T.H. Rogers wins 2015 Middle School State Title

At the end of an unpredictable Saturday afternoon at St. Mark’s School of Texas, the last team standing in the TQBA Middle Grades Championship was T.H. Rogers.

The Houston ISD magnet squad, coached by Randy Takaoka, won two half-packet tiebreakers, then a disadvantaged final, to claim its first state title in the event’s sixth iteration. Stats are available here; photos will be coming soon to the TQBA Facebook page.

The Rogers team of Shomik Ghose, Sanath Govindarajan, Allen Wang, Joshua Hew and Anuraag Madabushi went 5-1 in the morning’s pool play, losing to reigning state champion Kealing 430-275. In the opposite pool, reigning national champion Harmony Excellence strolled past St. John’s in the match of morning unbeatens there. Harmony’s closest call of the prelims had been a 65-point win over Plano St. Mark’s.

Also advancing to the Top 6 phase of the competition were twice-beaten St. Theresa and host St. Mark’s Texas.

While the morning’s pool play had largely gone to form, there were several twists in the tale in the afternoon.

The three-player Kealing Squirrels, missing Daniel Chan, were beaten in their first two crossover games, by St. John’s (370-260) and St. Theresa’s (310-275).

Entering the final round of crossover play, Harmony was the lone unbeaten team, having escaped T.H. Rogers 365-350. Every other team in the division had two losses already, so a Harmony victory would’ve ended the event after 10 rounds. But old nemesis Kealing stood in the way; four powers for Ryan Russo and three for Evan Hochstein, they pulled away in the second half for a 430-290 win that left four teams alive for the state title.

With only three rounds available  to complete the event, the three two-loss teams were seeded by bonus conversion. The bottom two teams, T.H. Rogers and St. John’s, played a half-packet tiebreaker, pulled out 170-160 on the final physics bonus part by Sanath. Rogers advanced to another half-packet tiebreaker, this time against Kealing. This time, it was Shomik who sealed it on the last tossup, as Rogers prevailed 170-115.

Harmony awaited, with two chances to beat Rogers and win the tournament. But that first match was over almost as soon as it started, as Rogers raced to a 300-60 halftime edge before cruising to a 455-235 victory. Shomik scored 140 points in the impressive display.

Thus to a winner-takes-all final, where despite Harmony’s William Golden outscoring Shomik 105-35, Rogers sealed the result after tossup 18, and held on 350-315. Sanath, Allen and Joshua combined to get six tossups for Rogers in the ultimate match.

Shomik (96) and William (92) were the event’s runaway leading individual scorers, followed by Evan from Kealing (74) and St. Clare’s Tyler McStravick (58).

St. John’s Shines in Elementary, Open Divisions

The Elementary event was claimed by the undefeated squad from St. John’s, featuring Sarah Chen, James Sy, Tyler King, David Hindman and Nina Varma. Runner-up Harmony Excellence (Adi Dass, Samuel Lee, Farhan Ahsan and Connor Golden) lost only to St. John’s, who took their two meetings 230-150 and 240-150.

The Open division was also own by St. John’s, though in quite different fashion. Their final was a rematch with a T.H. Rogers team that beat them 430-95 in preliminary play. The Maverick squad edged the rematch 225-220 to hand the Rogers B squad its lone defeat of the day.

This event concludes TQBA’s 27-event 2014-2015 calendar. We hope to see many of you at MSNCT in two weeks or HSNCT at the end of May.

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Harmony Science Academy-North Austin wins SSNCT

HarmonyWinsSSNCT

Coach Adam Escandell, Ali Barreh, Brian Nardone, Henry Hawthorn, and Peter Wofford (from left) pose with their 2015 SSNCT Championship Trophy and NAQT president R. Robert Hentzel.

Congratulations to Harmony Science Academy-North Austin, coach Adam Escandell, and the team of Ali Barreh (2015), Henry Hawthorn (2015), Brian Nardone (2015), and Peter Wofford (2017) who won the 2015 NAQT Small School National Championship Tournament on Sunday at the Atlanta Downtown Hilton. Harmony, which finished the event with a perfect 15-0 record, was the lone Texas representative. The Austin squad’s closest call came in the winners’ bracket final, a 30-point victory over Hallsville (MO), the reigning champion.

