The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 22, 2013

Regional Previews: The East

Filed under: Pre-Tournament Coverage — Harry @ 12:28 pm

(Update: Fred’s latest set of rankings just came out, so those numbers have been updated accordingly. I also shifted a few teams’ predicted results down after I realised I had way too many teams finishing 21st and 33rd.)

The East stretches from Virginia up through Maine, and consists of 45 teams, but a quarter of the Morlan 100. It is historically the most successful region, being the home of nine of the past ten champions.

New England

This year, six teams from the normally Quizbowl-sparce New England are attending. This includes three from Massachusetts, which has not sent any teams to the HSNCT for quite some time.

Essex (UR, first HSNCT)
Essex was the highest-finishing Vermont team in the Vermont State Championship, only losing to New Hampshire’s Hanover in the final. They put up reasonable numbers in that tournament, almost hitting 18 PPB, but that has been their sole regular-difficulty tournament experience this year. They have a decent shot at making the playoffs, and maybe winning a game or two isn’t out of the question.
Prediction: 6-4, 0-1 in playoffs

Lexington (#88, first HSNCT)
Lexington has performed very impressively in their first year of Quizbowl, typically getting around 20 points per bonus each tournament. At the New England Regional Championship, every player put up at least 29 points per game, which says quite a bit about the team’s balance. They’re very likely to make it into the playoffs, and they could very possibly surprise a few teams along the way.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

E.O. Smith (UR, eighth HSNCT)
The perennial representative from Connecticut, E.O. Smith is looking to repeat last year’s playoff appearance. It won’t be easy, as only Saman has returned from last year’s squad. They finished second to Lexington at the New England Regional Championship, and actually came within five points of them.
Prediction: 5-5

New York Metro

Twelve teams hail from the New York Metro area, of which ten are ranked in the top one hundred. Most of the teams from this region should see some playoff action this year.

Hunter (#19, fourth HSNCT)
After beating Bellarmine to win the 2012 National Scholastic Championship and finishing fifth in last years HSNCT, Hunter has had to do a bit of rebuilding. Zihan is their sole returning member, though he has gotten quite a bit of help from his teammates. They played at the Texas Invitational, where they finished third with losses to LASA, St. John’s, and Max Schindler. They also finished fourth at Harvard Fall (and first among teams not from Texas), the only other tournament where they had their full roster.
Prediction: 8-2, t-8th place

St. Joseph (#31, fourth HSNCT)
St. Joseph surprised many by placing in the top 20 last year after only going 6-4 on Saturday. Unfortunately, none of last year’s A team has returned, but Ed Powers’ team has reloaded very well. Jack Mehr is their top player after spending last year on the C team. They still might be able to reach last year’s mark, but it won’t be easy for them.
Prediction: 7-3, t-21st place

High Tech (#40, second HSNCT)
High Tech has gone from a one-person show to a school that has three of its teams ranked in the Morlan 100. They were undefeated at the New Jersey State Championships, and even more amazingly, took three of the top four spots at Prison Bowl (though ultimately losing to St. Joseph). It would not surprise me at all if their B team finished ahead of their A team, though it does raise the question of whether or not the best four players are on the same team.
Prediction: 7-3, t-21st place (A team), 7-3, t-33rd place (B team)

Ridgewood (#28, first HSNCT)
Despite being fairly new, Ridgewood has exploded on the scene, taking third at the New Jersey State Championship behind High Tech and Mountain Lakes. They have a fairly balanced team, with no one getting less than 20 points per game at the aforementioned tournament. They seem to be a step behind teams such as St. Joseph, but they should still do fairly well on Sunday.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Kellenberg (#65, seventh HSNCT)
Perennial participants Kellenberg are attempting to make a sixth consecutive playoff appearance. Both of their top scorers are returning, which bodes very well for their playoff chances. They managed 20 points per bonus at Harvard Fall, one of the few times they had a full contingent. There’s no reason to believe they won’t improve on their 6-4 finish last year, as experience is on their side.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Mountain Lakes (#66, second HSNCT)
Mountain Lakes is also a relatively newcomer into the foray, but they have already shown a lot of strength and a fairly balanced roster. They finished second in the New Jersey State Championship, and they are typically a top-bracket team. Look for them to make the playoffs after just missing out last time around.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Livingston (#91, eighth HSNCT)
After not attending last year, Livingston is back and preparing for a playoff run. They had slightly better bonus conversion than Kellenberg at Prison Bowl, and they were a top-bracket team at the New Jersey State Championship. They certainly have a lot of skill, but they aren’t quite at the same level as the top teams in the state.
Prediction: 6-4, 0-1 in playoffs

Pennsylvania

Ten teams hail from Pennsylvania this year. They are a mix of new faces and seasoned veterans and defending champions.

Winchester Thurston (#42, second HSNCT)
Nathaniel Brodsky led his team to a playoff appearance in their first ever season as a Quizbowl team, and the entire team is back to try to improve of their 49th place finish last year. They have done very well in their region, beating Olmsted Falls and being competitive against teams such as State College and Manheim Township. Their bonus conversion suggests that they are a playoff team, but the question is how far.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Manheim Township (#69, first HSNCT)
Manheim Township is new to the world of NAQT, having played various other formats before last year. They are reigning Eastern Pennsylvania State champions, only losing to State College. They went 1-2 when they played Winchester Thurston at the Penn State Invitational, so one could expect them to finish with or slightly below their in-state rivals.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

State College (#87, fourteenth HSNCT)
State College has historically been a powerhouse, having won two HSNCTs, three second-place finishes, three third-place finishes, and eleven appearances in the top ten. However, they have not have done nearly as well after the retirement of their coach Julie Gittings two years ago, and last year’s 6-4 finish was a relative disappointment. This year, they’re one of the three top teams along with Manheim Township and Winchester Thurston, so they should be able to make it in the playoffs once again.
Prediction: 6-4, 0-1 in playoffs

Delaware

While Delaware may only be sending two teams this year, their lone representative school is still going strong.

