The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 22, 2012

Regional Previews: The East

Filed under: Pre-Tournament Coverage — Harry @ 9:43 am

“The East” stretches along the east coast from Virginia to New England and points north, as well as Ontario. As with the West  previews, it will be divided by geographic region. Remember, these previews are very subjective, though any additional insight is always welcome.

Ontario

Ontario will only be sending one team this year, Woburn, who finished second in the Provincial Championship. They have a very balanced team, though their bonus conversion is a few notches below what one would expect from a playoff team. This will be their first time playing teams from outside Ontario, so an accurate prediction will be hard to make.

New England

Hanover:
Hanover return their entire team from last year that finished 6-4 on Saturday and made the playoffs. Their one big test over the regular season was Harvard Fall, where they placed 14th in a very strong field. Gabriel Brison-Trezise and Graham Reid provide the team with most of the scoring, and the latter has made quite a bit of progress since last year. This time around, expect them to start Sunday in the Winner’s Bracket.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

E.O. Smith:
E.O. Smith bring back their two best scorers, Joel Acorsi and Alex Fikiet, and this year they will be joined by Dan H, who has been the team’s leading scorer this year. They’ve improved as a team since last year, probably enough to beat their previous record of 5-5 and reach the playoffs. They went 1-1 against Phillips Exeter at MITBAT, but lost to Hanover earlier in the day.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 1-1 in playoffs

Phillips Exeter:
Phillips Exeter have played at one NAQT tournament this year, where they lost to Hanover 465-190. They’re probably the third-best team in New England (behind Hanover and South Burlington, who are sadly not attending), but their lack of tournament results makes it hard to make a good estimate of where they will end up by the end of Saturday. However, they did split two games against E.O. Smith, which probably indicates that they will be a playoff team this year.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 0-1 in playoffs

New York

Hunter A:
It’s been known for years that Hunter A would be an elite team in 2012. Lily Chen is probably the only person to have played at HSNCT in both 2012 and 2007. York Chen and Zihan Zhang became part of the A team in 2010, and Richard Yu, their leading scorer, came on the scene last year. As if their combined 14 years of experience as Hunter A weren’t enough, they were also runners-up at last year’s PACE NSC. They’re beasts at bonuses, being the first team in a long time to average 28 Points per Bonus in a tournament. However, they have lost games to teams such as High Tech, Thomas Jefferson, and Centennial, so they are by no means invincible. They did beat Bellarmine at the Texas Invitational, though they lost them them the next day at ACF Regionals. Since Bellarmine is missing Nikhil on Saturday, Hunter have the best shot of reaching 10-0 on Saturday, but that would be a very difficult feat for even the best teams.

Prediction: 9-1 in prelims, 2nd place

Hunter B:
It can be somewhat difficult to rank B teams, since their rosters are much more fluid than the A teams. However, they do tend to overperform at HSNCT, with two B teams finishing in the top 12 last year. Hunter B has been consitently extremely good, such as finishing second (behind Hunter A) at Princeton and beating several good A teams in the New York area. They’re likely the best B team in the nation and they have the ability to go far in the playoffs.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-13th place

Ardsley:
A newcomer to the HSNCT, Ardsley is led by senior Ryan Rosenberg, who has amassed very impressive numbers in his first full year of pyramidal Quizbowl. They finished second in the Metro New York Championship, losing only to Great Neck South in the finals. Ryan has also improved his buzzing habits, going from 27/49/29 in October to 23/35/8 in April. They’re probably about equal to a full-strength Hunter B, and will most likely make at least the fourth round of the playoffs.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

Great Neck South:
Great Neck South is a team that has been steadily improving throughout the year, culminating in a victory over Ardsley at the Metro New York Championship. While they certainly have the breadth of knowledge required to make the playoffs (21.72 PPB at that tournament), they averaged almost two fewer powers per game than their rivals in Westchester County, which might cause problems come playoff time. Still, they have a decent shot of being the fourth New York team to finish 7-3 or better in the prelims.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, 0-2 in playoffs

New Jersey

High Tech:
High Tech is like Ardsley in many ways — they are both attending the HSNCT for the first time, they are both led by an outstanding player (Grace Liu, who routinely gets 100-130 PPG), and both are among the top teams in their respective regions. They were able to beat three-quarters of a Hunter A team at BOAT, but lost to Hunter B at Princeton. Expect them to go deep into the playoffs, and don’t be surprised if they go 8-2 on Saturday.

