The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 21, 2013

Regional Preview: The South

Filed under: Pre-Tournament Coverage — Ryan L. @ 12:38 am

We start our regional previews with the South, consisting of Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and point south.

Arkansas

After being so well-represented last year, Arkansas will sadly have only one team at this year’s HSNCT. Arkansas’s sole representative Benton will look to improve on last year’s 2-8 record. I see them just finishing at 5-5, just missing the playoffs.

Mississippi

Longtime HSNCT attendee St. Andrew’s Episcopal will be back again. It’s hard to say how well they do since I could only find statistics on just one tournament that they’ve attended, but it seems like their performance will be similar to that of last year’s, where they finished 5-5.

Alabama

This year’s highly competitive Alabama circuit culminated in an exciting state tournament which saw a relatively unknown team, Spain Park, claim first place after essentially flying under the radar throughout the year. Joining them will be Hoover, who are returning the entirety of last year’s 5-5 squad. I expect both of these teams to push for a playoff spot and finish 6-4 on day one of the tournament.

Florida

Typically known for bringing their C, D, E, and F-teams to tournaments, Ransom Everglades has dominated the south Florida quizbowl scene, finishing undefeated against local teams in NAQT tournaments. Although a likely playoff team, they have shown to struggle against top competition. Meanwhile, both Stoneman Douglass and Buchholz will seek an improvement over the 4-6 record they attained last year.

Tennessee

The volunteer state will be well-represented at the HSNCT this year, with a plethora of teams having decent shots at making the playoffs. Ezell-Harding seems to be in great shape after retaining the core of the team that finished tied for 49th last year, with dominating performances at the TACA state tournament and the Hoover tournament. Look for them to try to improve on that performance starting with a 7-3 finish on day one. Meanwhile, cross-town rivals Oak Ridge and Farragut are all but ready to make their playoff debuts after duking it out at UTC’s spring tournament, where Oak Ridge ultimately edged Farragut on a two-game advantaged final. Traditional powers MLK, Hume-Fogg, and University School of Nashville will also be fighting for playoff spots.

Georgia

While the Peach State this time around may lack a contender who could seriously challenge for the title, they may be the state with the highest number of top 30 teams (also helped by the fact that they are the most well-represented state). Other than the teams noted below, Walton, Athens, South Forsyth, and Westminster should be able to breeze through to the playoffs with a 7-3 or 6-4 record, although they might have some trouble contending with the top national teams.

Etowah

Etowah is essentially a one-man team led by Duncan Morgan, who scored an impressive 130 ppg at the Collins Hill tournament. Although perhaps not as good as Adam Silverman from last year’s Centennial team, he and his team managed grab first place at the 6A division of Georgia’s state championship, edging out Norcross, Chattahoochee, and Walton in the process. As newcomers to the HSNCT, I expect them to drop a game or two during prelims to teams they should beat, but after adapting to the fast pace of the HSNCT, look for them to finish in the top 20.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 3-2 in playoffs

Norcross

In last year’s rendition of the HSNCT, after surprising everyone with an 8-2 record in the prelims, Norcross finished a disappointing 33rd place after only managing to win a single game in the playoffs. Norcross’s star senior Mostafa Bhuiyan will look to end his high school career on a positive note with a top 20 finish.

Predictions: 8-2 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs

Chattahoochee

Honestly, there isn’t much separating the top 3 teams in Georgia (Etowah, Norcross, Chattahoochee), with each team having beaten the others at least once. The avid travelers from perennial powerhouse Chattahoochee has had some great results this year, with undefeated records at the Bulldog Brawl and the Walton tournament. What might be even more impressive is their 2nd place finish at the Ezell-Harding tournament, where they proved they can compete with the best by finishing above national powers Dorman and Detroit Catholic Central. Look for them to compete in a similar fashion as they did last year, where they finished 8th place.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 4-2 in playoffs

Marist

Although possibly a step behind the teams mentioned above, Marist has put together some good performances this year, finishing first place in the 4A division of the Georgia state championship and finishing 3rd after Chattahoochee and Etowah at the Bulldog Brawl. I see them improving over last year’s 33rd place finish.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs

Athens Academy

(Edit: Upon a second look, the Athens team looks stronger than anticipated since I failed to realize that in many tournaments, they were under the pseudonym “Howell Cobb Institute.” My predictions have been updated to reflect this realization.)