Harmony took its timeout down 335-385 with two tossups remaining and less than a minute on the clock.  Henry Hawthorn powered an American drama tossup and the team raced through a Russian history bonus to leave them down by 5 heading into the last tossup. Hallsville captain Jared Lockwood negged on a clue about an American senator and Hawthorn got 10 on the rebound to earn his team its place in the final. Coach Escandell’s team again defeated Hallsville, 450-375, in the first game of an advantaged final to claim the trophy.

This is the fourth NAQT championship earned by a Texas squad in the past 12 months. Last May Harmony-Excellence claimed the 2014 MSNCT title and LASA took home its second consecutive HSNCT title. This April, a squad of TQBA veterans representing the University of Texas earned the ICT Division II Championship.

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LASA wins 16th annual TQBA Championship

Austin ISD’s Liberal Arts & Science Academy won the 16th annual Texas Quiz Bowl Championship tournament on Saturday at Seven Lakes High School in Katy. The all-junior team of Trevor Binford, John DiCarlo, Ethan Russo, and Corin Wagen went 11-0 on the day and finished ahead of Harmony-North Austin and St. John’s School (Houston) with 9-2 records. A link to the event’s statistics is available on the TQBA archives page.

This is LASA’s second consecutive championship and fifth overall. This year’s championship LASA squad and last year’s victorious quartet share no members. With the victory, coach Jason Flowers’ school now is tied with St. John’s for most TQBA Championships. The remainder of the top 8 were: Katy Taylor (4th), San Antonio Reagan (5th), Village (6th) Cinco Ranch (7th), and St. Thomas (8th).

San Antonio’s Brandeis High School was the winner of the Division II section of the tournament for teams of freshmen and sophomores. The team of sophomores Kumaran Arulmani, Stephen Chen, Nathan Corbin, and Pranjal Singh finished the event with a 8-1 record ahead of a trio of 6-3 teams from St. Thomas (Houston), Reagan (San Antonio), and Shepton (Plano). Reagan won the tie breaker sequence to earn the 2nd place plaque.

This is the last varsity event of the 16th TQBA season. Texas Quiz Bowl will resume next fall with events in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and more. We applaud the competitors from each of the 54 different schools who competed at the various contests this year. We thank our crew of talented adult staffers who contributed their time and made the events possible. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

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Follow TQBA HS State live on Saturday

The Texas High School state championship is day after tomorrow at Seven Lakes HS in Katy. Use this link to view our schedule grid, where we’ll be posting scores throughout Saturday. The tentative matchups for both divisions are already listed there. The JV division is a full 11-team round-robin; the championship division features two pools of eight with a rebracket.

Good luck, and see you this weekend!

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Texas Invitational recap

Last weekend’s Texas Invitational, on the campus of Trinity University in San Antonio, gave some of the best high school teams in the nation a pre-nationals look at each other, creating several talking points for the two months before HSNCT.

Saturday’s MUT event was claimed emphatically by Detroit Catholic Central, who won their first 11 games of the day despite an early hiccup, an overtime win over LASA B. They opened afternoon playoff pool play with a 475-135 victory over LASA A (11-3, 2nd), beat Auburn (9-5, 4th) twice by a combined 365 points, and lost only in a late rematch to LASA and on a protest to the hybrid Labimsa team (11-3, 3rd). DCC captain Jack Watts scored 54 PPG as the Shamrocks averaged at least 20 PPB in each of their last nine rounds of the MUT tournament.

Harmony North Austin (9-5, 5th) pushed to the front of the second tier, winning its two clashes with Chattahoochee (6-8, 7th) and splitting with Northmont (7-7, 6th). The event’s three leading individual scorer wound up in this day-end pool: Sam Blizzard (95.36 PPG), Norman North’s Caleb Kendrick (79.29) and Harmony’s Henry Hawthorn (69.64).

Sunday’s NAQT tournament saw LASA (12-1) prevail over Northmont (10-5) in overtime of the first game of an advantaged final, capping a double-elimination tournament that produced many tight scorelines.

