The Official Blog of the 2013 NAQT HSNCT

May 23, 2013

Regional Previews: The Midwest

Filed under: Pre-Tournament Coverage — Harry @ 4:38 pm

The Midwest consists of ten states, stretching from Minnesota to Missouri to West Virginia and Ohio. It is the largest region in terms of attendance, with 91 teams participating and 27 ranked in the Morlan 100.

Kentucky

Ten teams are hailing from Kentucky this year, half of which are ranked. The state can be counted on to send at least two or three teams to the playoffs each year, as well as one or two competitive small schools.

Dunbar (#32, twelfth HSNCT)
Dunbar is attempting to make their eleventh consecutive playoff appearance this year. They finished behind only the two Dormans at the University of Kentucky Spring Championships, putting up 24.5 points per bonus. At Harvard Fall, they placed fifth in a highly competitive field. They have the experience to go far, but they’re just shy of being a top-tier team.
Prediction: 7-3, t-21st place

duPont Manual (#37, seventh HSNCT)
duPont Manual has seen a decent amount of success, having been the highest-finishing team in Kentucky for the past three years. This year they are a little behind their in-state rivals, losing to Dunbar 455-160 in the Kentucky State Championship. Despite that, they have a put up good numbers this year and should find themselves in the winner’s bracket on Sunday.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Ohio

Ohio has an active local circuit, and it shows with their fourteen representatives at this year’s HSNCT, including about half a dozen with playoff hopes.

Northmont (#20, sixth HSNCT)
Last year, Northmont’s Sam Blizzard was fourth in individual scoring with 93 points per game. Amazingly, he was only a freshman. At the University of Kentucky Spring Championships, they lost only to Detroit Catholic Central. They finished third at the Midwest Championship ahead of teams such as Belvidere North and Auburn, and they placed ninth at the Texas Invitational. They have the ability to hang with the big guys, but they would need to prove that they can beat the big guys.
Prediction: 8-2, t-21st place

Solon (#44, ninth HSNCT)
Another serial playoff contender, Solon is looking to improve on their 71st place performance from last year. They came within 20 points of beating Northmont at the Ohio State Championship and have regularly beaten teams like Fisher Catholic and Olmstead Falls. Three people from last year’s A team are returning, so look for this experienced team to make it into Sunday without too much trouble.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Olmsted Falls (#57, fourth HSNCT)
If Northmont and Solon are the top teams in Ohio, then Olmsted Falls is at the top of the second tier. They were the only high school representative at Carnegie Mellon’s mirror of ACF Fall, where they finished second out of eight teams. They beat Richard Montgomery in the only matchup between the two teams, but they lost to Winchester Thurston in the finals at West Virginia University. They have yet to beat Solon or Northmont, but they have yet to lose to Sycamore or Fisher Catholic.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Sycamore (#58, third HSNCT)
Sycamore is a second-tier Ohio team that for whatever reason is really good against Northmont. They tend to put a lot of players on their A team, which means that they aren’t necessarily going to have their four best players out there on any given question. They have good bonus conversion, but their relative lack of powers compared to similarly ranked teams might cause some issues when playing on tougher questions.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Fisher Catholic (#83, eighth HSNCT)
The third of the second-tier teams in Ohio, Fisher Catholic is 3-1 against Sycamore, but they have yet to beat Olmsted Falls, Solon, or Northmont. They bring back most of their scoring from last year, and Brandon Shull has certainly made strides over the year to become the team’s leading scorer. They should be able to make the playoffs, and a 7-3 finish on Saturday is not entirely out of the question.
Prediction: 6-4, 0-1 in playoffs

Michigan

Fourteen teams are attending the HSNCT from the state of Michigan, including one past champion.

Detroit Catholic Central (#5, fifteenth HSNCT)
DCC is the standard of consistency in Quizbowl. They have attended every single HSNCT, and they have always made the playoffs. The last time they did not have a team finish in the top 12 was back in 2008. Last year, they surprised everyone by not only making the HSNCT finals, but making an amazing comeback to beat Bellarmine to force a game 2. They put up 24 points per bonus en route to a victory at the Michigan State Championship, the second-highest on that set. They will once again go far, and while a repeat of their second-place finish is possible, it is unlikely.
Prediction: 8-2, t-5th place

Detroit Country Day (#30, seventh HSNCT)
After not attending HSNCT last year, DCD is back with a playoff-worth team. They have managed to beat rival DCC a couple of times, though they typically have to consign themselves to being second-best in the state. They are led by Siddhant Dogra, who regularly puts up over 100 points per game. Expect them to have a decent run on Sunday and quite possibly a top 32 trophy by the time it is all said and done.
Prediction: 7-3, t-21st place

Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s best bet at sending a team to the playoffs this year might be Stoughton, who won the Wisconsin State Championship. Their numbers aren’t as impressive as other HSNCT entrants, but it looks as though they did not have their four best players as their A team. If they pool their resources together, they might be able to reach 6-4, though I’m going to be conservative and say they’ll go 5-5. Hudson and Eau Claire Regis are the other two schools that are sending teams, though their goals are probably going to be .500 for the tournament.

Minnesota

Minnesota is a NAQT stronghold, and as a result the state is sending 19 teams to HSNCT this year. However, the number of teams going has not always correlated with results. Only one team this year is ranked in the top 100, though due to the isolated nature of the circuit, it is entirely possible that the playoffs will contain a greater representation of teams than expected.

