Scholars Bowl places 5th at state

Jarett Bolinder, Luke Barber, Maddie Alderman, Dillon Spellman and Sean Dugger do a buzzer check before beginning play at the state scholars bowl meet in Inman. The Chargers went 4-1 in pool play and finished 5th overall. Photo by Jan Hutley.

Team to graduate 6 seniors

The Wabaunsee Scholars Bowl team ended its season with a 5th place finish at state.

Seniors Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Jarrett Bolinder, Sean Dugger, Dillon Spellman and junior Eleanor Badeker traveled to Inman Elementary School to compete in the state meet after qualifying by placing 2nd in the regional meet. The state meet would be tough as it included eleven other teams who placed in the top three from other regional scholar bowl meets including teams like Wichita Independent and Goessel.

“I felt excited and much more nervous than I ever had,” Spellman said.

The format of the state meet is similar to the format used by the regional tournaments. The teams were separated into two pools and the teams competed in a round-robin with the top three teams from each pool moving on to the championship rounds.

WHS won its first four matches of the tournament against Syracuse, Sacred Heart, Oswego and Sublette. The last round of pool play would be against the other undefeated team in the pool, Wichita Independent.

The Chargers gained a lead in the first few questions but would be overtaken quickly after Independent correctly answered nine consecutive questions. Independent won 30-95. WHS would move on to the finals with a 2nd place finish in pool play.

“It felt good to go to the finals,” Spellman said. “But getting destroyed in that final match was very discouraging.”

The championship rounds began with a match against Sublette, a team that got 3rd in the same pool. A tough set of questions would result in a very close round with only a 10 point difference. WHS took a first-round loss of 20-30.

The next match would be against Heritage Christian Academy, a team who placed 3rd at the Wabaunsee regional. Once again, a tough set of questions would produce a 20-point difference, but another loss with a score of 20-40.

A rematch Wichita Independent would be the next match and would prove to be a difficult with Independent interrupting most of the questions. Another loss with a score of 20-100 would put the team in a poor spot for placing.

“When we lost three and still had one of the top teams to play, the mindset changed to get at least one win,” Alderman said.

Northern Heights, the champion of the Wabaunsee regional, was the next team up. The questions in the round may have been difficult, but WHS would overcome the challenge to gain its first victory, 40-10. Another win would make it possible for a top four finish. The last match of the meet would be against Goessel, first place of the other pool during pool play. WHS would fight hard but would prove to be tough a result in a loss with a score of 40-70.

“I thought we tried our best but it was disappointing coming up short,” Bolinder said.

Heritage Christian finished first in 2A after handing Wichita Independent it’s only loss. Independent  finished 2nd and Sublette finished 3rd.

A 5th place finish is one of the many accomplishments the team gained throughout the year. WHS finished second at Council Grove, league and regionals as well as coming very close to entering in the final rounds in two meets. Alderman would lead the team through the year as captain, scoring 1650 points. Spellman scored 755 points, Barber scored 160 points, Bolinder and Dugger scored 100 points each and senior Jessica Vanstory got 10 points.

“I knew this would be a strong team because we returned so many talented players from last year. I think they were really driven and competitive. We were only a couple of questions away from a better finish against some of the best teams in the state,” scholars bowl coach Brendan Praeger said.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

Scholars Bowl returns to state

WHS scholars bowl does a buzzer check in the finals round against Northern Heights. The Chargers dropped the match 40-50, finishing second and qualifying to state for the second straight year.

WHS finishes second to Northern Heights

Wabaunsee scholars bowl finished second at the regional tournament, qualifying to state for the second consecutive year.

Seniors Maddie Alderman, Luke Barber, Jarett Bolinder, Sean Dugger, and Dillon Spellman placed second after 13 rounds in the regional tournament that took place at WHS. Alderman lead the team by scoring 360 points with Spellman scoring 100 points and Barber not far behind with 90 points.

“We’ve been competitive at every meet this year, so I knew we were an experienced team with a chance to have a lot of success,” scholars bowl coach Brendan Praeger said.

