Savio Quiz Bowl Catches Fire in February!
February was a big month for the Eagle Quiz Bowlers. On the weekend of February 13th the all-freshman team of Nicholas Bianchi, Nicholas Huth, Matthew Meskill and Jonathan Shoemaker competed in the Heart of Texas Quiz Bowl tournament in Temple, TX. Facing off against teams mostly full of juniors and seniors the Eagle freshmen made a perfect run thru the preliminary rounds, going 8-0. The Eagles won these matches by an average score of 378-110.
They had a scare in the semi-final round of the playoffs in a matchup against Temple High School. Neither team was able to get the final toss-up and the Savio squad held on to win by a score of 310-290. But in the finals the Eagles never looked back, racing to a 340-175 championship victory against the B team from Belton High School. Jonathan and Matthew were the two top two scorers in the tournament. Jonathan scored 66 points per game (13 powers and 7 NEG5's) and Matthew scored 56.5 points per game (15 powers and 6 NEG5's).
Next on the schedule was the Gipper Games at Reagan High School in San Antonio on February 27th. The three player team of Nicholas Huth, Matthew Meskill and Bryn Stryk competed in the JV division of the tournament. The young Eagle squad seemed a little bit sleepy in the first match of the day, managing to just tie the Brandeis JV team 220-220. But they woke up after that and rattled off an impressive string of six consecutive victories by an average score of 261-87. The 6-0-1 record gave Savio the number one seed for the playoff round.
Their first playoff opponent chose to withdraw from the tournament, so the Eagle team advanced directly to the semi-finals. A comfortable 255-65 victory over the A team from Madison High School put them into the championship match against the D team from host school San Antonio Reagan. It was a tight match throughout, and at the end of regulation the scored was tied at 155. Play was extended to a sudden death tossup question to decide the match. Fortunately for the Eagles, one of the Reagan players believed the National Air and Space Museum is in New York City. His incorrect answer and NEG5 gave the Savio JV team the win, 155-150! Matthew Meskill led the team and the entire JV field with 84.44 points per game (13 powers and 9 NEG5's).
Eleazar Camez, Jack Frey, Nick Isakson and Daniel Jilek competed in the tournament's varsity division. Their day started off much like the JV team's with wins over John Jay High School and Reagan B by an average score of 405-50. But reality sunk in against Reagan's A team which is currently ranked #38 in the country. The Eagles lost to them by a score of 465-155. They recovered with a 425-160 win over Reagan's C team, and then faced a familiar foe, Brandeis A. When the Eagles faced Brandeis in January it was a nail-biter with the Eagles hanging on to win by 5 points. This time the Brandeis team shot themselves in the foot with a flurry of NEG5's early in the match. Before reaching toss-up number seven Savio was out to a 110 to -10 lead. But Brandeis' aggressive style paid off as they stormed back to take the lead by tossup number 17. But just prior to the final toss-up the score was tied at 225. Just like the JV squad's championship win, a NEG5 by the opponent on the final question sealed a victory for the varsity team 225-220. Unfortunately the Eagles' celebration of this emotional win was short-lived, and a letdown in focus led them to lose their final prelim match to Harmony of North Austin.
With a 4-2 record the Savio varsity squad claimed the number four seed for the playoffs. They were able to avenge their preliminary round loss by defeating Harmony in the quarter-finals by a score of 285-160. But their reward for advancing to the semi-finals was a re-match with Reagan A. The top squad from the host school was not to be denied, and they bounced the Eagles from the tournament in convincing fashion 585-60. The Savio varsity ended the day tied for 3rd place. Daniel Jilek led the way for the team with 53.75 points per game (11 powers and 7 NEG5's). Additionally, Daniel was the number three scorer in the whole varsity field.
By virtue of the two first place finishes in February tournaments the Eagles have earned an automatic bid into the state championship tournament on April 30th. Had they not earned the automatic bid, however, the Savio team was well-positioned to earn a qualification for total tournament points. As of the end of February the team is number three in the state in the tournament point standings. They trail only LASA (#3 in the USA) and Dallas St. Mark's (#26 in the USA).
Additionally, by finishing 3rd in the varsity division of the Gipper Games the team has qualified for the High School National Championship Tournament. It will be held in Dallas on the weekend of May 28-29.