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2016 NATIONAL ACADEMIC CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

New Orleans Phase 2016

Harrison Wins New Orleans
Paideia and Gadsden Triumph

White Plains, Winningest School in Tournament History

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Left to right: l to r: Noah Lichtblau, Jacob Brady, Danielle Herman, Esther Ritchin, Max Kratzok, George Kalyvas

White Plains (NY) has the current active record for most consecutive years at Nationals, as they've been coming since 1990. They entered the playoffs this year ranked No. 6, and advanced all the way to the last High School Varsity game in New Orleans. Earlier in the playoffs, they had defeated Buckhorn 395-225, New Orleans Jesuit 325-255, and Bishop Kelley (OK) 400-230. Meanwhile, Harrison (IN), seeded No. 1, found themselves in the last game after beating defending St. Martin's (LA) 370-255 and Bayside 390-270.

Harrison, always in the playoffs, finished No. 1 in the nation in 2007 and 2011. White Plains finished 2nd in the nation in 1990 and has advanced to the national semifinals eight times, but has never won it all. In this year's last New Orleans Varsity match Harrison led after the first period, 65-30. In the second quarter, White Plains grabbed four of the five bonus opportunities, but was unable to garner more than 15 points on the bonuses, and trailed 100-115 at halftime. In the Sixty Seconds Round, White Plains chose the apparently daunting category of PSYCHOLOGY, but advanced 80-10 on their selection; Harrison chose ART & MUSIC, but outscored White Plains in that category only 50-30. White Plains, then, entered the "Stump the Experts" round with a 210-175 lead. Harrison got seven right, to White Plains's three. Harrison added 20 points on Current Events: "Donald Trump said that what two countries should consider building nuclear weapons arsenals?" (Ans. Japan and South Korea), 20 more on a Trigonometry problem, and 20 more after identifying "Lysander" as the name in common to a character in A Midsummer Night's Dream and a Spartan admiral. Harrison edged out White Plains 285-260, to win to New Orleans and advance to the Final Three in the Windy City.

The Harrison team moments after victory

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Left to right: back row: Thomas, Agustin, Lincoln, Ashton, Ben, Carl. middle row: Raven, Tylker, Caroline, Coach Lyn Schneider front row: Melinda & Kensington

Junior Varsity

In the 7th annual Junior Varsity division play at the National Academic Championship, Altamont (SC) again advanced to the New Orleans finals, but were defeated by Gadsden (AL) to win New Orleans.

Gadsden, New Orleans JV champ

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Left to right: l to r: Coach Wayne Davenport, Sam Womack, Josh Kelley, Justin Kelley, Mustafa Enver

New Orleans MVP

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White Plains's Jacob Brady, MVP

Who Wants to Be a Game Show Host?

Another edition of our "reality show," WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST? was conducted. Students (graduating seniors) were invited to audition as moderators, and coaches played the game. Students understood the event to be a real audition for a job as one of the moderators at next year's Nationals. This year's winner was Esther Ritchin from White Plains, which now holds the record for more GAME SHOW HOST wins than any other school.

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Esther Ritchin

Washington Phase 2016

BRIARCLIFF (NY) BECOMES FIRST
"SMALL SCHOOL" EVER TO WIN ONE
OF THE THREE NAC VENUES

West Chester East (PA) takes JV

From Westchester County, NY, Briarcliff has won our “Small School” championship before, but this time they’re vying for the title of National Champion (of all size schools) after winning DC. Their road to the final match saw them enter the playoffs seeded 5th with a 5-1 record. They then defeated Riverside (SC) 365-250; St. Thomas 370-275; Jenks (OK) 340-275 (Last year they’d overcome Jenks in the playoffs 330-275). Meanwhile, Lakewood (OH) beat Middletown (NY) 335-175; Potomac Falls (VA) 365-240; and Bennett (MD) 275-230.

Briarcliff led 45-30 after the first period. They extended that lead to 110-30 after sweeping the ANCIENT ROME bonus. Lakewood, however, grabbed the next three bonus opportunities, sweeping the POLITICAL TERMS BORROWED FROM A FOREIGN LANGUAGE bonus. The score was tied at 110 at halftime. Lakewood did a fine job on their category choice, FARMING, gaining 80 points to Briarcliff’s 20. Briarcliff then swept CITIES SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR, which gave them a 60-point lead going into the final period. The Sixty Seconds Round turned out to be the game-decider, as Lakewood added points on seven “Stump the Experts” questions to Briarcliff’s four. The final score was 320-305 in favor of Briarcliff. Briarcliff thus joins Byram Hills, Horace Greeley, and Ardsley as schools from Westchester County, NY, that have advanced to the Final Three at Nationals.

The Briarcliff team moments after victory

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Left to right: l to r: Feroze Mohideen, Tommy Praeger, Ryan Klarnet, Sophie Underwood, Coach Desmond T. Groarke

Lakewood

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First row: (l to r) (l to r) Jon Pizzo, Alex Grunder, Ian Bell, Evan Suttell, Robby Farhenbach, Zeke Dalisky, Fox Milenski

Junior Varsity

For the third consecutive year, West Chester East (PA) advanced to the final DC JV match. This time they came away the winners, beating Central Bucks East (PA) 265-85.

