Quiz Bowl team takes one of three rounds from E-Town

Eyes twinkled with the spirit of competition, and hands twitched on the buzzers as L-S and E-Town prepared to square off in quiz bowl on Monday. E-Town joked amongst themselves, while L-S sat quietly, waiting to strike. The Pioneers did not have school that day, so were extra motivated not to have come into school for naught.

The pressure in the air that comes with most competitions, however, was nowhere to be found. Both teams managed to laugh at themselves when they could not seem to find an answer, even sharing grins with the enemy. The proctor -- former L-S superintendent Dr. Robert Frick -- engaged with the members in light conversation, as well, giving the atmosphere an informal air.

This was the second match of the season. The first competition capped the season with a rocky start, but the team did not seem fazed by their loss. They exuded silent confidence, unlike the competitors, who bubbled over with jovial chatter.

The team from E-Town comprised three students, one boy and two girls: Aparna Paul, Katarina Tesmer, and Bryan McMinn, the captain. They are a formidable trio accustomed to winning, but L-S does not go down without a fight.

The first round kicked off with a good start on our side . For most of the round, L-S sat comfortably on a hundred-point lead, giving the other team no chance of catching up. Toss up questions were claimed by L-S frequently, and then, they answered multiple bonus questions, worth ten or fifteen points. The home team garnered a plethora of points, ending the round with a score of 310-250 in favor of L-S. Afterwards, the teams get a break from the battle, when they eat cookies, ice cream, and other morsels. Members let off some steam and talk about problem areas or congratulate others on their team. Of course, the two did not interact during this time. Then, it's back in the room for round two.

Each round is composed of twenty toss up questions, for both teams to answer, and around twenty bonus questions. Bonus questions are given to the correct team to answer, and they usually follow a common theme. For example, the proctor might ask the team to respond to three questions (A, B, and C) related to the heart and its arteries. L-S always struggles with literature questions, and round two was full of them.

Mark Wittemann and Benjamin Pontz both take chances and answer as many questions as possible, while Logan Emmert and Kevin Reed both take time to answer questions that they feel comfortable with. Crickets sounded for all four of them, however, when a question on specific literature was asked. This round got off to a rocky start, and they never really recovered their lead from the first round, ending the session with a score of 335-205 in favor of E-Town.

The score was tied, one to one, and victory was just a round away from one of the groups. The pressure was on. E-Town plowed ahead early on, while the L-S squad waited to jump in. E-Town started to get cocky as they racked up the points. At bonus question number eight, around halfway through, the score was 160 to 30 in favor of E-Town. Hope drained from the home team as E-Town blazed on, but the Pioneers' time would come. Desperation prompted the L-S group to take more chances with answers, pushing them ahead a little more. At toss up number 17, the score was 230-185, only 45 points apart. E-Town then got 45 points, bringing the score up to 275-185. It was the last question, and E-Town knew that they would bring home the win. However, L-S would not end on a low note. They claimed the last toss up and scored some last-minute points, bringing the final score to 305-225 in favor of E-Town.

The two groups shook hands over the table and parted ways at the end of the match, and L-S was left to clean up and converse about the competition. Weaknesses were addressed, but most of the talk consisted of guts and the neglect of their signals at crucial points in the match. This is always an issue during trivia tournaments. Self-doubt comes out to play, and the decision whether to listen to their teammates or to go with their glimmer is a hard choice to make. 

However, the members of the team did not take the defeat to heart but instead dedicated themselves to improving for the next meet, an attitude that should be used as an example for teams across the district. After all, it is not the wins or losses that define us. It is the urge to improve and grow for endeavors in the future.

--Lillian Murr, LSNews.org School News Editor

Edited: BP

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