The format of the tournament separated 16 attending teams into two pools of eight teams each. After playing a round against all teams in their respective pool, the top three continued on towards the championship rounds.

Pool play began poorly with the first match against Kansas City Christian. The team was filled with nerves, competing at home with familiar spectators, judges and moderators. Faced with a difficult selection of questions, the team was destroyed, 80-20 to begin the tournament.

“It was a sketchy way to start the tournament, but we knew it was far from the end,” Spellman said.

The team rebounded to win its next five rounds against Horton, McClouth, Mission Valley, Rossville and Valley Heights. The Chargers dropped the final round of pool play 40-50 against Jefferson County North, ending 5-2 and resusulting in a tie between Jefferson County North, Mission Valley and Wabaunsee.

“Pool play ending in a three-way tie for second made us very nervous heading into the championships,” Alderman said. “Learning that we would have to compete against three private schools did not help with the nerves.”

Tie-breaker rules landed the Wabaunsee team on top of the tie giving them second place in the pool. The six teams in the championship rounds would compete in a round-robin with the top three qualifying for a trip to state. The first three rounds took away the nerves as they resulted in a victory over three private schools. The fourth round was against Northern Heights, with both teams entering the match undefeated.

“Northern Heights was 6-1 in pool play, and they had done well at other meets this year. I had the feeling it would end up being the championship match,” coach Praeger said.

A close 10-point match allowed Northern Heights to take sole possession of first place.

“There were a few questions where we were simply beat to the buzzer,” Praeger said.

IMG_1396With only one loss, a state trip was almost guaranteed, but one last match against Mission Valley would confirm it. Having beat the opposing team before in pool play, the team was confident a victory was in sight.

With only a 5-point lead going in the final question, the year-in review category, the match was intense. Alderman sealed the victory with a buzzer race to answer a question about Rosie the Riveter.

“As soon as I hit the buzzer, I heard the other team sigh and it made me nervous, but I was glad I didn’t mess up,” Alderman said.

The Chargers placed fourth at last year’s state tournament, and look to bring home a bigger trophy this year.

The state tournament begins at noon Saturday at Inman High School. Follow their progress on the Charger Twitter page.

— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01

Scholars Bowl returns 5 varsity players

 

Seniors Jarett Bolinder, Jessica Vanstory, Luke Barber, fourth grader Keaton Mulanax, Dillion Spellman, Sean Dugger and Maddie Alderman pose on Halloween. Mulanax dressed as Bob Ross, the hero and mascot of this year’s team.

Scholars Bowl goes 3-2 at first meet

Scholars Bowl team started the season Thursday with a 3-2 record at the Silver Lake Invitational.

The team defeated Silver Lake, 55-20, Rock Creek, 60-45, and Topeka High, 50-10. The losses were to Burlington, 20-70, and St. James Academy, 40-50. The Chargers were tied for 2nd in the pool, but did not advance to the finals after margin-of-victory was used to break the tie.

The team of Maddie Alderman, Sean Dugger, Luke Barber, Dillon Spellman, Jarrett Bolinder, and Sierra Quathamer includes five returning members of last year’s team which placed 4th at State.

“We had strong first few rounds, they were very close. With five seniors we’re bound to do really well,” senior Maddie Alderman said.

The team will have plenty of practice time before the next varsity meet on November 29.

The JV team traveled to Frankfort on Monday. The team of Emma Alderman, Ryan Grutsch, Reagan Kelley, Mayah Mumpower, Justin Carlson and Grace Spellman finished with a 7-2 record and tied for second in their pool, but also lost due to a tie breaker. Carlson led the team with 250 points followed by Kelley with 100.

“It was an encouraging start,” coach Brendan Praeger said. “We don’t have a lot of varsity opportunities for underclassmen this year, but the JV meets are a great opportunity to learn how the meets work and to start developing strategy. We’ll have to work hard to reload next year.”

— Jayna Keller @whscharger

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