Prediction: 8-2 in prelims, t-13th place

St. Joseph:
Coached by the whimsical Ed Powers, St. Joseph is returning to the HSNCT after finishing tied for 33rd last year. Alex Frey, who was the seventh-highest individual scorer last year, will also be back. They lost a close game to High Tech in the New Jersey State Championship, but beat them in the finals of the Millburn Joseph Bookstaber Tournament. They’re also fairly well-seasoned, having gone to ten tournaments, stretching from Washington to Boston. Expect them to finish as a solid playoff team.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

Millburn
Millburn is returning to the HSNCT after a five-year absence, the longest of any returning team. They amassed victories over Ranney and East Brunswick at the New Jersey State Championship, but lost to St. Joseph and High Tech in the playoffs. They did manage to go 1-1 against High Tech at BATE, so it wouldn’t hurt to keep half an eye open in case they manage to pull off an upset.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 1-1 in playoffs

Mountain Lakes
Mountain Lakes played in one regular-difficulty tournament all year, where they beat fellow HSNCT teams Ranney and East Brunswick at the New Jersey State Championship. They performed slightly better than Millburn, though the two teams unfortunately didn’t play. This will be their first HSNCT appearance, but it won’t be out of the question if they last a couple rounds on Sunday.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 0-1 in playoffs

Pennsylvania and Delaware

State College
The defending HSNCT champions has had to cope with the loss of their entire A team as well as legendary coach Julie Gittings. The team has managed to do fairly well, easily establishing themselves as the best team in Pennsylvania, but losses to St. Joseph and Richard Montgomery at Delaware Spring showed that they weren’t the team they once were. They have improved markedly over the course of the year, going from 19.69 to 24.25 PPB on two different A sets. They will most likely end up making the playoffs for the 10th straight year, which is a very impressive feat.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

Wilmington Charter
The 2009 HSNCT champions are returning their leading scorer, and he has been joined by three other good players to form a very balanced team. However, they have lost most of the games they played against fellow HSNCT teams in the area, so they are not necessarily a lock to improve on their 5-5 record last year. However, they have put up good stats on paper and have shown signed of getting better throughout the year, so I still believe they will end up in the playoffs.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 0-1 in playoffs

D.C. Metro Area

St. Anselm’s
Aidan Mehigan and Jacob Wasserman lead a team that has exploded onto the Quizbowl scene over the past few years. They finished 19th at the PACE NSC last year, but Jacob has proven to be much better at NAQT tournaments. Meanwhile, Aidan had a very impressive run playing solo at the Ben Cooper Memorial Tournament last Saturday. They are a very strong team, and they will most certainly make a very deep run in their first ever HSNCT appearance.

Prediction: 8-2 in prelims, t-8th place

Thomas Jefferson
The four-time HSNCT champ has had to deal with the unexpected transfer of sophomore Jon Leidenheimer to Marshall, but they have manged to move on thanks to the combined efforts of Raynor Kuang and James Bradbury, who were the leading scorers on last year’s TJ B and TJ A, respectively. Their efforts have so far culminated in a victory in last weekend’s Ben Cooper Memorial Tournament with a combined statline of 101/55/24. They are almost certain to make a 12th straight playoff appearance, and they have a more-than-outside shot at reaching the top 10 for the 10th time.

