quizbowl

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.

chachacharter.png

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

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2241.JPG

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.

Downingtown East Invitational III Wrap-Up (1/5/19)

The calendar year 2019 got off to a thrilling start in Downingtown, as 32 teams competed for an Experienced and Novice title. This was the third iteration of Downingtown East’s January tournament, and was played on an NAQT IS set.

Stats can be found here.

img_1085

Hempfield, with their 2nd place trophy.

Experienced Division

Unfortunately, our Pennsylvanian heroes were not able to overcome an impressive onslaught from Washington D.C.’s Georgetown Day School, who went undefeated on the day and quite impressed a number of the staff. This was, from what we understand, the first time they were at full strength this season, and they will be potent competition come nationals. The highest PA finisher was Hempfield, who notched the silver and their first appearance in a tournament final this year. Coming off a #7 ranking in the mid-season poll, they notched wins over the #3, #4, #6, #11, and #15 ranked teams, in what must be one of the highest number of ranked wins in one tournament any team has achieved since we started polling. Will Yaeger’s 56 ppg led the way as usual, but he was less than half the team’s total scoring as Nishant Balepur, Ryan Zhang, and Carsten Broadbeck all put in significant work and at least 7 powers each. Hempfield and their consistently high bonus conversion began the second half in full force.

Third went to Great Valley A, who defeated Penn Manor in the third place game 355-260. GV continued to show good balance across categories, and only lost to the teams that finished above them. This team is improving fast, and they have checked the neg numbers that hampered Great Valley teams in the past. Penn Manor was carried by Connor Mayers, who was again the top scorer among Pennsylvanians with a fantastic 82 points per game. Henderson took a tie for 5th. This was their first regular difficulty event of the year, and they played as a crammed six man squad. Vijay led the way with 17 powers and 51 points per game. Manheim Township‘s A and C team both made the playoffs as well, showing their continued depth and buzzer success. Also impressive was Unionville, who went 5-5 and tied for 9th as an all freshmen squad. Though a bit raw and prone to neg right now, their players seemed super enthusiastic and I would watch this team as an emerging threat. The last PA playoff entrant was Downingtown STEM, who, despite no playoff wins, flashed a lot of strong science and history knowledge.

Teams from Camp Hill, Lakeland, PALCS, Downingtown West, Wissahickon, and Wallenpaupack also participated in this bracket. Downingtown West was playing thier first event of the season, and came within 45 points of an upset of Hempfield. Led in scoring by Miriam Roeder’s 72 ppg, they looked right at home here. Camp Hill’s Sydney Preston was just behind at 69 ppg.

Novice Division

The novice division featured lower ranked teams from the above, and was won by Hempfield B. Manheim Township E’s Ellie Taliani was the lead scorer, with 54 ppb. We were also excited to welcome Oxford High to the pyramidal quizbowl family. Their team, at their first event, led the novice team in bonus conversion and seemed to adjust themselves well to the new format. We hope to see them and all the other schools here back soon for more pyramidal action, as each tournament offers intense new challenges.

-Ben

GPQB Mid-Season Poll, 2018

It’s that time of year again- as we flip calendars, we also flip from the first half of the qb season to the stretch run. Lineups have mostly been set, and top teams are gearing up for a run at the state title and, for a few lucky programs in America, the chance to maybe even claim a national title. As is always the case here, we have convened the voters panel and produced our own mid-season poll of teams in Pennsylvania. 17 moderators and alumni of the circuit cast a ballot this time. Here are the results:

1. Allderdice A, 169 points (=, 16 first place)
2. State College A, 150 points (=, 1 first place)
3. Great Valley A, 113 points (+5)
4. Henderson, 112 points (-1)
5. Penn Manor, 108 points (=)
6. Manheim Township A, 86 points (-2)
7. Hempfield, 75 points (+3)
8. Friends Select, 55 points (-2)
9. State College B, 34 points (=)
10. Downingtown STEM, 8 points (-3)

Also receiving votes were Great Valley B (7), Manheim Township B (5), Allderdice B (4), Delaware Valley (4), Manheim Township C (2), and Winchester Thurston (1).