Wayzata (#71, eighth HSNCT)
Wayzata did some travelling this year, finishing 11th between Hanover and Hunter B at  Harvard Fall. Such a performance, combined with their bonus conversion at the Minnesota State Championship, suggests that they will be a playoff team, though there is still a moderate amount of uncertainty about them.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Indiana

Indiana, while it may be surrounded by active Quizbowl states, does not have as healthy a circuit. They are still sending three teams, though, including one with a good shot at making an impact in the playoffs.

St. Joseph (#33, sixth HSNCT)
St. Joseph, while steadily improving every year, has yet to reach the HSNCT playoffs. This may be the year that all changes, though, as they return three of last year’s starters and most of their points. They placed equal with Belvidere North and Rockford Auburn at the Midwest Championship, and they have all but dominated the state of Indiana this year. Going 7-3 this year is certainly a definite possibility.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Illinois

Illinois is one of the largest Quizbowl states in the nation, with dozens of tournaments every year. In 2013, Illinois is sending 15 teams to the HSNCT, including several with playoff aspirations and even a couple with dreams of taking a title.

Loyola Academy (#3, seventh HSNCT)
This year, Morgan Venkus has transformed from a really good Quizbowl player to one of the best in the nation. They went all the way to Virginia, where they beat Richard Montgomery and then Blair twice to win VCU Spring. At Wildcat, they beat Dorman twice, and they trounced the field to win Loyburn undefeated. They have had some down days, such as when they finished fifth at the Illinois State Championship, but even then they only lost one game by more than 65 points. Experience is on their side, as they have been to over fifteen tournaments this year. They have the ability to beat any team in the nation, which is why they are one of my top picks for this year.
Prediction: 8-2, 4th place

IMSA (#11, third HSNCT)
IMSA is a relatively new team to the HSNCT scene, but they have already made quite the splash, finishing 13th in both appearances. They have also been very proficient this year, with their students playing in over a dozen tournaments this year. They are one of the few teams to beat Ladue this year, doing so at Missouri Fall. They tend to finish second or third among Illinois teams, usually behind either Loyola or Belvidere North. They have the ability to take down the top teams, though, which means they very likely can go quite far this weekend.
Prediction: 8-2, t-8th place

Belvidere North (#13, third HSNCT)
Dylan Minarik is a beast at Quizbowl. At Loyburn, he managed to put up an amazing 174 points per game, and finished second to Loyola while all but playing solo. Being able to have two-thirds of your tossups be powers is nothing to scoff at. The major stumbling block for Belvidere North is that historically, one-man teams tend to not do as well in the later rounds of HSNCT. That shouldn’t stop them from being a top-20 team, though.
Prediction: 7-3, t-13th place

Rockford Auburn (#39, sixth HSNCT)
The dynamic duo of Lloyd and Abid may have graduated, but four more players have all but filled their shoes. They are in the second tier of Illinois teams, behind Loyola, IMSA, and Belvidere North, but they are able to put up decent points against those teams. They are certainly playoff-caliber, and they might even be able to make it in the top 32 and pick up a trophy.
Prediction: 7-3, t-33rd place

Stevenson (#52, sixth HSNCT)
Stevenson is a very unpredictable team. At Niles West, they beat Belvidere North twice and IMSA once, yet at the Auburn mirror of Harvard Fall, they finished eighth out of twelve teams. Their numbers seem to show that they would be a second-tier Illinois team, but they have the ability to go much further if they happen to get on a hot streak. Remember that one upset win could potentially push a team up a dozen places in the final standings.
Prediction: 7-3, 33rd place

Macomb (#22, second HSNCT)
Like Belvidere North above them, Macomb is a one-man team, this time with Tristan Willey at the helm. The team has been more or less disconnected from the rest of the main Illinois players, with the exception of Auburn’s mirror of Harvard Fall. There, they finished sixth behind teams such as Auburn, IMSA, and Dorman. It’s hard to tell how exactly they will do, but it seems almost certain that they will do better than last year’s 5-5 performance.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Carbondale (#56, fifth HSNCT)
Carbondale has had moderate success in previous appearances, making it to the playoffs every time so far. At Auburn’s mirror of Harvard Fall, they finished second in their division, and had a bonus conversion a point or two below that of Stevenson. They had better luck at Loyola Ultima, where they finished third ahead of Auburn. They’re probably playoff-bound, though their relative lack of playing experience due to their location in Southern Illinois might cause them some issues.
Prediction: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs

Missouri

Missouri is a recent Quizbowl success story, thanks to the efforts of the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance. This year, eleven teams from the state are attending HSNCT, including one that is a favorite for the national championship itself.

Ladue (#1, fourth HSNCT)
Ladue has put up some of the most impressive statlines in the history of high school Quizbowl. At Tiger Bowl, they put up 795 points per game, won every game by 430 points or more, powered 189 out of a possible 260 tossups, and had a bonus conversion of 27.11. When they had their best two players, they had a combined record of 91-2 against high school opponents. Max, playing by himself, finished third at the Texas Invitational, and it’s conceivable that they would have won had the entire team been there. They are without a doubt one of the contenders for the national championship.
Prediction: 9-1, top 2

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1 Comment »

  1. Another team to watch from Missouri is Hallsville, whose B team sophomores have been duking it out with Ladue B (and Hickman, though Hickman will not be attending this tournament) for the spot of 2nd place team in Missouri. I’m told that both Hallsville teams are in the running for small school trophies too. It definitely seems like Ladue B and Hallsville B have both put up stats comparable to teams that are predicted as going 6-4 (or perhaps even 7-3) on these predictions thus far.

    Comment by Matt Jackson — May 23, 2013 @ 6:03 pm | Reply


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