Nationals Discussion

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swimmerstar
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Nationals Discussion

Post by swimmerstar »

Richard Montgomery A (HSQBRank 3, Midseason Poll 7)
RM A is the best team in the region and is a strong contender for NHBB, HSNCT, and NSC. Their greatest strength is in history as they have double coverage in Adam and Alex. Alex also covers visual arts and RMP very well, while Adam is very solid on NAQT questions. What sets this team apart from others is their coverage as Naveen and Olivia can get crazy powers in science and literature. In addition, they are returning largely the same roster as their 24th place NSC team so they should have no problem scaling up.
HSNCT prediction: 9-1
NSC prediction: 7-0

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech A (4, 1)
With Rohan and Grant being absent for a large part of the season, we have become rusty. Our greatest strength as a team is still fine arts since Kevin, Grant and I can all power questions in the category. I can cover science decently through real knowledge, but my lack of packet study makes me vulnerable on harder tournaments such as the NSC, where I did poorly last year. For HSNCT, Alex Howe is a very consistent fourth scorer as he can cover geography and trash. The questionable buzzing habits of our lead scorers will make or break our performance at nationals.
HSNCT prediction: 8-2
NSC prediction: 7-0

Montgomery Blair A (12, 12)
Last year’s Blair A came one tossup away from defeating Taylor at HSNCT, and this year’s team seems poised to repeat or exceed the same level of success. Ben is the team’s history specialist and lead scorer, though Anson has immense depth in literature and is very strong on mACF questions. Katherine is among the best science specialists in the region, which is very impressive since she is only in tenth grade. However, she can also nail questions in certain parts of the literature distribution. Ian is very strong on music and should not be overlooked. Watch out for Blair not just this year, but also the next two, as they have several strong underclassmen on their B and C teams.
HSNCT prediction: 8-2
NSC prediction: 7-0

Centennial A (15)
Jakob has been underrated this season, carrying Centennial to many high finishes. His strongest subject is history, but he also functions as a high-level generalist outside of science. Emmaline is strong at science and complements Jakob’s coverage very well. I am not sure who Centennial A’s third and fourth scorers will be, but Anthony is very strong on the NAQT distribution and should do some damage at HSNCT.
HSNCT prediction: 8-2
NSC prediction: 6-1

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech B (18, 22)
Thomas Jefferson B put up strong statistical performances this season, but has failed to take any games off of any of the above teams. Having observed their lack of depth, I feel that scaling up at nationals will be an issue for this team. In addition, the lack of aggression from literature player James seems to be an issue as he struggles to win buzzer races. That combined with their reliance on rusty seniors for history makes it hard for them to beat top teams. Their weaker format is definitely NSC, due to the team’s lack of fine arts knowledge. However, they should have no problem beating lower ranked teams. The main factor in the team’s success will be fatigue, given that they tend to lose focus toward the end of tournaments, which will be an issue at nationals.
HSNCT prediction: 7-3
NSC prediction: 5-2

James W. Robinson A (38)
Robinson has not been getting that much coverage on the national circuit, but Jacob is a force to be reckoned with, scaling up on harder questions like SCT and WAO II. They were already a very strong team at NAQT States, but a complete Robinson A will be even more formidable. They have shown they can handle the pressure, beating a full TJ B last year at HSNCT. In addition, I feel their low-neg playstyle is good for nationals since they will be very consistent.
HSNCT prediction: 7-3

Montgomery Blair B (42)
Blair B has great depth, having beaten Centennial A this year. The team finished 65th last year at HSNCT and could make a deep playoff run this year. Sophia is a very good generalist, covering all facets of the game well. I am not sure about rest of the team’s roster, so I cannot comment further.
HSNCT prediction: 7-3
NSC prediction: 5-2

Richard Montgomery B (44)
I have not personally played against RM B, but the depth they displayed at TJIAT was scary. Daniel is the team’s lead scorer and is an excellent humanities generalist. Judging by statistics, it seems like this team has improved a lot in the last couple of months. If they continue this trend, I can see them finishing in the top 24 at NSC, the format which favors Daniel’s strengths.
HSNCT prediction: 7-3
NSC prediction: 6-1