We wish all these teams and the rest of the PA crew the best of luck with 2019 and the back half of their seasons!

-The Staff

The voters in this poll were: Sameer Apte, Ryan Bilger, Jack Edmondson, Ben Herman, Antonio Jimenez, Ashish Kumbhardare, Sebastien La Duca, Nick Luca, Andrew Nadig, Rebecca Rosenthal, Colton Sanden, Alex Sankaran, Vishwa Shanmugam, Steven Silverman, Adam Swift, Rohan Vora, and Jackie Wu

Manheim Township Academic Challenge Wrap-Up (12/15/18)

48 teams were on hand to celebrate the holiday season with some high octane quizbowl at Manheim Township this Saturday. This is always one of the biggest tournaments of the season, and also one of the most fun to play and staff. As always, MT did an exemplary job on logistics, with the event being wrapped up, including finals, before 3:30.

Stats can be found here.

Varsity

The tournament final, between Henderson (further from camera) and Great Valley.

Great Valley A won the varsity division by going undefeated on the day, punctuated with a 420-310 final win over second-place Henderson A. GV put in a balanced performance on the day, with multiple buzzes per game from all four players, and they managed to keep their neg totals to a minimum in their high-pressure games. Henderson’s only loss came in the final, and they were impressive in the prelim games I read for them. Vijay Anne continued to lead the scoring for this team, but Sid Chenrayan had a major breakout day as well. The question remaining for Henderson is how well they will scale up to higher difficulties, but this was a strong day for them.

Penn Manor A took third place in a thrilling 355-350 match over Kellenberg A (New York). Connor Mayers took home the top scoring accolades in prelims by a wide margin, with 127.14 points per game, as well as a 1:1 powers to gets ratio. Penn Manor’s only loss of the tournament was a 340-330 defeat to Great Valley A, showing that the top teams in eastern Pennsylvania remain neck and neck.

Rounding out the top bracket were Friends Select AGreat Valley BHempfield A, and Unionville. Friends Select has done a nice job of retooling after last year’s graduations, with Matt DAnnunzio really emerging as one of the breakout players of the season. Their PPB hovered near 24, a solid mark for this level. Like their A team, Great Valley B got good contributions from all four players, and they beat FSS A by a healthy 420-230 margin in the playoffs. GV certainly remains one of Pennsylvania’s deepest programs. Hempfield A led the field in PPB in the prelims, notching an impressive 25.23 mark. Will Yaeger remains in the conversation as one of the best players in the state, and Ryan Zhang and Carsten Brodbeck turned in good performances as well. Their back-and-forth with local rivals Penn Manor played out once again, with PM emerging victorious by a 405-255 scoreline. Lastly, Unionville returned to the circuit and went 6-1 in prelims to make it into the playoff rounds. This is a team that could be capable of some strong finishes if they choose to play more pyramidal tournaments!

The first two consolation brackets included Great Valley C, Henderson B, and A teams from Greater Nanticoke, Moravian Academy, Huntingdon, State College, and Bermudian Springs. I read two games for Greater Nanticoke, and their three players worked quite well together as a unit. None of the other squads crossed my path, but they all picked up some good wins on the day, such as a thrilling 255-250 victory for Huntingdon over Tome School (MD), and it was great to see them all playing and playing well!

Other schools in attendance included LakelandLancaster MennoniteCedar CrestLampeter-StrasburgPALCSCarver E&SEmmausBerwickLancaster Catholic, and Downingtown East. Though Lancaster Mennonite came out on the losing end of the two contests I read for them, I was impressed with their steady play, led by Jacob Cairns (3rd individual scorer in prelims). David Campbell also did well for Lakeland as they retool for the future. Every one of these schools earned multiple victories on the day, as well as valuable experience in a highly competitive setting. As we can attest, every tournament is a great learning event to continue building for future matches, and these teams all have something good to build upon!