East JV

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Auditions

James Bennett High School’s Kevin Turnamian won the DC version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.

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Kevon Turnamian

DC MVP

Lakewood’s Ian Bell was named MVP.

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Ian Bell, MVP

Chicago Phase 2016

DAVIESS CO. FROM KENTUCKY WINS CHICAGO

First timers Palatine (IL) entered the playoffs ranked #11, but they squeaked by St. John’s (MA) 315-305 and Westlake (OH) 335-325 to advance to the final match of teams competing in Chicago. Meanwhile, Daviess County, seeded No. 1, defeated St. Mark's (DE) 440-220, Zionsville (IN) 335-290, and another Kentucky team, Henderson County, 345-300.

Palatine vs. Daviess County

Daviess County trailed Palatine, 45-50 after the first period. An uneventful Bonus Round saw Palatine advance to a 130-110 lead at halftime, in spite of Daviess County’s sweep of the AUTO PARTS bonus. In the 60 Seconds Round, Daviess County gained a net 80 points on the EXPLORERS category, while Palatine advanced a net 60 points on the STARTS WITH IMP category. A 200-200 tie going into the final period! Daviess County exploded with 10 correct answer in the final period, to Palatine’s two. The Kentucky teams’s 20 pointers: they recognized a painting by Diego Velasquez and they identified Choctaw as the tribe associated with the first codetalkers in World War I. Daviess County won it by a final score of 370-240.

Palatine

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(l to r) back: Dan Rosenburg, Timothy Mathew
front: Jordan Palmer, Andrew Crnomarkovic, Koby Theobald, Bryan Lu, Bojana Crnomarkovic, Coach Ryan Hall

Junior Varsity

Chicago MVP

Daviess County’s Evan Clark was named Most Valuable Player.

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MVP Evan Clark

Auditions

Madaline Thompson from Western High School (IN) won the Chicago version of WHO WANTS TO BE A GAME SHOW HOST.

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Madaline Thompson

The Circle of Death
This year’s three-team double-elimination event took four games:

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Indiana vs. New York vs. Kentucky! Briarcliff edged Harrison in the first match, 285-265. Key to that game was Harrison’s unfortunate 60 Seconds choice, CHRISTMAS CAROLS, in which they advanced only 30-10 over Briarcliff, while the latter advanced 80-10 in their fortuitous choice, MANHATTAN. Daviess County then beat Harrison 365-240, and once again it was the 60 Seconds Round that proved the Indiana team’s undoing, as they advanced 50-20 on their choice, ANCIENT SCIENTISTS, then watched Daviess County sweep the WORLD WAR II LEADERS category. Daviess County then won out over Briarcliff, 400-230, and again the 60 Seconds Round was crucial, as Briarcliff advanced 80-20 on LIBROS EN ESPAÑOL, while Daviess County again swept their category, ANATOMY OF THE EYE. The Kentucky team added 110 points in the STUMP THE EXPERTS round, including 20 pointers on Pachelbel’s Canon, Cosmic Background Radiation, Chicago’s Cloud Gate sculpture, and Bronson Alcott. They won it by a score of 400-230. The fourth match featured Daviess County and Briarcliff again. This time the Bonus Round was pivotal, as Daviess County swept IBERIA, THE BIBLE, and the Visual category MATH. Daviess County was a juggernaut in the final round, with 20-point answers on The Myth of Sisyphus, Noam Chomsky, Gnostics, and recognizing a Mahler Symphony on the first note. The Kentucky team won it, 455-185.

Daviess County

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(l to r) Coach Ann Koshy, Jasmyne Post, Karli Sanders, Mason Clark, Eli Cooper, Stephen Ward Kneeling: Evan Clark

Junior Varsity

Gadsden JV ended up winning the national championship; Detroit Jesuit JV, second; East JV, third.

Detroit Jesuit JV

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(l to r) Daniel Babcock, Grayson Holdin, Neil Jain, Nate Zielinski, Sean Butler,Daniel Barber, Edward Burns, Coach Ed Roberge

Rookie of the Year

First-timers Campbell County High (KY) were named Rookie of the Year They finished 8th in the nation in average points, 14th in tournament progress. Potomac Falls (VA) was also impressive, advancing to the DC Elite Eight.

Scoring Leaders

At the NAA, we judge teams not only on tournament progress (how far they advanced in the competition), but also on average points, and seldom does a team lead the league in both. Last year, Pingry (NJ) earned top honors in points with a 387 points-per-game average. National champ Coronado finished second at 359. This year, National champ Daviess County also finished first in points, with a 351.5 average. Bishop Kelley, which finished third in the nation in 2015 in both points and tournament progress, this year finished second in points, with a 339 average.