Maggie Walker Governor’s School (47)
While Maggie Walker possesses both depth and breadth, consistency remains an issue. Kelin and Catherine both did well at NASAT tryouts (WAO II), so scaling up should not be an issue. Negging is the main culprit as the team can neg as many as seven times in a match. If they can curb their negging, Maggie Walker could pull quite a few upsets at nationals.
HSNCT prediction: 6-4
NSC prediction: 4-3

McLean (69)
Having known Justin for four years, his immense depth in history has always amazed me. Justin is definitely one of the best history players in the nation and will scale up well due to his vast reservoirs of real knowledge. He is definitely a favorite in JV NHBB, but it remains to be seen whether he will receive backup for HSNCT, especially in science.
HSNCT prediction: 6-4

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech C (75)
TJ C is basically a younger version of TJ B. William covers the same subjects as his brother Andrew, while literature player Ryan’s performance is reminiscent of last year’s James. Sohom has been the surprise this season, as he has shown immense improvement in the subject of RMP. Prithvi is a very strong NAQT player, much like Alex. The team’s lack of experience at national means that they will struggle with harder teams and questions.
HSNCT prediction: 6-4
NSC prediction: 4-3

Langley A (89)
Dan has a lot of real knowledge in science, doing well at NASAT tryouts, and is very motivated. Selena is strong at literature and scales up well. Though this team currently has gaps in coverage, they should be able to fix this based off their current trend.
HSNCT prediction: 5-5
NSC prediction: 3-4

James W. Robinson B
The team did well at NAQT States, making the top bracket. They had a low number of powers and negs, which makes it unclear how they will fare against tougher competition at nationals. I do think they will be comparable in strength to McLean if they play with a full roster, meaning they could go 6-4 at HSNCT.
HSNCT prediction: 5-5

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech D
Led by freshman Anuraag, TJ D has been improving at a rapid rate this season. The team has taken games off full Centennial A and Maggie Walker and has been able to handle pressure well. Veterans Nishanth and Walker provide essential coverage, especially on NAQT. Though overall canon coverage is an issue, the team will benefit from the NAQT format due to their real knowledge.
HSNCT prediction: 4-6
NSC prediction: 3-4

Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech E
NSC prediction: 2-5

BASIS McLean
Freshman Justin is their lead scorer and is good at history. BASIS needs to work on their other subjects in order to make a playoff run in the future. However, given their young age, I feel this should not be a problem.
HSNCT prediction: 3-7

I do not know enough about the below teams to comment on their performance. Each of the teams below will be either attending HSNCT or NSC.
Cave Spring (116)
Blacksburg
Centennial B
Montgomery Blair C
Gate City
Langley B
Norfolk Academic Guild A
Norfolk Academic Guild B
Tazewell

Any thoughts?
Last edited by swimmerstar on Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Fred Zhang
Longfellow Middle School 2015
TJHSST 2019
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Abdon Ubidia
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Re: Nationals Discussion

Post by Abdon Ubidia »

I think you underrate your own team. I mean no disrespect at all to RM, who is also an excellent team, but TJ at full strength is one of the scariest teams I have ever played. As long as Grant and Rohan haven't suffered serious bouts of amnesia, I think TJ is not only the best team in the region, but has a serious claim to the title of best in the country.
Anson Berns
Montgomery Blair '19
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Re: Nationals Discussion

Post by c*t »

I think RM and TJ both have a very solid shot at winning either nationals, but Anson's right, Fred is underranking his own team:
TJ will definitely go at least 9-1 at HSNCT. Not even a question.
RM finally played their full team at TJIAT and they killed it. The four of them fit together really well in terms of specializing so they're quite the scary team.

In terms of other top 10 contenders:

Blair A - Most likely to be in the top 10 IMO. Solid team overall. They also haven't played their full team recently, but assuming all four of them are still studying they'll definitely place high.
Centennial A - I think they're one of the most improved teams this year and have been under-ranked most of the year. Jakob is of course a really, really good player (as is Emmaline) but the key thing is his teammates seem to also be improving and providing very solid support. I think their other two are Anthony, a history player with good depth, and Adam, who when I played him was able to consistently pull an early power or two every round.
TJ B - Not really sure what you mean by lack of aggression from James; he killed it at NASAT tryouts. Between him, Ben, and whoever else is on B I doubt they'll have any issue scaling.

Regarding us:
swimmerstar wrote:Negging is the main culprit
Sums me up.