No one escape the eight-round preliminaries unscathed. After beating Northmont on a tiebreaker and Auburn (7-5, 5th) by five, LASA A was thumped in its last prelim by DCC, 445-260. DCC, in turn had lost a shootout to Northmont and escaped Cinco Ranch (4-7) on a tiebreaker. Northmont also dropped preliminary matches to Auburn and Chattahoochee (9-3, 7th) — Hooch finished 7-1 in the morning, losing only to Auburn, while Auburn suffered losses to LASA B and Norman North.

In the afternoon, the 16 teams entered a double-elimination tournament where the bottom eight seeds began with one loss. The story of this phase of the tournament was Norman North, which climbed through the losers’ bracket from the #9 seed to finish fourth, beating LASA B, Harmony (6-6, 8th) and DCC (8-3, 6th) along the way before elimination at the hands of Northmont. A strong showing from a team that opened the day 0-3.

In one winners’ bracket semifinal, the hybrid Labimsa team (7-5, 3rd) overcame DCC, notching eight of the match’s 12 powers. Labimsa’s subsequent two losses, to LASA A and to Northmont, were by a combined 15 points.

LASA A then rallied in the final, scoring 70 points on the last two cycles to force a 310-310 tie, then winning with an Alex Denko power on an ancient Europe tossup.

The individual leaders saw the same three at the top: Blizzard, Kendrick and Hawthorn, followed by Chattahoochee’s Nirav Ilango, Cinco Ranch’s Amol Patil and Labimsa’s Adam Fine. Auburn’s Cole Timmerwilke was seventh, while eighth-grader William Golden was eighth.

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Longhorns victorious at ICT

UT_ICTD2Congratulations to the University of Texas team of Joseph Langas (Jay ’13), Arthur Lee (LASA ’13), Andi Qi (Seven Lakes ’14),  and Arnav Sastry (LASA ’14) who won the Division II championship at this past weekend’s NAQT Intercollegiate Championship Tournament in Atlanta. The quartet of TQBA alumni went 13-1 during the tournament to finish ahead of teams from the University of Chicago, Stanford University, and University of Georgia. The Austin-based squad’s lone loss came against Carleton College. Other former TQBA players participating in the event included Alex Freed (LASA ’14) and Nathan Weiser (LASA ’14), who represented third-place Stanford, and third-leading scorer Carlo DeGuzman (St. John’s ’14) from Texas A&M.

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Quick TI Results

LASA A defeated Northmont (OH) on a tiebreaker tossup in the Sunday final of the NAQT portion of the sixth annual Texas Invitational event held this past weekend at Trinity University in San Antonio. On Saturday, Detroit Catholic Central (MI) finished ahead of LASA and Auburn (IL) in the mACF portion of the event. Statistics for both the Saturday and Sunday events are available.

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Get live Texas Invitational results all weekend

If you’re trying to follow Texas Invitational from afar, or trying to keep track of your competition’s status as you go from round to round, you’ll be able to follow our live updates via our TI schedule Google sheet. Navigate from event to event via the tabs at the bottom.

We’re excited to get things rolling bright and early tomorrow!

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Last chance for early bird discount

IMG_7279Saturday is the last chance to take advantage of the early bird discount ($75) for the 2015 Texas Quiz Bowl summer camp. This year we are offering two sessions. The first is July 26 through Aug 1st. The second is Aug 2nd through Aug 8th. Find more information at the Quiz Bowl Camp site. You can register here and send in your fee today with Chase Quick Pay to get the discount.

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LASA Juniors prevail at Bexar Bowl

By Max Huang

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, 42 teams gathered at Tom Clark High School for the fourth annual Bexar Bowl. In the high school division, LASA B’s quintet of John DiCarlo, Trevor Binford, Niels Kornerup, Jonah Shaukat and Michael Martinez triumphed over St. Dominic Savio’s Eleazar Camez, Jack Frey, Nick Isakson, and Daniel Jilek with a score of 365-190 to secure LASA’s first tournament win of the season.

Statistics for both the high school and middle school event, in which Bush claimed its first tournament victory of the school year, are available here.

