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MacIntro II Recap – Stepping Up to the Buzzer

As teams unpack their buzzers and open up their brains, quizbowl season has begun once again. Early tournaments spring up and offer a fun and competitive environment for highschoolers to see what they have learned and maybe to compare themselves to the competition.

McMaster Introductory Tournament (MacIntro) II

The Scene

As teams slowly made their way up the stairs and onto the second floor of the McMaster University Student Centre, a sense of suspense and intrigue had seemed to permeate the hearts and minds of these quizbowlers that had ventured quite a bit to come here. MacIntro had become larger and appeared more important; the field had almost doubled (from 5 to 9) compared to the previous year, with older teams such as East Scarborough and Waterloo CI, as well newer teams such as Central Richmond Hill and White Oaks joining the fray (there was even a mysterious team from Upstate New York).

As the games started, most teams held their own, but soon a couple teams broke free from the rest. After six games and a bye, Westmount A led the field at 6-0, with Central RH A and East Scarborough nipping at their heels on 5-1 each.

East Scarborough, showing us all how scary they can really be.

Central RH and East Scarborough faced off in round 8, and it seemed like a close game before Scarborough’s top player Fayaz got set back with a few negs. That helped CRH’s players such as Sherry and Kelvin to capitalize and put the game well out of reach.

Central Richmond Hill won their next round to get up to 7-1. East Scarborough lost their last round to the masked Americans, falling to 5-3. Westmount A, led by star player Tim H., was undefeated at 8-0 and got to play an advantaged final against Central RH.

It seemed like a simple enough task, Westmount must have been thinking; simply win a match and win the tournament. But then in the first final, Sherry started off strong and got 7 tossups for Richmond Hill. Westmount were stunned, 380 to 100, and looked devastated. A second final would be winner-take-all for the tournament.

Central RH coming to support their A team.

The teams parried back and forth, with a few tossups going to either side. Tim got 8 tossups for Westmount, but Richmond Hill’s team was consistent and had better bonus conversion. The game was essentially tied before the final tossup.

The question sounded mathematical, and Kelvin buzzed in early with an answer for Richmond Hill. The room went quiet for a moment as the moderator looked down. He then uttered a minus-five as Central RH looked on, despondent, before Westmount waited for the question to finish and answered correctly. After completing their bonuses, Westmount walked away as champions.

Westmount celebrating after winning a tournament.

An Overview

Overall, the teams had fun and people enjoyed the tournament. Except for a courageous C team, everyone averaged over 230 points-per-game and 17 points-per-bonus.

Despite their tough loss in the finals, CRH took it in stride — Sherry, Kelvin, and Daniel had all played their hearts out and each had scored more than 25 points per game. Joel from White Oaks and Nathan from Waterloo CI were both newcomers who finished with high tossup scores. Fayaz led Scarborough to a comfortable third place position and with 57.5 PPG. While Tim from Westmount was the top scorer with over 70 points per game, their less experienced B team also did well, with Andy leading that team with 50 PPG. F Society played well on the Canadian question sets — Vivek and Elliot both scored over 50 points per game while representing their New York school.

The scoring numbers at this site were quite strong, even compared to the mighty Lisgar teams at the Ottawa site. Here are the bonus conversions for all teams that played these questions:

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