Junior Varsity

IMG_1076

Waynesboro (Left) vs. Carver HSES C (Right)

In the JV division, Henderson C pulled the rare feat of a tournament sweep without need for a final, finishing 9-0 and winning by two. Vivek lead the way in scoring with almost 75 points per game, and was also the lead scorer on power buzzes. This is a team of all freshmen, so Henderson will have lots in the tank for the future. Hempfield’s B team took second place, with a a tournament leading 19 powers as a group. In this way, they somewhat reflected their A team’s tendency for lots of powers. Cedar Crest B took 3rd, displaying excellent discipline with only five negs. 4th went to Waynesboro, a team which debuted at this event last year and returned in strong form. They had lots of impressive buzzes for this level, particularly on literature.

The rest of the JV division was rounded out by B and C teams from Carver HSES, Emmaus, Bermudian Springs, Penn Manor, Berwick, Moravian, and Friends Select. Manheim Township Middle School also joined the action, as did Linden Hall, a circuit debutante.

Both divisions featured some excellent play, and this event was as fun to read as it was to play. We wish all these teams the best of luck in the spring as they gear up for the second half of the season!

– Ben and Ryan

Quaker Fall Open Wrap-Up (12/1/18)

This past Saturday, a mix of teams from Pennsylvania and the entire eastern seaboard met for the University of Pennsylvania’s Quaker Fall Open. The upper division played a tough college level tournament as training for a run at nationals, while the lower division played the regular difficulty WHAQ set.

Stats for both divisions can be found here.

Nationals Division

EFT was a tough question set since it is, after all, a college tournament and not even a novice college tournament either. While most teams were able to eke out 10 points on most bonuses and most tossups got answered, there was quite a bit of variation in when the buzzes were occurring and powers were particularly scarce (and all the more impressive when they happened).

The division was overall won by “Monticello” from Virginia which came in ranked as the #1 team in the country. They generally backed up their crown, but did have a major hiccup against Dorman (ranked #33 in the country) from South Carolina as well as a small scare against “Rope Meadows” and a bigger scare against Wilmington Charter from Delaware. Ithaca from New York finished as the runner-ups after edging Charter 290-285 in an extremely close match but not finding any answers against Monticello. Charter had a very solid tournament though and even if they end up playing as a duo will be a tough out in any national tournament.

Manheim Township paced the PA teams with a steady, quietly solid performance that saw them win 3 games with a margin of 20 points or less. A particularly gritty comeback against Dorman also saw Township, led by Will’s 39 PPG, come up big when needed. There did seem to be some fatigue setting in later in the day for them, but overall they played well against some of the toughest opponents they’ll face until nationals.

Great Valley, missing a key player or two from their normal A-team lineup, showed good buzzer skills to make up for some holes in their coverage on bonuses (the current PPB may be slightly too low; corrections are coming). This is a young team with a talented lead scorer in Rishi (35 PPG) that has a lot of room to grow. Tenafly from NJ made their PA quizbowl debut with a solid performance. Penn Manor suffered three close losses of 15 points or less though Connor (67 PPG) had in general a strong performance. “Rope Meadows” had a bit more of a frustrating day with an impressive 10 powers offset by 36 negs, though 8 of those did take place in their first match against Monticello. BCA A also came down from NJ for the competition and Downingtown East A, after losing almost their entire A-team from last year, rounded out the bracket.

Open Division

The WHAQ question set seemed once again slightly more unforgiving than most high school sets on the bonuses, but may have overall been a touch easier than last year’s challenging edition. The top three slots were all taken up by Manheim Township B-D using a strategy of fielding more balanced teams overall that led to some unusual outcomes like MT C having a much higher PPB than MT B and MT D beating MT B. Great Valley B, much of last year’s middle school team, sported the highest PPB of all the Open teams but got beaten to the buzzes a bit more often despite Anish’s 93.75 PPG and finished alone in 4th.