LASAB

LASA B (the Austin school’s top squad at the tournament) maintained a 10-0 record throughout the day, defeating the top squads from Clark, Kealing and Reagan on its way to the finals. St. Dominic Savio dropped two matches in the prelims to Lamar Academy A and John Jay before avenging both of those losses in the afternoon playoff rounds.

Of the 8 schools who earned berths Saturday for the 2015 High School National Championship Tournament, Savio, Jay, Lamar A and Boerne Champion qualified their first teams of this school year. Notably, Lamar Academy did so in its first ever TQBA event. The McAllen magnet school, led by senior Juan Linares’ 54.38 points per game, won six straight matches in the morning, including a 295-265 nail-biter against St. Dominic Savio before eventually falling in the quarters to a vengeful Savio.

Bush

In the middle school division, Daniel Huantes led his team from Bush to a perfect 10-0 sweep of the tournament. Huantes was the event’s runaway leading scorer with 97 PPG.

The eventual second-place squad from Lopez also went into the final undefeated, having won all eight of its earlier matches and accumulating 20.38 points per bonus along the way, the highest of any middle school team. The Lopez team was remarkably balanced, with all four of its primary members scoring at least 20 points per game, two of whom also registered over 40 PPG.

Reagan’s Sam Lin led the varsity division in individual score at 84.44 points per game, a statistic that was somewhat diluted by his afternoon performance (after only the preliminary rounds Lin showed 95 ppg). Lin powered 25 times throughout the day and negged only once, generating an incredible power-to-neg ratio of 25.00 that has no precedent within TQBA’s records for this season.

Lin’s short-handed team tied for third at Bexar along with fellow San Antonio school John Jay after losing in the semis to eventual champion LASA B. Despite a valiant effort from all four of Reagan Grey’s members, the absence of two A-team regulars proved too great a barrier to overcome.

“The Reagan Grey team is not our usual A team,” Lin said, “The planned A team would consist of me, Ramee Saleh, Abhi Rao, and NewNew Cheng.”

In particular, Reagan was hurt by the absence of science specialist Abhi Rao. “Abhi is just about the only adequate science player at Reagan,” said Lin, “This lack of science is definitely our biggest problem, one which in previous years had been ameliorated by Carson [Casey].”

Casey, who as a senior last year had been one of the best chemistry specialists in Texas, now attends United States Air Force Academy.

However, Reagan remains a force to be reckoned with. This past October at the Alamo City Kickoff, the full Reagan A contingent won nine straight matches before being narrowly beaten in a 360-340 game by perennial power Harmony North Austin, then ranked 14th in the nation. Reagan B performed admirably at Alamo as well, winning every preliminary match before losing to Brandeis A and taking fifth overall.

Lin says that Reagan is currently concentrating on developing its feeder programs, Bush and Lopez Middle Schools. Evidently the training is paying off, as these schools took first and second respectively at this past Saturday’s event.

“We hope to improve the programs at [Bush and Lopez] in order to expedite the clue-learning process,” Lin said, “Our coach, Mr. Whitehead, really wants to get the Reagan QB program more recognition on campus.”

Undoubtedly, Reagan’s program will only continue to expand and increase in strength with years to come.

In 2013, four seniors from Clark high school attended their first TQBA state championship and placed eighth, the highest of any first-time squad. Two years later, a second wave of players has kept the program strong.

This past weekend, Clark fielded two teams, both of which won at least half of their preliminary matches. Clark A averaged more than 3.3 powers per game and accrued 17.04 points per bonus. Josh Baize, leading scorer for the A squad, earned 17 powers across eight games and ended the day with 54.38 points per game. Baize, a junior, will have another year to develop his game and bring his team to the next level.

Clark has attended three tournaments this season, two of which resulted in nationals qualifications. The San Antonio school placed fourth at the Alamo City Kickoff, and came in second behind Reagan A at Brahma Bowl. The second-place finish was facilitated largely by freshman Stephen McNierney, who scored 25.00 ppg next to the team’s clear leader, Baize.

oldclarkClark is a young program, with only one senior on the two teams that it fielded at Bexar. As these players age and gain experience, we can expect them to improve and challenge Reagan for the top spot in San Antonio.

The next San Antonio high school event is at Warren on March 21, while the middle schools travel to UT on February 28 for Bevo Bowl.

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