Ohio Rules

The most impressive state at this year's tournament was Ohio. In the Middle School tournament, Heritage Classical Academy finished second in Chicago, and Wooster finished first in the nation. In High School Varsity, Lakewood finished second in Chicago, and Westlake advanced to the Chicago Final Four and also finished first in the nation in our Fall 2015 national 3-2-1 online contest.

Coach of the Year

More responsible than any other person for the success of Ohio schools at Nationals of late – as well as the online 3-2-1 competition -- is Pat Jewell of Hawken School, who runs a number of competitions annually for Buckeye State teams.

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Pat Jewell

Small-School Champs

We crown a champion from among the “small schools” that come to Nationals (defined as any school with 500 or fewer students in grades 10-12 and a non-selective admissions policy). Briarcliff won it for the second time, and became the first “small school” ever to advance to the Final 3.

Qualifying for 2017 Nationals

Keep in mind that all 2016 playoff teams have automatically qualified for NAC XXXV. Return to QUnlimited.com in September, when information on our next QuizNet and 3-2-1 events will be posted. We will also provide details on next year's National Academic Championship.

Next Year's Champs?

Yikes! Daviess County returns in 2017 with three of their four starters. They remain the team to beat in 2017.

Hall of Fame

Induction into the Hall of Fame means joining a very select group.  In the past 31 years, only 19 players had made it.  This year, two joined the assembly of immortals.  Max Smiley led Horace Greeley to the national title in 2013 and to winning DC in 2014.  Kevin Yokum was New Orleans MVP in 2013 and in 2014 led Jesuit to finishing No. 1 in the nation.

  • Mike Keller (Irmo, SC, '85-87)
  • Eric Evans (Granville, OH, '88-89)
  • Jim Paluszak (Dorman, SC, '89-91)
  • Matt Bruce (Booker T. Washington, OK, '89-92)
  • Mark Staloff (East Brunswick, NJ, '94)
  • Brad Rutter (Manheim Township, PA, '92-95)
  • Brad Harris (James Island, SC, '92-95)
  • Amanda Goad (Governor's School, VA, '93-96)
  • Scott Petty (Houston Eisenhower '95 and Houston Memorial '96)
  • Justin Powell (James Island, SC '95-98)
  • Ryan Cooper (James Island, SC '95-99)
  • David Madden (Ridgewood, NJ '98-99)
  • Jonathan Hess (Irmo, SC, 1998-2002)
  • Sara Sheer (Horace Greeley, 2001-2004)
  • Matt Pargeter (Holland Hall, OK, 2002-2005)
  • Nate Mattison (Byram Hills, NY, 2004-2006
  • Fuhe Xu (Harrison, IN, 2004-2007)
  • Ariel Schneider (Harrison, IN, 2004-2007)
  • Dylan Hames (Booker T. Washington, OK, 2006-2008)
  • Alex Pijanowski (Harrison, IN, 2011-2013)
  • Max Smiley (Horace Greeley, 2013-2014)
  • Kevin Yokum (New Orleans Jesuit, 2013-2014)
  • Luke Minton (El Paso Coronado, 2013-2016)

WINNERS OF OUR 33 TOURNAMENTS

  • 1983 -- Walt Whitman (Bethesda, MD)
  • 1984 -- Wheelersburg (Wheelersburg, OH)
  • 1985 -- Skyline (Dallas, TX)
  • 1986 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
  • 1987 -- Walnut Ridge (Columbus, OH)
  • 1988 -- Eleanor Roosevelt (Greenbelt, MD)
  • 1989 -- Dorman (Spartanburg, SC)
  • 1990 -- Collegiate (Richmond, VA)
  • 1991 -- Dorman (Spartanburg, SC)
  • 1992 -- Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK)
  • 1993 -- Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA)
  • 1994 -- East Brunswick (NJ)
  • 1995 -- Governor's School (Richmond, VA)
  • 1996 -- Houston Memorial (TX)
  • 1997 -- Edison (Huntington Beach, CA)
  • 1998 -- State College Area (PA)
  • 1999 -- James Island (SC)
  • 2000 -- Manheim Township (PA)
  • 2001 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
  • 2002 -- Irmo (Columbia, SC)
  • 2003 -- Horace Greeley (Chappaqua, NY)
  • 2004 -- St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN)
  • 2005 -- Holland Hall (Tulsa, OK)
  • 2006 -- Byram Hills (Armonk, NY)
  • 2007 -- Harrison (West Lafayette, IN)
  • 2008 -- Booker T. Washington (Tulsa, OK)
  • 2009 -- John Cooper (The Woodlands, TX)
  • 2010 -- Zionsville (Zionsville, IN)
  • 2011 -- Harrison (West Lafayette, IN)
  • 2012 -- University of Detroit Jesuit (MI)
  • 2013 -- Horace Greeley (Chappaqua, NY)
  • 2014 -- Jesuit (New Orleans, LA)
  • 2015 -- Coronado (El Paso, TX)
  • 2016 -- Daviess County (Owensboro, KY)