The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 24, 2012

Regional Preview: The Midwest

Filed under: Pre-Tournament Coverage — Harry @ 10:33 pm

The Midwest consists of West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. It is the densest region in terms of teams attending, with 82 from these nine states.

West Virginia

West Virginia is sending one team this year, large school state champions Bridgeport. Unfortunately detailed stats from that region are scarce, but if the victory at Mellon Bowl is any indication, they average about 15.5 PPB and a 14% power rate, which is respectable, but probably won’t be enough to reach the playoffs on Sunday.


Olmsted Falls
Olmsted Falls have probably the deepest roster of any of the Ohio teams, with Brad, Marty, Nathan, and Sohan each getting over 20 PPG in every tournament they go to. They also won three out of five Ohio NAQT tournaments they attended (Glen Gonsalves, Olmsted Falls, and Rowdy Raider). However, they haven’t been able to pull away from the pack and have lost to Warren G. Harding and Hawken multiple times. They have the best shot of going the furthest of any Ohio team, but it is by no means a certainty.

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

First-time attendees of the HSNCT, Hawken have proven themselves as a formidable opponent. They have finished in the top three of every tournament they attended and won the Brush Invitational (though Olmsted Falls were not in attendance). They are very aggressive on the buzzer, getting almost seven powers per game at the Ohio State Championship (compared to five and a quarter for Olmsted Falls). On the flip side, they average almost three negs per game, which could cause for some problems later on. Still, expect them to be an entertaining team to watch.

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

Warren G. Harding
The champions of Ohio are returning three-quarters of a team that went to the second round of the playoffs at last year’s HSNCT. Michael Coates, their leading scorer, has averaged about 110 PPG this year and will be looking to improve on his performance as the 8th-best individual scorer last year. They have had approximately a .500 record against Olmsted Falls, Hawken, and Beachwood, so expect them to do about as well as those teams.

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

Beachwood are one of the favorites to win the small school championship, after finishing second to George Mason last year. In their way, however, are Macomb (more on them later). They retain almost all of their scoring from last year, though their full A team has only played once all year, where they lost to Harding and Olmsted Falls at Bowling Green. It will be difficult to determine exactly how well they do, but they are almost certainly a playoff team.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-33rd place, 2nd place small school

Sycamore are a team that has an established leader (Artur Meller) and three strong supporting players who can each post 20 PPG (such as at the Ohio State Championship). They aren’t as experienced as the other top Ohio teams, having only played in two regular-difficulty tournaments all year. At Rowdy Raider, they were able to beat Warren G. Harding, but they do appear to be a step behind Olmsted Falls and Hawken.

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

This year’s Northmont A consist of three-quarters of the Northmont B team that went 5-5 at HSNCT last year. Sam Blizzard is the star of the team, routinely getting 120 PPG. They are well-traveled, having gone all the way to Yale earlier this year. They have yet to win against Olmsted Falls, Hawken, or Harding, but they played three moderately close games against them at Glen Gonsalves. They’re probably a playoff team, but a repeat of their 13th place finish last year is probably unlikely.

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

Solon are attending their fifth HSNCT in a row and are gunning for a fifth consecutive playoff berth. Their performances in tournaments such as the Ohio State Championship suggest that they’re slightly behind the top Ohio teams, but are able to compete with them and even take a game once in a while. They are a very balanced team, with all four players being able to put up good numbers. Do not be surprised if Ohio manages to have seven teams represent them in the playoffs Sunday.

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


Andrew Van Duyn leads a team that just barely missed the playoffs last year. They finished sixth at the Midwest Championship that featured a very stacked field. They were able to beat a half-strength Detroit Catholic Central at the Culver Invitational, though they lost two other matches to them that tournament. They’ll very likely improve on their performance last year, and starting Sunday on the winner’s bracket is a definite possibility.

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


Detroit Catholic Central A
Not only is Detroit Catholic Central the only school to have attended all thirteen HSNCTs, they have made the playoffs every single year. They’re also one of the most traveled teams this year, having been to Washington DC, Harvard, and Texas. They finished second at OLEFIN behind St. Anselm’s, and only lost to Dorman and Hunter at HFT. They’re stronger at NAQT questions, as evidenced by their 13-3 record at Texas Invitational, but only going 6-8 at Texas ACF Regionals, which had a similar field. When they have a full team at NAQT tournaments, they are extremely dangerous, and as a result have an outside chance of even making the finals.