Wilmington Charter (#21, tenth HSNCT)
The 2009 champions had a weird HSNCT last year in which their A team missed the playoffs while their B team saw play on Sunday. The one time they had a full A team, they beat St. Joseph, Mountain Lakes, and High Tech, and went 1-1 against Ridgewood at Quaker Academic Competition. They also beat a three-quarters strength Kellenberg at Princeton.
Prediction: 7-3, t-21st place

Washington D.C. Metro

One of the traditional hotbeds of Quizbowl, the D.C. area is sending ten teams to HSNCT this year, including holders of five different titles.

Richard Montgomery (#15, sixth HSNCT)
In the mid-Atlantic, there are several top-tier teams but none have been able to dominate the scene. Richard Montgomery has had slightly lower bonus conversion than Blair, but they seem to be more consistant and less likely to suffer a surprise loss. They also have a fairly high power conversion, usually powering over half the tossups they get, which bodes well for dealing with high-level national competition. Their B team is also fairly competative, and they too might make it in the Sunday playoffs.
Prediction: 8-2, t-8th place (A team), 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs (B team)

Montgomery Blair (#7, second HSNCT)
Blair is making its first appearance at the HSNCT in eight years with a very impressive resume. They have attended several college tournaments and done rather well, typically finishing in the top half of the field. They are typically fairly competitive with the likes of Richard Montgomery, Thomas Jefferson, and Western Albemarle. They are fairly neg-prone, however, amassing 40 negs in 12 games at VCU Fall.
Prediction: 8-2, t-13th place

Thomas Jefferson (#12, thirteenth HSNCT)
Thomas Jefferson returns with over half of their scoring from last year, with James Bradbury being their only major loss. Raynor and Luke played on separate teams at the Virginia State Championship, and they each put up over 120 points per game. They have yet to play together as a full team, though when the top two scorers play together, they tend to be around the same level as Richard Montgomery. How well they do depends on how well Luke does with the rest of the team, and how much of a factor the shadow effect is.
Prediction: 8-2, t-13th place

Walter Johnson (#46, sixth HSNCT)
Last year, Walter Johnson managed to win four games in a row to just barely make the playoffs. This year, they should have an easier time. Their numbers, while not on par with that of Blair or Richard Montgomery, is enough such that they can take a win or two from the top teams in the region. Sameen, their sole returning member from last year, is their main contributor, but if his teammates are also getting points, the team should be a force to be reckoned with.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Georgetown Day (#76, eighth HSNCT)
Georgetown Day has quickly rebuilt after losing three-quarters of their A team last year, under the leadership of sophomore Noah Cowan. They tend to put up good numbers, but they have yet to beat Richard Montgomery or Maggie Walker this year. Their lack of upsets this year makes a repeat of their 13th place finish somewhat unlikely, but at least they probably won’t take a surprise loss early on.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Virginia

Once upon a time, Virginia outside of the D.C. area used to be the stomping grounds of Maggie Walker. This time around, four teams are attending, all of which have their eyes set on the playoffs.

Maggie Walker (#14, fourteenth HSNCT)
Maggie Walker has rebuilt from last year, when their two teams finished t-49th and t-33rd respectively. When they have their full A-team, they are a dominant force, beating teams such as Richard Montgomery and Blair. They have a lot of depth as well, which means that they should have two teams make the playoffs once again. There’s a good chance they’ll finish top of the region, and perhaps they might even still be around Sunday afternoon.
Prediction: 8-2, t-5th place

Western Albemarle (#41, first HSNCT)
Sophomore Eric Xu has become a breakout player this year, putting up extremely impressive numbers in his club’s first year. At the Blacksburg High Academic Invitational, he put up over 175 points per game. Unfortunately, one-man teams tend to not do as well at national tournaments, but he should still be able to make a fairly decent playoff run on Sunday.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Cave Spring (#67, fifth HSNCT)
James Cole has stepped up to the plate after the graduation of teammate Michael Zhang. With the exception of Christiansburg, they have dominated Southwest Virginia, though they have struggled against teams such as Western Albemarle and Maggie Walker. Their numbers are certainly good enough to make the playoffs, but the big question for them is whether they will have six or seven wins on Saturday.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

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1 Comment »

  1. The sole upstate New York representative, Ithaca, may be one of the surprise teams of the tournament. They are not well-known on the national level because they did not play any tournaments outside of the upstate region this year, but they are a strong and balanced squad, led by Irit Huq-Kuruvilla, a Columbia-bound senior who is in strong contention to make this year’s New York NASAT team, and junior Andrew Robertson, a first-year player who is extremely strong in history, geography, current events and RMP.

    Will they contend to win the championship? No. They don’t have the experience against teams at this level to hang for long with Bellarmine, Ladue, Dorman, etc unless those teams neg themselves to death. (I will say from having seen them play a lot this year that they are -ruthless- at exploiting their opponents’ errors.) Can they finish, say, 7-3 on prelim day, make a run in the playoffs and contend to win a trophy? Certainly, and either or both of Irit and Andrew could end up being tournament All-Stars. Any team that underestimates them just because the name of the school doesn’t sound familiar does so at their peril.

    Comment by Scott Blish — May 22, 2013 @ 1:13 pm | Reply


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