Midwood’s Ocean Science Team pulled out a third place victory at the Bay Scallop Bowl at Stony Brook University on Saturday, February 7.
There were 16 teams from across the state in the competition with Midwood contributing both an A and B-Team to the competition. The competition started with a three round "round robin" tournament within a division which determined seeding for a single elimination game in the fourth round. After that round four single elimination game, the remaining eight teams played the rest of the tournament in double elimination style. A loss there would put a team in the losing bracket and another loss thereafter would end their run in the competition.
"We’re super psyched for today’s competition," said A-Team Captain Helen Wong ’15 on the bus ride there.
The day began under Midwood’s Greco-Roman columns at six in the morning when the two teams (A and B), their respective coaches (Mr. Alan Stack and Ms. Kimberly Lau), and some potential recruits boarded the bus to Stony Brook University.
"On the bus ride there, we reviewed some things we hadn’t covered thoroughly," said A-Team player Bart Rosenzweig ’16.
Upon arrival the teams ate a complimentary breakfast to settle some nerves before the first match.
"When I saw the first team, Mt. Sinai High School, my heart stopped," said A-Team coach, Mr. Alan Stack. "They’re the toughest competition at the tournament, and they’re A-Team’s first match."
The round against Mt. Sinai was close but A-Team pulled through with a close 85-76 point win. That nine point difference could have easily been erased with one question pair.
"When we beat them, we felt so much more confident of our chances," said Wong.
A-Team’s next two rounds were 143-47 and 100-53 point blowout wins against The Stony Brook School and Farmingdale High School B-team respectively.
"In a scrim a few months ago, we had lost to Farmingdale, and this was a great consolation," said A-Team player Andrew Li ’16.
B-Team lost the first two rounds by a small margin to Churchville-Chili Senior High School and Massapequa High School. In Round 3, B-Team made a comeback in the final seconds and pulled out a win by a hair against Deer Park High School.
"I just got in the zone answering questions, and the next thing I knew we won," said B-Team player Joseph Parziale ’16.
After lunch the placements were in for the round four single elimination game. A-Team got seeded second due to their 3-0 record and went up against 15 seed Division Avenue High School. B-team was seeded tenth against seventh seed Hunter College High School.
A-Team won a relatively close match in Round 4 against Division Avenue 91-47 and survived single elimination.
"That was a weight off of our shoulders for sure because now we have some breathing room," said Wong.
Unfortunately, B-Team lost by five points to Hunter in the single elimination round ending their run in the competition then and there.
"Although we lost, I feel like we did pretty well and the matches were really close," said B-Team Captain Laila Akallal ’16.
Next round A-team played Hunter in the first double elimination and beat them thoroughly 104-26 as payback for B-team.
"I’m incredibly proud that they scored over 100 points in a double elimination round," said Ms. Lau. "The questions are so much harder at that stage in the competition."
Round 6 against third seed Great Neck South High School started off with an early 40-0 point deficit. After an attempted comeback, A-Team lost 94-40.
"We can’t slack off like that again," said Rosenzweig, "They were faster, but we should’ve buzzed in even if we weren’t 100 percent sure."
A-Team came back in Round 7 in the losers’ bracket winning 85-49 over Churchville-Chili High School from Rochester.
"That was a boost to our confidence," said Li. "We were faster on the buzzer and more confident in our answers which really paid off."
By Round 8 there were four teams left, and Mt. Sinai had won the winner’s bracket. A-Team was slated against Longwood High School, and the round was played on the auditorium stage with dozens of spectators. Early on, A-Team pulled ahead by 20 points, and held onto the lead carrying it through to the end.
"In that round there wasn’t much we didn’t know," said Wong. "Considering it’s a later round, it says a lot about the work we put in."
Great Neck South was A-Team’s opponent in Round 9, and it was dead even off the bat at 20-20 points. In the last few seconds, unfortunate penalties for interrupted wrong answers cost the A-Team. The final score was extremely close at 54-49.
"We gave it our best, we knew the answers, and it just came out to the luck of the draw," said Rosenzweig.
Great Neck South went onto the finals and lost to Mt. Sinai who will now go to nationals in April in Mississippi. Midwood A-Team came out in third place and secured a spot for next year.
"I’m not at all disappointed with the result because we learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and did our best," said Wong.
"Every year our performance improves, and this year we beat out last year’s fifth place high water mark with our highest rank yet," said Mr. Stack. "Ms. Lau and I couldn’t be prouder of this year’s teams and are looking forward to next year."