Prediction: 8-2 in prelims, t-13 place

Georgetown Day
Georgetown Day are returning their entire team that finished t-13th at last year’s HSNCT. They have had a lot of tournament experience this year, having played at over 15, though not always with a full A team. When they are all together, though, they are quite the formidable foe, reaching almost 25 PPB at VCU Winter. However, two consecutive defeats at the hands of Thomas Jefferson at Rider Bowl is cause for concern. It’s likely that they will once again reach the top 20; whether they break past that remains a question.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-13th place

Richard Montgomery
Richard Montgomery has spent the year rebuilding somewhat after losing three-quarters of the team that reached the round of eight last year, but they have so far proved to be fairly successful. They have put up impressive numbers worthy of a good playoff team, but the 2006 HSNCT champions had a less-than-desirable result at last weekend’s Ben Cooper Memorial Tournament, which may be a cause for concern. Regardless, they should still be around fairly well into Sunday.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

George C. Marshall
Marshall is a surprise entrant to this list thanks to the transfer of sophomore Jon Leidenheimer. He has played in one tournament with his new team, and he and Brian Potter led the team to an upper-bracket finish. It is hard to tell exactly how well this team will do, but it seems likely that they will make a playoff appearance. And, personally speaking, it would make for an interesting match if they ended up playing TJ at some point.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 1-1 in playoffs

Virginia

Christiansburg
The star player for Christiansburg is breakout star Matt Moschella, who has come close to breaking the all-time NAQT single-game scoring record several times this year. They have had a fierce rivalry with Cave Spring, beating them in VHSL Regionals but losing to them at VHSL States, and going 2-1 against them to win at the Virginia Tech Spring Invitational. They were a surprise entrant to the playoffs last year, but this time around no one will bat an eye if they start Sunday in the winner’s bracket.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place

Cave Spring
Cave Spring were the surprise winner of the Virginia State Championship as well as VHSL States in AA. Michael Zhang has averaged around 100 PPG, and he is joined by James Cole, who himself can net an additional 30-50 PPG. They crushed a State College team at OLEFIN, though more recently they lost a very close final to Christiansburg. They’re definitely a playoff team — how far they go will be a much more difficult question to answer.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-33rd place

Maggie Walker
The 2010 HSNCT champions are in a rebuilding year after the loss of Tommy Casalaspi and JR Roach, but they have still been able to put up some good results, including a win against St. Anselm’s at VCU Winter. On the other hand, they lost to both Christiansburg and Cave Spring at the Virginia State Championship, and their numbers imply that they’re probably a level behind those two teams. They’re still likely to make the playoffs for the 12th time in school history.

Prediction: 6-4 in prelims, 1-1 in playoffs

And here we have the east previews! Tune in tomorrow for when we look at the south.

5 Comments »

  1. It’s worth noting for prediction purposes that Hunter A was shorthanded in some way at every tournament they played this year except for the two Texas events, sometimes with two of the regular A-teamers not there.

    Comment by Matt Jackson — May 22, 2012 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  2. Similarly, Ben Cooper is not such a cause for concern for RM, as that team was half of the normal A team (Samantha/Daniel) and half of the B team, and two of the four players were literally on 0 sleep after prom the night before.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 23, 2012 @ 5:58 am | Reply

  3. I might be of note that, unless I’m mistaken, three players from E. O. Smith played at HFT under the name of Mansfield.

    Comment by Graham Reid — May 23, 2012 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

  4. I think Marshall can make a bigger splash than 1-1, Brian Potter and Jonathan Leidenheimer are both very talented and I feel like the HSNCT set will play to their strength better than the Prison Bowl set did. Leidenheimer put up 33ppg while playing alongside Raynor and outscoring Daniel Hothem. Potter is a really solid history player and with Jonathan’s lit/random things knowledge, I definitely wouldn’t look past them. I think you guys have my alma mater scoped out pretty well, but watch out for RM B, they’ve got a bit of talent and they can sneak into the playoffs as well.

    Comment by Raynell — May 23, 2012 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  5. Caesar Rodney will do our best to go against the predictions and make the playoffs; i think we can do it. We didn’t have our full team at Ben Cooper either (only half, not indicated in Fred Morlan’s rankings), so we will win some games that people don’t expect. This is Alexa’s last chance after 4 years on the top team, so she’ll give it all she has.

    Comment by Andrew Chrzanowski — May 24, 2012 @ 9:13 am | Reply


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