Prediction: 8-2 in prelims, t-5th place

Detroit Catholic Central B
Last year, Detroit Catholic Central B actually finished ahead of their A team. That’s probably not going to happen this year, only because their A team is so strong this year. They finished second at the Michigan State Championship and have finished in the top three in most of the tournaments they attend. Given DCC’s tendency to put six players on a team for HSNCT, they might end up being slightly weaker than normal, since they’ll be without their fifth and sixth best players. Still, expect a playoff run from this team.

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

Troy are returning four-fifths of a team that went 5-5 at last year’s HSNCT. They’ve only played at one tournament with their full A team, where they finished fourth behind two DCC teams and Detroit Country Day. They’ve put up numbers that one would expect from a playoff team, and since there’s little reason to believe they won’t improve over last year, expect them to get some playing time on Sunday.

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


IMSA return their entire team that finished t-13th at last year’s HSNCT. They have a very balanced team, with no player getting less than 30 PPG at the Illinois State Championship. The won the Midwest Championship, only taking a loss to Dorman, and won Wildcat while getting a very impressive 27 PPB. They usually put up slightly better stats than Auburn, though they appear to be slightly weaker on NAQT questions. They probably have the best chances of any Illinois team to win it all, if only because of their incredible depth.

Prediction: 9-1 in prelims, 4th place

IMSA B, like Hunter B, have proven to be a very strong team despite only containing the school’s 5th through 8th best players. They finished third at Wildcat and fourth at the Midwest Championship while beating several strong teams such as Loyola and Dorman. At the Illinois State Championship, they managed 23.3 PPB, almost as good as their A team, but with half the powers. They will also be a good playoff team, but they seem to lack their A team’s depth.

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

Rockford Auburn
Lloyd Sy and Abid Haseeb lead a team that went seventh at PACE NSC last year. Lloyd has been exceptional this year, even winning ATROPHY playing solo. They typically average around 25 PPB, which is what one would expect from a team that could make a run for the finals. They won the Illinois State Championship, where they beat IMSA twice in the finals and finished with a higher bonus conversion but a lower power percentage than their in-state rivals. However, it should be noted that teams where one player gets a lion’s share of the points tend to underperform at HSNCTs, so they may end up doing slightly worse than what their numbers might predict.

Prediction: 8-2 in prelims, t-5th place

Loyola Academy
Almost all of the scoring from last year’s 33rd-place finish come back this year, and Loyola have emerged as one of Illinois’ elite teams. They second at both the Midwest Championship and Wildcat (behind IMSA), though Auburn did not attend. They’ve suffered losses to both teams, but they usually beat pretty much every other team in the region, as well as Cistercian and Centennial at Texas Invitational. Expect a strong, and maybe even top-10, showing on Sunday.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-8th place

Carbondale, like Auburn, consist of one really strong player (Ben Chametzky) and one good supporting player (Srinivas Panchamukhi). Ben, playing by himself, got third at the Illinois State Championship. They tend to place around fourth or fifth, behind IMSA, Auburn, and Loyola, but ahead of teams such as Belvidere North. Like Auburn, they face the problem of one player doing most of the scoring, but Srinivas has made great strides over the course of the year and has made a very noticeable impact on the year when he plays.

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

Macomb, in their first year of competition at the HSNCT, will be trying to bring home the Small School title under the leadership of Tristan Willey. Being from Downstate Illinois, they haven’t had as many opportunities to play against the top teams in the state. They went 1-2 against Carbondale at BMI and finished fifth at Auburn’s HFT Mirror. Expect them to have a long Sunday as they go deep in both the regular and small school playoffs.

Prediction: 7-3 in prelims, t-21st place, 1st small school

Belvidere North
Dylan Minarik leads a team that went 5-5 last year. He put up the best individual performance en route to a fourth place finish at the Midwest Championship, but the team finished seventh at the Illinois State Championship. They seem to be at about the same level as IMSA B, having beaten them and lost to them several times over the course of the year. They haven’t have as good of a win-loss record as most other potential playoff teams, but only because they’re playing in the very competitive state of Illinois.

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

Champaign Centennial
Champaign Centennial are competing in their first HSNCT this year. Chris Olsen is their leading scorer, but every player can put on a very good performance. They’re probably one step behind Belvidere North and Macomb, judging from the performance at tournaments such as the Illinois State Championship and BMI. They’re probably a playoff team, but the winner’s bracket won’t necessarily be a guarantee for this team.

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

Adlai Stevenson
Last year’s fourth-place finishers have had to start almost from scratch, with only David Jin returning to the team. They were a second-bracket team at the Illinois State Championship, where they got about 21 PPB. That number is consistent with what one would expect from a 6-4 playoff team. It won’t be a continuation the glory days of the past couple of years, but it’s still a decent finish considering all of their losses.

