Month: February 2019

Great Valley Quiz Bowl Tournament VI Wrap-Up (2/23/19)

This past weekend, the sixth iteration of the annual Great Valley Quiz Bowl Tournament took place in Malvern. The event used the 2018 Scottie set and featured a 20-team Open division and a 16-team Novice division. Both divisions were won by teams from the same school, a first in Pennsylvania quizbowl history.

Stats are here.

Open Division

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Hempfield A (top row) with their B team, the Novice champions (pic from @gvquiz)

Hempfield A claimed their first pyramidal tournament win after finishing second to out-of-state teams at their last two tournaments. While Will Y.’s 78.75 points per game landed him in second place in the individual prelim standings, this was by no means a one-man team, as Nishant, Ryan Z., and Carsten added plenty of scoring as well for a team total of 68 powers and 22.74 points per bonus over 11 rounds. Will concluded, “we’re very happy to have finally won a tournament after having come close several times. We’ve certainly improved a great deal over the past several months, especially through the notable addition of Nishant to the team. This season has been really enjoyable so far, and we hope to continue our momentum through the end of the year.”

Manheim Township A went undefeated until their 265-315 loss to Hempfield A in the final game, though from stats the two teams seem to have similar scoring structures and power/neg ratios. Will S.’s 77.50 PPG in the prelims was supported by Ryan K., Noah, and Cyril, who contributed around 20-30 PPG each and combined for an overall PPB of 21.67. Henderson A, playing without usual lead scorer Vijay, finished in third place. Their only losses came in the afternoon to the two teams above them, as Sid and Vikram emerged as high scorers with solid support from Adam and Dan. They played an impressively disciplined tournament with very few negs throughout the day. Fourth place Friends Select A pulled off a 415-305 win over Hempfield A and gave the eventual champions their only loss. The one-two punch of Matt (~60 PPG) and Rudyard (~41 PPG) led the team in scoring, while Silas and Jonah added several gets each round. Their PPB of 22.22 was also the second highest at this event, indicating substantial breadth and the possibility of another impressive run at this year’s nationals.

Fifth place went to Penn Manor A. Connor’s lofty scoring totals (128.75 PPG in the prelims) kept them competitive in games like their 305-295 victory against FSS A, but an aggressive playing style as a team resulted in many inopportune negs. With some more support on the buzzer from other team members, Penn Manor could have strong potential for the remainder of the season. Manheim Township’s B and C teams finished sixth and seventh, led by Zac and Nate respectively with relatively balanced scoring from the rest of the players as well. Both teams kept many of their playoff games competitive, with the B team playing a close 265-320 game against Penn Manor and the C team putting up a 4/5/1 statline against MT A to end only 10 points short of an upset. Delaware Valley A rounded out the top bracket, paced by Emma’s 47.50 PPG in the prelims.

Downingtown East A, led by Malaika and Nikhil, missed out on the championship bracket following a 230-285 prelim loss to DV A, but finished at the top of the second bracket after winning 4 of its 5 afternoon games by triple-digit margins. Their only playoff loss was to Wissahickon A, which featured strong performances from Peter and Jack. The rest of the bracket was composed of Manheim Township D, Henderson B, Moravian Academy A, and Science Leadership Academy A, all of whom played close games against each other.

In the third bracket, Friends Select B went 5-0 in the afternoon. Carver E&S A, led by Sebastian, had a solid 3/6/1 game in the prelims against DV A and kept many later games close as well, while Archbishop Ryan‘s Ryan led the team’s scoring in its first open division appearance. Sophomore David of Lakeland A put up over 50 points per game, and it was good to see all four players on PALCS getting points on the buzzer against challenging opponents.

Novice Division

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2nd place: Downingtown East B (pic from @gvquiz)

Hempfield B won the Novice title, paced by Michael’s 60 PPG, while second place went to Downingtown East B, whose lead scorer Vikaas put up 57.78 PPG. Oxford A took third in their highest finish since starting pyramidal quizbowl only last month, with Chris’ 51.11 PPG combining with solid buzzes from his teammates to go 7-2 on the day. Manheim Township E, Oxford B, and Carver B formed the rest of the 6-team top bracket.