Georgia’s division 1A champions (also known as “Howell Cobb Institute” according to some stat sheets) are led by Jason Fern, who was one of the top individuals at last year’s HSNCT. They were Georgia’s top team at the Collins Hill tournament, finishing 3rd after Dorman’s 2 teams.  They’ve also had some solid performances at the Jaguar Bowl and the BDAT, finishing 2nd and 1st in each tournament respectively. Expect them to compete for a top 20 spot along with the other top Georgia teams.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 3-2 in playoffs

South Carolina

Dorman A

Any blog post about quizbowl programs in the South would not be complete without mentioning perennial national powerhouse Dorman. They have the definition of balanced scoring, and although they have some losses to top competition, this year’s team seems stronger than last year’s. They will be determined to avoid the same fate they suffered last year and in 2011, where they dominated the prelims by finishing atop the standings (9-1 in 2012, 10-0 in 2011) before making early playoff exits after suffering from some head-scratching losses.

Predictions: 8-2 in prelims, 3-2 in playoffs

Dorman B

As usual, Dorman’s B team has had consistently good results this year including the Collins Hill tournament, where they finished 2nd only to their A team in a championship bracket that included four of Georgia’s best teams. Combine that with a respectable performance at the Midwest Championship and I see a team that will breeze through to the playoffs and could provide a challenge to some of the top A teams.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs

North Carolina

The Tar Heel state should be well-represented this year, with East Chapel Hill, Early College at Guilford, and Raleigh Charter all in the top 25 according to Fred Morlan’s high school quizbowl rankings. Besides these three teams, Enloe will be returning to the HSNCT after making a surprise 8th place finish last year after upsetting Dorman. They will be losing their top scorer in Natan Holtzman (83 ppg), so it will be hard to emulate their run from last year. I expect them to finish 5-5.

East Chapel Hill

Led by Jacob Reed who scored a whopping 153 ppg at the North Carolina state championship, East Chapel Hill seem to have grabbed the title for the best team in North Carolina. Although they have dominated in-state competition, it’s hard to tell how they will do against the top teams since they haven’t ventured much outside of North Carolina. Nevertheless, I expect them to perform similarly to their 13th place finish last year.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 3-2 in playoffs

Early College at Guilford

Despite finishing second behind East Chapel Hill at the North Carolina state championship, the team from Early College at Guilford has shown some impressive performances at out-of-state competitions. In particular, at the VCU winter tournament, they finished first ahead of powerhouse teams Richard Montgomery and Maggie Walker. Look for them to challenge the top teams in the playoffs, as they did last year.

Predictions: 7-3 in prelims, 3-2 in playoffs

Raleigh Charter

Regular attendee of the HSNCT Raleigh Charter has had some decent results this year, including an upset win over East Chapel Hill in the Early College Quaker Bowl. Although they are perhaps a step behind East Chapel Hill and Early College, they should easily make the playoffs.

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

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5 Comments »

  1. I’m surprised not more was said about Athens Academy. They return last year’s HSNCT’s 11th highest scorer in Jason Fern, Georgia’s other top one-man team (not as good as Duncan but he has much better support). They went 6-4 last year, and probably seek to do much better this year.

    Also, small typo in bit about Marist, saying that they finished behind themselves in a tournament.

    Comment by Alex Liu — May 21, 2013 @ 7:51 am | Reply

    • Fixed the typo. Thanks for pointing it out.

      I agree that Athens probably should have had its own section. I think they’ll perform similarly to Marist, with a 7-3 record in prelims and 2-2 or 1-2 in the playoffs.

      Comment by Ryan L. — May 21, 2013 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  2. A little odd that Dorman B, which from looking at stats, will most likely be a competitive playoff team as usual, wasn’t mentioned. They can (and have) beaten a number of teams that will probably make the predictions list.

    Comment by Jasper L — May 21, 2013 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

    • Is it possible to edit sections in for these teams or note the omission in a future posting?

      Comment by Matt Jackson — May 21, 2013 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

      • Sorry for those omissions, although in my defense, Dorman B wasn’t mentioned in last year’s previews either. Since I’m fairly new to this, I looked at last year’s previews as a standard.

        I’ll add sections for both of these teams later today.

        Comment by Ryan L. — May 21, 2013 @ 3:37 pm


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