boasted an impressively high PPB (higher than Carver A’s), but suffered a close loss to FSS D on one of the tougher packets of the tournament. FSS D (MS) had a fairly wild tournament with 5 matches decided by 50 points or less; these middle schoolers showed great poise playing high school teams on high school-level questions and Oscar (37 PPG) will be one to watch for next year. Rush A was paced by a strong 50 PPG from Matt and was the only team to play and defeat all 3 middle schools teams over the course of the tournament. Carver’s C team also saw several of its rotating cast of young members make improvements in their PPG. SLA B and SLA C rounded out the middle bracket with particularly strong performances from Naima (6 powers, 49 PPG) on SLA B and Stella (34 PPG) on SLA C.

The lower bracket saw the two Franklin Towne Charter teams continuing their semi-regular tradition of their B team narrowly besting their A team as both did well in their afternoon bracket. FSS E (MS) was another impressive middle school team and Furness made a welcome re-appearance on the circuit as well. Furness also notably improved their PPB from 4.4 in the morning to 8.9 in the afternoon and capped off their day with a two-game winning streak. Carver D (MS), in less than a month or two of existence, notched a victory over Franklin Towne B but lost themselves to Rush Arts B, who rounded out the bracket.

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Members of the Bodine and Rush Arts A teams shake hands after their match.

It was another great day of academic competition for the students of Philadelphia and we hope that more schools will join (or re-join in the case of Central, Franklin Learning Center, Masterman, and Palumbo) the academic fun and challenge next year.

Chris