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Quiz Bowl Competes in National Tournament

May 29, 2012
By Ryan Kennedy of Centralia High School

The Centralia Panther Quiz Bowl team traveled to Atlanta for the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament, held over Memorial Day weekend. 

The team consisted of seniors Charles Besalke, Chelsea Griffin, Donna Jennings, Quinton Miller, junior Kim Grimes, and sophomore Taylor Perry. They qualified by winning the CCC tournament in January. The Panthers got to compete against and watch some of the best teams in the country.

One of those teams happened to be the squad from the Illinois Math and Science Academy, whom the Panthers faced in the very first match of the tournament.  IMSA, who would finish 13th in the 240-team field, initiated the Panthers with a 595-5 blowout victory.  The Panthers lost their first four games, nearly pulling out a victory against Ransom Everglades 125-140, but after lunch, Centralia put together back-to-back wins over Norman North B and Westminster Academy B.

With four games remaining, the Panthers would need to win two of them to make the small school playoffs on Sunday. Back-to-back losses made things look bleak, but a victory over Novi C set up a “win and your in” game against Findlay, OH in the final round. It was a tight match throughout, and with the seconds ticking down, Centralia trailed 110-115.  Unfortunately, Findlay ended on a 45-20 run that ended the day and the tournament for the Panthers.

Despite the early exit and some tough opponents, Griffin finished the tournament as the 211th scorer out of 1,167players—in the top 18% of the field

It was an amazing experience that punctuated a great season for the 2011-2012 Panthers.  Much gratitude goes out to B & B Appliance, The Miller family, Subway, and Pizza Hut for helping to fund the trip.



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