Oh, also Cave Spring - Billy and Lexie played together at GSAC and they finished fairly high in a strong field. I think Billy is at Roanoke Valley Governor's School now (a part time gov school) and might have played under them at some point? Can't find the stats though. Unfortunately, they haven't been to many tournaments this year so I have no clue how they are but Billy did well at HSNCT last year and I would say they're definitely at least in the top 100.
Catherine Qian (she/her/hers)
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School '18
University of Pennsylvania '22
Secretary, PACE
Euouae
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Re: Nationals Discussion

Post by Euouae »

Thanks Fred for doing some research and starting this thread! I mostly agree with everything that has been said above. DC is definitely one of the most robust and competitive quizbowl regions in the nation this year, and I'd honestly expect at least half of the top ten teams on this list to place in the 20s or higher at one or more nationals. Even so, I think that the A teams from RM, TJ, and Blair are a tier above the rest. RM is a phenomenally balanced team who I think could place in the top 5 in one (or both!) of the upcoming national tournaments. TJ A, however, is the deepest and strongest team I have ever encountered. Dominating at multiple college-level tournaments even without their full roster, I am fairly confident that they will win a national championship this season.

Cave Spring and TJ B (and maybe us with a little more practice) strike me as particular dark horse candidates. TJ B routinely wins very deep buzzes in a wide breadth of subject areas, and I'm a bit scared to see them play with their full nationals roster. Cave Spring is vastly underranked right now, as I learned firsthand in our closest game of this season. Billy narrowly missed all-star recognition at HSNCT last year (a distinction I think at least 5 DC area players could reasonably achieve this May), and makes a formidable combo when paired with Lexie.

I know Blair B has some very good scorers, albeit a slight affinity for negging, with Sophia being a very strong generalist especially considering she is only a sophomore. I don't know much about Southwestern Virginia, but Gate City and Tazewell come to mind as each having a very strong player from the stat reports I have seen. I'm very excited by the sheer number of teams our region is sending to nationals this year (although a few teams such as Georgetown Day still stand out as absences). Best of luck to everyone competing!
Jacob Augelli
Robinson Secondary School '18
Vanderbilt '22
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Abdon Ubidia
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Re: Nationals Discussion

Post by Abdon Ubidia »

Re: Blair B, Sophia is joined by David Witten, Haydn Gwyn, and Matt Shu who together have solid coverage on most of the canon. I expect them to do at least as well as they did last year (T-65) and hopefully better. I would say they're the best B team in the region besides TJ B.
Anson Berns
Montgomery Blair '19
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Re: Nationals Discussion

Post by bluqiu »

Cave Spring hasn't really competed that much this year, but based off what I saw at GSAC and stats, TJ A and RM A are definitely the two best teams in the region. As has been said, unless Grant and Rohan fail to touch a buzzer before nationals, they will go 9-1 without question, and most likely win one of the two tournaments, if not both. RM A was a scarily deep team at GSAC even without Naveen, and with their full A team, they post extremely impressive stats. While not in DC-area, I would also expect ECG to make a deep run at nationals, with Tejas being a phenomenal generalist and his teammates providing great support.

As far as far SWVA is concerned, Tazewell is probably the best team in the region, with John having deep pockets of knowledge. However, whether or not he can get any support from his teammates will determine how far they make it at HSNCT. Gate City is excellent on easier questions, but how well they'll scale to HSNCT difficulty remains to be seen. Vish on Blacksburg is impressive in certain areas like geo and science, but Blacksburg is very streaky and susceptible to upsets.

For Cave Spring, serious issues of commitment remain, and whether or not we can field a team of four at HSNCT is still up in the air. Large knowledge gaps within our team, especially if Lexie can't go, will ruin our chances at HSNCT.
cat wrote: I think Billy is at Roanoke Valley Governor's School now (a part time gov school) and might have played under them at some point? Can't find the stats though. Unfortunately, they haven't been to many tournaments this year so I have no clue how they are but Billy did well at HSNCT last year and I would say they're definitely at least in the top 100.
We've mainly competed under pseudonyms, but we will be attending SSNCT (open div.). The only tournaments we've attended as a full team would be POET and Grapes of Smath where we did pretty bad.
Billy Luqiu
Cave Spring High / Roanoke Valley Governor's School '19
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