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3rd place: Oxford A (pic from @gvquiz)

Archbishop Wood finished in the middle of the second bracket, though they played competitive games against the teams above them as 3 of the team’s 4 losses were by a margin of only 5 points. The rest of the lower brackets consisted of B and C teams from DV, GV, Wissahickon, Moravian, Carver, Lakeland, SLA, and FSS. Though the set was tough, the novice teams faced the challenge well and we hope to see these young teams back at future events.

Commentary

Many teams seemed to be having a good time playing the 2018 Scottie set, even though it was quite challenging for the novice division. However, feedback from players and staffers shows that the set had some difficulties. GVQBT staffer Alex Sankaran noted that “the set was plagued with repeats, sub-distributional quirks, and extremely difficult third bonus parts. There were also only two pronunciation guides for moderators in the first twelve rounds I read, and tossups sometimes went from one page to the next page.” These issues could have been fixed with a bit of additional editing, especially as the set has been mirrored several times since its first use last August.

Overall, Great Valley hosted yet another smooth event for the eastern PA circuit, and the tournament results indicate that the mix of competitive teams at the top has been improving rapidly. As national tournament fields begin to fill up, we hope all qualified teams register soon and take advantage of the rest of the season’s opportunities to prep!

-Jackie

Carnegie Quiz II Wrap-Up (2/16/19)

This past Saturday, 17 teams attended the second annual Carnegie Quiz tournament at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, played on NAQT’s IS-181 set. Though a few circuit regulars were playing shorthanded due to scheduling conflicts, the event provided a good opportunity for western Pennsylvania teams to face other local schools in addition to some strong out-of-state competitors.

Stats for the event can be found here.

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Teams and staffers gather after lunch for individual prizes and playoff schedules.

First place went to Michigan’s Detroit Catholic Central A, who went undefeated and cleared the field by two wins. The next three teams were DCC B, George Washington (WV), and Allderdice B, who finished the playoff rounds with the same record and ended in that order after a tiebreaker played on 9-minute halves. Allderdice B was led by senior Alana’s 52.50 points per game, though all four players demonstrated deep pockets of knowledge with impressive powers and a solid bonus conversion of 20.58 that helped them to an exciting 295-285 win over DCC B in round 10. Pittsburgh Central Catholic took fifth, led by Simon’s 57.50 PPG, while Morgantown (WV) rounded out the championship bracket. Central Catholic got a key 25-point prelim win over Allderdice A, which consisted of A-team regular Truman bravely soloing for most of the morning.

Austin and Jakobi of Allderdice A made it to the tournament in time to play the afternoon rounds, leading to several 300+ point wins over middle bracket teams, but a capable Winchester Thurston A bested them in a 330-300 game to top the middle bracket. WT A played in the morning with only CB and Andy, who both had some very early buzzes in math and history, and the addition of two more players in the afternoon got them to a solid 35 powers over 10 games, including an 8/8/2 match against Hampton A in round 9. Hampton A had balanced scoring from Tejas, Matt, Joe, and Kate, all of whom cleared 20 points per game, and their 260-225 win over Pittsburgh Central Catholic in round 5 suggests solid potential for this team. An energetic, all-freshmen Allderdice D, a two-person WT B, and a C team from Hampton made up the rest of the second bracket.

The third bracket consisted of Bishop Canevin, Allderdice C, Hampton B, and two teams from Kane. Bishop Canevin warmed up to the buzzer by the end of the tournament, with over 30 PPG from both Darius and Joel, while the Kane teams played several close games in the afternoon and seem to be steadily improving.

Overall, the use of timed 9-minute halves ended the tournament by 3:30 PM for most, and the various out-of-state teams provided a good challenge for PA schools. I had fun staffing this event, and I hope to see all our western PA teams back in action at next month’s Battle of the Burgh at Pitt!

-Jackie

Penn Manor Sean Moore Memorial Tournament Wrap-Up (2/9/19)

36 teams were on hand at Penn Manor High School in Millersville last weekend to try their hand at the CAST set and get in 9 or 10 rounds of action. Many of them were first time entrants to PA pyramidal quizbowl, and we commend Penn Manor for an exemplary effort in outreach for the event.

Stats can be found here.

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Wilmington Charter with their first place trophy.