Germantown Friends, a welcome new addition to the circuit this year, started what might be a long-running friendly rivalry with Carver HSES A on a great note with a GFS overtime victory in the prelims and Carver getting revenge in the playoffs by 10 points. Science Leadership Academy also finished with the rest of the Philly crowd at 2-3 behind a 93.75 PPG performance from Jack. Wissahickon A, the only Montgomery County academic team in attendance, rounded out the upper playoffs.

The rest of the field saw longtime circuit regulars Bodine and Franklin Towne Charter as well as B and C teams from Downingtown, Wissahickon, and Carver  plus several other B teams. Overall, it was a spirited performance on a pretty tough set (no team finished with more than 19 PPB) that gave teams lots of competitive matches.

-Chris

SAGACITY XIV Wrap-Up (11/17/18)

Pittsburgh area quizbowl continued one of its long running traditional tournaments just before Thanksgiving with the University of Pittsburgh’s SAGACITY, entering its 14th season as an invitational. This was the largest ever edition, with 32 total teams. Due to the mid-event cancellation of Mellon Bowl as the result of and in respect for the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, this was the first full tournament many Western PA teams got to play this season.

Stats can be found here.

sc

Tournament Champions State College B

The tournament’s final matched the top ranked teams in the state. One team from State College High School took first place in an exciting 375-325 win over Allderdice A. State College seems to have no set lineups or teams as such, so it’s not really worth talking about them as an “A” and a “B” team at this point, with so much change. The stronger team will be the one that has their phenom sophomore, Albert, at the helm. His extremely impressive 73 points per game was good for second overall, and his 26 powers is stellar for a student his age. He is certainly a front runner for our all-state teams this year. Despite the upset win, Allderdice showed why they were ranked #1 in the preseason by statistically standing out as the class of this field.  Their 78 power buzzes were almost twice that of State College, and they held opponents to a somewhat incredible 32 points per game against them in the morning, including a 690-0 grail against John Marshall B from West Virginia (for more on what a grail is, please see our Henderson wrap-up from earlier this month). They are truly outstanding, with all members of the team contributing serious points.

State College’s other team finished 3rd, winning a game against Northmont from Ohio to take that spot. 5th place was a tie between Allderdice B and Pittsburgh Central Catholic. Alana led Allderdice B’s scoring, and her 85 points per game ended up being the highest among players at this tournament. Central Catholic has been a good team for a while, but had never really broken through to become a contender at events. That changed at SAGACITY, where they shot up to an 8-2 record with 30 powers. Simon Sweeney’s 72 points per game was the 3rd highest score of the tournament. Also making the playoffs were Central Catholic B and Penn Hills. The later is a fairly new team around the circuit, but had a number of impressive buzzes and seemed to be having a blast as they player their rounds. They have plenty of potential to keep rising further.

IMG_1072

Penn Hills A, during the preliminary phase of the tournament.

Among other schools in attendance were perential Western PA powerhouse Winchester Thurston, who finished 9th after some of their players had to miss a few rounds due to another commitment. The 2017 State Champions still look to be strong, and could do well at nationals yet again. A litany of local schools such as Pine-Richland, Bishop Canevin, Hampton, Chartiers Valley, and Southside represented the Pittsburgh metro well. Northwest PA was represented by Kane, DuBois, and Saegertown, the later school having returned to the circuit after a year’s absence. We also wanted to make sure to shout out to some of our newest teams. Sharpesville played one event in Ohio last year, but this was their first in-state quizbowl experience. They improved on a winless showing at their first event by quite a bit, qualifying for small school nationals. Butler County’s North Catholic, who was at the unfinished Mellon Bowl, got to play their first full event. Apollo-Ridge was a true first time team, and we welcome them to quizbowl Saturdays.

Overall, this tournament ran extremely efficiently, and teams packed a lot of quizbowl into their day. This will be remembered well among the long list of SAGACITies past and future.