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


Wisconsin will be represented by four teams this year. Among them will be state champions Stoughton, who strangely appear to use their B team as their primary team. They have put up fairly reasonable numbers and have a shot at reaching the playoffs. Another team to potentially watch out for are La Crosse Logan, who are looking to improve on their 4-6 record last year. Athens and first-timer West Salem round out the Wisconsin contingent, and they will most likely be looking forward to trying to compete in the Small School playoffs on Sunday.


Ladue Horton Watkins
If you want an idea of how dominant Ladue has been, look no further than their record: 99-2. That’s right, they have only lost two games all year, both to Hunter at BHSAT (and even then, that was Max Schindler playing solo, and he managed to beat Hunter 550-80). Their second-best player, Ben Zhang, won the MOBQA Pre-Nationals playing solo while putting up over 22 PPB. At the Missouri State Championship, they powered almost 50% of the total questions asked, the best any team has done all year on a NAQT set. Their two biggest flaws might be their lack of experience against other top teams (they played outside of Missouri once this year) and their reliance on one player (no team has won HSNCT with one player scoring >60% of the team’s points, though Ladue has been toeing the line). Regardless, expect them to finish near the top, and quite possibly even make the finals.

Prediction: 9-1 in prelims, 3rd place

After a playoff appearance in 2011, Savannah bring back most of their team, including top scorer Austin Kerns. They came in second at the Missouri State Championship, beating Helias in the process. Their bonus conversion leaves a little to be desired, but there’s no reason to believe they won’t repeat last year’s feat.

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

Helias are a very well-rounded team, consisting of four players who can each easily get double-digit points per game. They came close to beating Ladue at the Missouri State Championship, even leading 205-105 at the half. Nick Vellios and Cam Clogstan are their biggest contributors, and Michael McCoy is known to get a lot of powers. It will be fairly hard to predict exactly where they will end up, but they are expected to make the playoffs and maybe upset a top team or two.

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


Iowa sends three teams to the HSNCT, all of which are small schools. Notably missing are West Des Moines Valley, who won two of the three NAQT tournaments held there. Mediapolis probably have the best shot of going the farthest in the small school playoffs, having won the Alta-Aurelia Invitational. Chariton, who finished 9th in the small school playoff last year, and Ridge View, who are attending their first HSNCT, are the state’s two other representatives.


Wayzata managed to win the Minnesota State Champions despite missing Duligur Ibeling, their best player. They lost most of their scoring from last year’s HSNCT performance, but still have managed to thrive, thanks to their deep roster (they are sending three teams to HSNCT). Looking at their bonus conversion and power rate, we should expect them to be a solid 7-3 team, though it will be hard to predict for certain since Minnesota is a fairly isolated circuit.

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

St. Paul Central
St. Paul Central will be trying to improve on their 49th place performance last year, having brought back three-quarters of their A team. They finished second in the Minnesota State Championship, only losing one close match to Mounds Park. They went undefeated at the Gopher Invitational Tournament, the only other tournament where they had their full team with them. Their bonus conversion is a bit lacking, but they should be able to reach the playoffs once again.

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



  1. One team that can be easily overlooked is Mound City, who won class 1 in MSHSAA and only played 2 MOQBA events all year, one on an A-set near them, and one on Prison Bowl where they only lost to Ladue. They got 19 ppb on Prison Bowl, which was not one of the easiest sets of the year, and they were looking like they could potentially place in the top 3 in the small school division. Pilot Grove also has solid small school results, although I think they’ll have a tougher time making it that far in the small school field, but might be good for fourth. (Also, these schools are TINY, I think they are both under 125 students. Missouri has a very cool, well developed small school circuit.

    Comment by Charlie Dees — May 25, 2012 @ 12:23 am | Reply

  2. Yeah, we’re pretty terrible at IS-level NAQT for some reason. I’d say our performance at Midwest is more indicative of any HSNCT performance.

    Comment by Dylan Minarik — May 25, 2012 @ 9:26 am | Reply

  3. I was missing from St. Paul Central at the Minnesota State Championship and I’m usually the top scorer so the Gopher Invitational was the only tournament where we were at full strength [although that roster is slightly different from the one that will be at HSNCT]. Even then half of the team came about halfway through the tournament which presumably hurt our bonus conversion a little bit.

    Comment by Max Timmons — May 25, 2012 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  4. It should be noted that Bridgeport is possibly the first team from West Virginia to ever attend HSNCT; at worst, it’s been a long time since it last happened.

    Comment by qbrank — May 25, 2012 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

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