In a repeat of last month’s Downingtown East tournament, Hempfield finished highest of the Pennsylvania schools, felled in the finals by an extraordinarily strong school from out of state, in this case Wilmington Charter. Both teams were undefeated heading into the final. The Delawareans put up an astounding 27 points per bonus and 96 powers across the event. They are clearly a top 20 team nationally, if not top 10. As for Hempfield, they continue to improve and have made a strong statement to shoot up to the top of PA schools come the next rankings cycle. Will Yaeger led the PA players in both points per game (72.5) and in powers (35), with Ryan Zhang and Nishant Balepur adding double digit powers of their own. Hempfield is clearly the most exciting team in the state right now and looks mighty.

Manheim Township A took 3rd place. Their only loss was to Charter as well (albeit in a 555-55 blowout), but they otherwise were consistently solid and won most of their games by over 300 points. State College A took 4th. A mix of normal A and B teamers for this event, they notched a number of good wins against tough competition. Great Valley A took 5th over Henderson A, and both teams were missing their best player for this tournament. GV scored an impressive 69 powers, quite a feat shorthanded, while Henderson executed fantastic neg control, with just 14 for the tournament. Friends Select finished in 7th, Great Valley B took 8th, Manheim Township B and C took 9th and 10th, and the playoffs were rounded out by 11th place finishers Lancaster Mennonite, and 12th place finishers State College B. This was Mennonite’s first playoff finish for the season, keeping their tradition of strong quizbowl going.

The finals in progress between Wilmington Charter (left) and Hempfield.

Just as big a story was the strong performances by the litany of first time schools, or schools that had not played in a while. Cumberland Valley had the best record of this bunch, finishing 6-3. A team we haven’t seen in a few years, they put up a 13/53/11 line, indicating plenty of potential in store. Warwick also made the middle consolation bracket, and they were a true first time school. Liam Blevins’ impressive 46 points per game led their way. Pine Grove also made a mid bracket finish at their first event of the season, representing the Schuylkill IU proud. GPQB also welcomes Solanco and Palmyra to the circuit, as well as Northeastern back after a years long absence. Many of these schools are local to the south-central PA area and we hope to see them at more Lancaster and area tournaments soon- or perhaps they can host their own!

Other teams that appeared at the tournament include PALCS, Cedar Crest, Waynesboro, Downingtown East, Eastern Lebanon County, Lancaster Catholic, Montgomery Area, and Oxford. Particular plaudits go to Oxford, who started last month at D-East and rapidly improved to a middle finish in a vast field. Delaware’s Concord also returned to Pennsylvania to play for the first time in a while, and they’re always nice to have around.

A quick logistic note- this tournament unusually used only 16 tossups in its non-finals playoff rounds. This was due to the fact the event was running slower than expected in the morning, and there was a time limit on the building’s use. While an unusual solution to try to end the tournament on time, and unfortunate in it costing teams about a packets’ worth of questions, the teams still had a lot of fun and Penn Manor did a good job overall for a first time host. With the lessons learned here, I’m sure future events there will be even stronger.

-Ben

Big Lake Brawl III Wrap-Up (2/2/19)

Wallenpaupack High School hosted its 3rd Big Lake Brawl on Saturday, attracting 19 teams from eastern Pennsylvania as well as out-of-state squads from as far as Ithaca, NY, Wilton, CT, and Sussex, NJ. The tournament was played on NAQT’s IS-182A.

Stats can be found here.

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Great Valley’s younger players took on the “A” designation and placed 2nd.

 

Ithaca A (11-0) cleared the top bracket, with a 385-255 win over Great Valley in the final round. Great Valley (9-2) came in second with a team consisting of usual C-team players, giving third place team Ithaca B two of its three losses in the first and 10th rounds, respectively. This performance will earn the team of Will Lewis, Prithvi Parthasarathy, Nolan Greenways, Rahul Narayanan and Chet Mittal a bid for nationals. Their program depth is incredible. Delaware Valley A finished in 4th, led by Emma with 52.5 PPG. Their only losses were to the two Ithaca teams and in a close match with Great Valley (300 – 220).

The other Pennsylvania playoff finishers were Moravian A (whose A team finished 5th) and Delaware Valley B (6th). Berwick, Emmaus, Lakeland, Riverside, Montgomery, and Wallenpaupack themselves all fielded teams that missed the top bracket. Although they did not end up making the championship bracket, Lakeland A fielded second overall top scorer David Campbell, with an impressive 103.5 PPG.

Overall, it seemed like a great event for the younger players Northeastern PA and surrounding schools to play on an easier set but still experience some tough competition.