Yesterday’s Philly Fall Tournament was only half of the quizbowl going on in Philadelphia yesterday (running alongside the 38-team collegiate tournament, Penn Bowl), but with 24 teams in the Open division and 12 in the Novice, Friends Select School was really buzzing. The tournament attracted teams from New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Connecticut in addition to numerous Pennsylvania teams.
In the Open division, played on IS-178A, competition was tight. The top four teams had almost uncannily similar stats for the tournament, all scoring 450 to 500 points per game, all notching 60 to 63 total powers, and all between 23 and 24 points per bonus. A tournament is rarely this even. As would fit such equal performances, the final was an all time classic. Great Valley A, despite a morning loss to Manheim Township B, was pitted against Kellenberg A, down from Long Island to join the Pennsylvania action. Behind several powers, GV built a 130 point halftime lead, but Kellenberg led a spirited comeback in the second half (taking advantage of two key GV negs). Great Valley fell behind by 30 going into the last tossup, but managed to convert and 30 the bonus to win 345-335 and seal the tournament victory. Excellent performances by John, Anshu, and Rishi, with 20, 19, and 19 powers a piece for the tournament, suggest Great Valley has not missed a step after key graduations. As for Kellenberg, they had some great buzzes and we were happy to have them make the trip down and compete at such a high level.
Although finishing undefeated in prelims, Henderson A led by Vijay (second overall top scorer with 36 powers and 91.67 PPG) finished in third, defeating Manheim Township A, 490-180. Several of Vijay’s early powers combined with a few unfortunate negs widened the breadth of this match, as Manheim’s Will was third individually with 81.67 PPG. Currently ranked #3 and #4, respectively, both teams look to build on this performance to secure top-five finishes in the state.
Downingtown STEM did not make playoffs after a tough prelim loss to Great Valley A, but Anish had an impressive 103.75 PPG to lead individual scorers. Elsewhere in the upper brackets, many of the core programs in the City of Philadelphia opened their seasons, as Science Leadership Academy, Carver, Bodine notched some points. Wissahickon from Montgomery county also opened their latest campaign, continuing a run as one of the state’s oldest programs. Lastly, Delaware Valley made yet another appearance in an active season, making playoffs behind another solid performance.
Pennsylvania’s own PSACA 2: Groundhog Day set written by Bill Tressler again allowed for some awesome competition in the Novice Division. Germantown Friends, coming to their first competition in school history, went undefeated all day to finish first in the division. This is a rare feat, and to see such success from a Archbishop Ryan (led, suitably enough, by Ryan with 110.56 PPG) had its only losses (first in the prelims and then a second one in a disadvantaged final) to GFS, coming in second overall.
Both Anuja and Vivek of Henderson C worked hard to give the school another third place finish in this division. Though they put up a combined impressive PPG, being a two person team seemed to take a hit on their PPB and they finished 6-2. Wissahickon B finished in fourth, having lost only to the first three teams. We also got to see more action from local Philly schools, as several B and C teams joined Rush, Franklin Towne, and Furness to continue the ever growing tradition of Philadelphia city quizbowl.
If you haven’t played the PSACA set this year yet, there is still time to play at Bermudian Springs High in Adams County (11/17), and it’ll be used again next weekend at Carnegie Mellon University’s tournament, which has reached its field cap. Many players and staffers agreed it has challenging early clues that will help novice players learn and improve as well as accessible content for younger and newer players in the giveaways.
In the rounds I moderated in the open division, I saw a lot of new faces pulling great buzzes and thirtying bonuses. Early fall events like this one always make me excited for the tournaments to come– I know a lot of those faces will be returning to PA quizbowl later in the season, and especially in the novice division, continuing to grow as players and members of the community.