-Ben

Swarthmore Novice II Wrap-Up (11/10/18)

16 teams from 9 schools came to Swarthmore College on November 10 for Swarthmore’s second annual novice tournament. Full stats for the day can be found here.

ManheimA2
Manheim Township A with their first-place trophy. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rosenthal.

Two teams from Manheim Township finished atop the standings, with the A team going 9-0 and the B team finishing at 8-1. These performances demonstrated that Manheim Township’s strong program is continuing to produce talented young players all capable of contributing multiple solid buzzes in any game. Ellie Taliani and Baybars Charkas led the way for the A team with 59.44 and 51.11 PPG respectively, while Scotty Reynolds notched 73.89 points on the B team.

ManheimB
Manheim Township B with their second-place trophy. Photo courtesy Rebecca Rosenthal.

Carver A and Sanford School A rounded out the top bracket. It was nice to see Carver’s hard work over the years pay off with a trophy position. Sanford, out of Delaware, made their pyramidal debut in fine style, with the A team breaking 20 PPB. With new coach Abbi Smith (formerly of Friends Select and 2018 GPQB Coach of the Year), these students may be able to climb even higher with more experience under their belts.

CarverA
Carver A with their third place trophy. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Rosenthal.

Great Valley A and Archbishop Wood A finished 5th and 6th, followed by Carver B and Sanford B. Like Manheim Township, Great Valley continues to get good production from its young players, with all four team members over 15 PPG. Archbishop Wood did well for their first tournament of the year also, once again with all players contributing solid points.

Young players from Friends Select and Science Leadership Academy gained good experience and notched some wins on the day as well. It was nice to see Palisades and Church Farm School return to the circuit as well, and hopefully we’ll see them some more this year! B and C teams from GV and Carver filled out the remaining brackets.

Our congratulations to all the teams who came out and played, and to Swarthmore for hosting! We hope to see these players continue to grow and improve in the PA quizbowl community!

-Ryan

Henderson Invitational V Wrap-Up (11/17/18)

Last Saturday, 36 teams from around the Northeast of the US gathered to compete and one of the big traditional bouts of the PA quiz calendar. This was the largest field for Henderson Invitational yet.

Stats can be found here.

20181117_164103

Penn Manor with their 2nd place trophy. They finished highest of PA schools.

Wilmington Charter A, up from Delaware seeking wins and trophies as they often do, came away with 1st place. They were undefeated, and had the highest points per bonus, points per game, and powers of teams in attendance. Charter might not be from Pennsylvania, but since Delaware doesn’t have much of a circuit of its own right now, we’re always happy to see them and they have shown they’re a real top 25 nationals contender this season. To win, Charter defeated Penn Manor A in the final. A number of teams were close statistically, but Penn Manor managed to come out on top with some very clutch wins, including a 5 point win over third place team and their Lancaster County rival Hempfield. Connor Mayers’ tournament leading performance, with an average of just a hair over 100 points per game, shows that he’s entered the clear upper echelon of players in the region. Penn Manor has proven they can do some major damage with this performance.

Hempfield’s third place was nothing to sneeze at, as Penn Manor was their only loss and Will Y.’s 70 points per game indicates he’s also one of the state’s strongest players this season. Fourth place went to Friends Select A. As a new look squad of sorts that has has to replace almost all their production this off season, FSS has rebuilt swimmingly. A 43/80/13 line from such a young group of players suggests continued success for this school. Manheim Township A took fifth, behind an impressive performance by Will S.(68 ppg) and solid performances in the 20s from Noah, Cyril, and Ryan. They had the second best statistical numbers on the day, and along with Charter were the only team to clear 20 ppb. In fact, Manheim Township pulled a grail, meaning they answered all 20 tossups correctly, against New York State’s Smithtown East A (winning 670-(-5) in the process!). Grails are very rare*, and with one also occurring at SAGACITY in Pittsburgh Saturday, Pennsylvania teams managed the extraordinary feat of two in one day. Their lineups for the remainder of the season still seem to be in flux, however, so it will be interesting to see what those changes do to keep improving the team. Great Valley took sixth behind another balanced performance.

