PACE NSC Commentary and Coverage

May 31, 2011

2011 Previews: Part One

Filed under: Team Previews — George Berry @ 12:32 am

Last year, these previews were one of our more popular pre-tournament features, so they will be returning.  The first previews for this year’s NSC are after the jump.

 

State College
What is there left to say about State College? Going into the year this team was thought to be unbeatable- They had barely lost to an incredibly talented Maggie Walker team in the NAQT HSNCT finals, and they only lost a game at PACE to the Southside team that was later disqualified after it was revealed that Amit had gotten a copy of the questions before the tournament, and still was not able to beat State College in the finals of PACE.  By the end of NASAT it was clear they were the favorites coming into this season.   And yet, this State College team has struggled to meet outside expectations.  The team has been often shorthanded on the occasions on which they actually came and played at all. Now rumors are circling that State College may be shorthanded again this weekend.  After barely holding off LASA in the HSNCT finals this past weekend, can they survive possibly shorthanded this weekend?

Maggie Walker Governor’s School
John Barnes’ teams typically find themselves right at home in the NSC playoffs.  Tommy Casalaspi is still one of the top quizbowl players in the world, and JR Roach serves as a solid complementary player.  But one must expect a step down this year for this team, as it can no longer count on Sarah Angelo or Greg Tito to get a clutch buzz, and its hopes of success may depend on if Saumil Bandyopadhyay and Seung-Hwan Kim can find ways to make valuable contributions.  If they can, the sky is the limit for this team.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy
Aaron Pellowski stepped in this year to replace Shen Gong on a team that took 3rd at last year’s NSC. LASA was the clear favorite to challenge State College for the title coming into the season.  They proved that ranking correct by beating State College twice to win the Harvard Fall Tournament, and once questions began to be raised about if State College was as good as everyone thought they were, LASA became a popular choice to win nationals.  Last weekend, they stormed their way through the Sunday Playoffs, including running out to a big first half lead against State College A. Ultimately, they could not hold on, as State College rallied big twice in two straight games to win the tournament.  Coach Jason Flowers is becoming a fast rising star and is already among the top coaches in the high school game today.  One can be certain he will have his team ready to go for the gold with the extra motivation last weekend’s losses provided.

Bellarmine College Prep
Being from the San Francisco Bay area, Bellarmine does not get nearly as many opportunities to compete in regular season events as some of the other teams on this list.  Despite missing senior Tanay Kothari, Bellarmine performed very well at the HSNCT last weekend, and Nikhil Desai played last year’s NSC, so they have a small amount of experience at this level.  They should still be able to finish fairly high and would be a very likely team to see near the top of the playoff standings.

Adlai Stevenson
Perhaps the strongest team from the host state of Illinois, Stevenson is led by future Northwestern student Kevin Malis and Zach Blumenfeld.  They have combined to put some some very gaudy statistics this year, and have regularly beat down their competition.  Will they continue their great performances on lower difficulty questions? Can they build on an excellent HSNCT performance? Will they have a “home field” advantage this weekend?  Only time will reveal the real answers, but I will guess the answers are “yes, yes, and yes.”

Dorman A
The elite team of the southeast, coach Eric Huff has created another teams that can play with or beat anybody.  Despite only returning one player from last year’s “A” team, Dorman once again remains near the top of the standings.  This team got very hot towards the end of the regular season, and showed they were for real by running over their opponents to a 10-0 record in the HSNCT prelims before getting up-ended by duPont Manual in the playoffs.  This team will certainly be looking to make some noise early to prove that loss was a fluke; I certainly would not want to play them Saturday morning (or at all).

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4 Comments »

  1. I believe Hunter, in addition, has as good of a chance as a handful of these teams. I see them as inferior to only State College and LASA, but on par or better than possibly any other team.

    Comment by Andrew Chrzanowski — May 31, 2011 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  2. Is State College really going to be shorthanded?

    Comment by William Horton — June 2, 2011 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

    • Reports from HSNCT suggest that Monica will not be at the tournament this weekend.

      Comment by George Berry — June 3, 2011 @ 10:56 am | Reply

  3. Love your previews! I’ve got my money riding on LASA and Coach Jason Flowers.

    Comment by Meagan B — June 3, 2011 @ 5:39 pm | Reply


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