A brief recap of the fortunes of each of the SoCal teams that attended the HSNCT. Overall it was perhaps a better-than-expected showing, although there were a number of disappointingly close losses.
(Result: 6-4, 1-1 in playoffs. T-49th place).
Probably the biggest surprise was Arcadia A’s early dismissal in the 2nd round of the playoffs at the hands of Ohio team Northmont. Arcadia suffered through an early loss to LASA C and was matched up twice against Cave Spring (VA), losing both times. This was definitely a fairly tough schedule for Arcadia, who had to face playoff teams six times, but the LASA C loss in the prelims and the Northmont loss in the playoffs both could’ve gone the other way. Once again, Arcadia had a higher ppb (18.35) than many of the teams that finished around the same level, but just couldn’t win the tossup war. Will Arcadia be able to rebound in the future and better prepare for nationals next year?
(Result: 6-4 in prelims, 1-1 in playoffs. T-49th place)
Tying their A team’s finish, Arcadia B demonstrated increased buzzer aggressiveness than its A team, which helped it out in close games; despite their 37 negs to 12 negs by the A team, the B team’s risk-taking paid off and allowed them to perhaps slightly overperform. They had a good win over Chaska (MN) A and a close loss to Norcross (GA) by 20 points before getting wiped out by Wayzata A in the 2nd round of the playoffs. If these guys are coming back next year, Arcadia’s got an excellent foundation for the future.
(Result: 5-5 in prelims)
Arcadia C actually came within 100 points of making the playoffs like its fellow Arcadia teams and, with a bit of improvement in its bonus conversion, could’ve managed it. In the last round of the prelims they fell by 100 to NCSSM and also had a reasonbly close loss to Northmont by 75 in the prelims as well. Again, if this is Arcadia B for next year, Arcadia’s going to continue to be a strong threat in SoCal but needs a lot of improvement to get onto the national scene.
(Result: 6-4 in prelims, 2-1 in playoffs, T-21st place)
In my predictions, I should’ve gone with my first instinct here that Canyon Crest would drop a match they shouldn’t in the prelims and win one they shouldn’t in the playoffs. This time they actually got lucky in a couple of prelim games but ended up losing several other close ones that cost them a spot at a better run. Their win over Hawken by 5 in the prelims was great fun to read for and demonstrated again the importance of buzzer speed, but errant buzzes cost them against NC schools East Chapel Hill in the final match of the prelims and in a frustratingly close 15-point loss to the Early College of Guilford A in the 3rd round of the playoffs. NC schools in general were not good for CCA as a loss to NCSSM in the prelims also may have cost them a chance at 7-3. A bit of an underperformance by the best team in SoCal, but certainly an exciting one.
(Result: 7-3 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs. T-21st place)
With their full A team playing together, Irvine proved they were much more a contender than previously thought and, with a bit of fortune from the scheduling fairies (perhaps because they dropped a shocker in the first round to Skyline (MI)), had a nice run. Their resounding win over Wayzata A (who would finish T-13th) in the first round of the playoffs was a masterpiece. Their loss to Thomas Jefferson in the playoffs was much, much closer than expected as Irvine kept the formidable TJ team in check for much of the match by winning buzzer races and adding some well-timed powers, though ultimately bonus conversion hurt a bit too much. Though it seems like much of this team is graduating, the program as a whole is on the right track.
(Result: 7-3 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs, t-21st place)
I’d been predicting all year that NoHo’s strong depth in their subjects would pay off at nationals and, with the highest PPB of all the SoCal teams at 18.52 and the 2nd-most powers at 58 (CCA had 60), it seems like this prediction at least turned out to be mostly true. NoHo had a tough schedule but managed to get some nice wins along the way, including two close wins over Kentucky powerhouse DuPont Manual A and a 45-point win over that nemesis of Arcadia teams, Northmont. Though they were somewhat blown off the buzzers by Thomas Jefferson to knock them out of the playoffs, they had a very nice run to also finish in the SoCal tie for 21st. Can next year’s team replicate or build on this solid platform of success for a run at the top 10?
(Result: 3-7 in prelims)
Rancho Bernardo has a long history of one-man teams, but this one came as a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, the Sathya experience turned out to be a wild run, with lots of close losses and a few wins in the bottom part of the prelims. Good to see that Sathya’s interested in challenging himself and hoping to get better, although it would’ve been nice for a few more of those close losses to materialize into wins.
(Result: 7-3 in prelims, 0-2 in playoffs)
Oof, that’s gotta hurt. After getting to 7-3 and taking a powerful Loyola team to within 50, Santa Monica got tripped up in both of its playoff games to finish back with the Arcadias at 7-5. Once again, a North Carolina team was the culprit in the first playoff loss but the second, against Great Neck South, seemed even more anamolous as SM put up a 21.43 ppb average in that match but negged 4 times and lost by over 100. Will Santa Monica make more of an effort next year to focus more on quizbowl and make use of their great potential for a nationals run or have they reached the ceiling of their efforts?
(Result: 7-3 in prelims, 2-2 in playoffs, t-21st place)
Good to see that Torrey got up for its nationals run, with a stellar effort by Anson (16 powers, 1 neg) nicely complementing Justin and the rest of the team. A superb win over Loyola (6 powers, 6 TUs) and a close loss to LASA A (by 80) were some of the highlights, though the lowlights included losing by 280 points to a team of Middle Schoolers and getting smacked down by 435 points in the playoffs against IMSA A. A couple of other nail-bitingly close 5-point wins over Culver A and Ranney ended up helping TP to a 21st place finish and a nice capstone to an up-and-down year for this veteran team.