The rest of the playoffs featured Mannheim Township’s program depth in full force, as their B,C, and D teams all made it, as well as solid performances by Great Valley B, Camp Hill, and Downingtown STEM. The later two, led by Sydney and Anish, respectively, are schools with a veteran senior that was a key role player on very successful teams of the past (Sydney on Camp Hill’s Very Small School SSNCT champion in 2017, Anish on last year’s state champion STEM) now getting the chance to lead a squad of younger, less experienced players. Though neither seems ready to compete with some of the teams listed above, both teams put up fine performances and both will seek to get ranked by season’s end.

In the lower brackets, a litany of other circuit regulars, such as Cedar Crest, PALCS, Downingtown East, Lancaster Mennonite, and Greater Nanticoke got in on the action, and it looks like a number of them did quite well. A strong, 57 point performance from Mennonite’s Jacob stands out for these teams. It’s great to see these circuit mainstays doing well, though it’s a shame Henderson did not attract any new teams to the event.

Overall, this seems to have been a successful tournament. Thanks go out particularly to Nick Luca and Ashish Kumbhardare for some logistical fixes that allowed this tournament to run smoothly. The overall state rankings picture looks very complex, as so many teams are of comparable skill, and this tournament could have finished many different ways (which makes Charter and Penn Manor’s top showings all the more impressive!) I look forward to the continued success of these quizbowl standouts.

-Ben

* According to the quizbowl wiki, a grail happens in high school quizbowl about 6 to 7 times a year, on average, in America. The Manheim Township grail was the 2nd in PA quizbowl history, after Souderton’s grail of Renaissance Academy at GVQBT II in 2015. The Allderdice grail at SAGACITY was the 3rd.

BrainBusters Fall (Ithaca) Wrap-Up (11/10/19)

On November 10, four Pennsylvania schools competed on NAQT’s IS-179 set at the seventh annual BrainBusters Fall Tournament in Ithaca, New York, taking two of the top four spots.

Stats are here.

Troy (NY) finished in first place, while Delaware Valley A took second place in the 24-team field. Emma led the team with 44.55 points per game and Chris, Darius, and Lucas each contributed over 16 PPG. DV A’s only losses were to NY’s Emma Willard and Troy teams, but their own B team gave them a scare in a 265-235 round 11 game, indicating a deep bench for this rebuilding program. Compared to their performance at Princeton’s tournament in September, which also used an IS set, their points per bonus statistic has improved from 15.26 to a promising 17.44, but their neg count has also increased to 31 negs over 11 rounds, which may be something to watch out for in the future. Wallenpaupack A finished in fourth place, taking the last of the HSNCT-qualifying spots. Gavin and Angela led them in scoring with 37.73 and 33.18 PPG respectively, and the team lost games to only DV A and Troy.

Lakeland A ended up in the second bracket after two prelim losses but proceeded to win all six of their afternoon games. Their closest match of the afternoon was a 140-130 win over Wallenpaupack B, which was led by AJ’s 42.27 PPG. Berwick‘s A team was led by Griffin’s 48.64 points per game and had close games all day, showing improvement from their performance at last month’s Tri-State Tussle, and it was good to see their B team getting more tournament experience as well.

A fifth Pennsylvania school and frequent competitor in the eastern half of the state, Moravian Academy, was also scheduled to play this tournament, but unfortunately an accident on the way there prevented them from doing so. We’re glad to hear that everyone is ok and we hope to see them at future events.

Clearly, the talent in the northeastern part of the state is rapidly improving, and we’re excited to see our teams continue to perform well at in-state and out-of-state tournaments. Best of luck to all our teams competing at the Henderson Invitational V and the University of Pittsburgh’s SAGACITY XIV this Saturday, November 17!

-Jackie