Manistee Catholic Central wins West Michigan D Quiz Bowl tournament

Manistee Catholic Central captured the West Michigan D League Quiz Bowl championship on Thursday. Team members show (left to right) Joseph Buswinka, Josh Fleszar, Elizabeth Slivka, Anna Buswinka, Mia Hogan, Joseph Slivka, Cam Toczynski, and Max Papenfuss.

Manistee Catholic Central captured the West Michigan D League Quiz Bowl championship on Thursday. Team members show (left to right) Joseph Buswinka, Josh Fleszar, Elizabeth Slivka, Anna Buswinka, Mia Hogan, Joseph Slivka, Cam Toczynski, and Max Papenfuss.

BRETHREN — Some of the best young minds in the West Michigan D League squared off Thursday at Brethren High School for the 2016 Quiz Bowl Conference championship.

Teams from Brethren, Onekama Consolidated, Bear Lake, Manistee Catholic Central, Mason County Eastern, Walkerville, Pentwater and Big Rapids Crossroads Academy schools took part in a double-elimination tournament.

Six hours and many competitive matches later it was the Manistee Catholic Central Sabers who emerged with the first place trophy. Coach Jason Allen was unable to attend the event, but filling in for him was Tamara Buswinka and Carol Slivka.

“The kids did phenomenal as they had a little bit of a rocky start, but recovered well,” said Buswinka. “The kids had to get used to the flow of the competition, but once the kids caught on they just clipped along answering those questions.”

Buswinka said it was a real team effort that helped the Sabers win the championship.

“The kids really know each of their strengths and weaknesses and team captain Joseph Slivka really knows how to substitute players in really well to make sure they keep moving forward,” she said. “They are a great group of kids and are very bright.”

Members of the Saber team are Joseph Slivka, Elizabeth Slivka, Joseph Buswinka, Anna Buswinka, Cam Toczynski, Max Papenfuss, Mia Hogan and Josh Fleszar.

The Sabers swept through the tournament without suffering a loss. They opened with a win over Mason County Eastern and followed that up with a hard fought win over the Onekama Portagers. A real challenge came up when she squeezed by the defending champion Pentwater Falcons by a 175-165 score.

That set up the finals where Manistee Catholic Central defeated Onekama by a 170-80 score.

The Onekama Portagers coached by Jennifer Bromley also had a good run in the tournament. Portager team members are Spencer Petroskey, Trever Fink, Kiara Bromley, Michelle Haske, Kyle Peterson, Jarrod Berard, Raelynn Danks and Benjamin Johnson.

The Onekama Consolidated Schools Quiz Bowl team finished in second place at the West Michigan D League tournament. The team was coached by Jennifer Bromley and team members included Spencer Petroskey, Trever Fink, Kiara Bromley, Michelle Haske, Kyle Peterson, Jarrod Berard, Raelynn Danks and Benjamin Johnson.

The Onekama Consolidated Schools Quiz Bowl team finished in second place at the West Michigan D League tournament. The team was coached by Jennifer Bromley and team members included Spencer Petroskey, Trever Fink, Kiara Bromley, Michelle Haske, Kyle Peterson, Jarrod Berard, Raelynn Danks and Benjamin Johnson.

Onekama defeated Walkerville in the first round and then came back with some very strong win in the loser’s bracket by turning back Bear Lake (350-105) and Custer (310-55). They then moved into the championship round by defeating a good Pentwater team 210-165.

Bromley said she is proud of her team and the strong effort they put in during the competition. All the members of her team contributed during the competition.

“I was very proud of their efforts and they did well all day long,” said Bromley. “The only team we lost to all day as MCC. I would like to single out Spencer Petroskey and Trever Fink who are both seniors and am sad that this is their last Quiz Bowl competition. It has been a lot of fun having them on the team and coaching them.”

Brethren Bobcat coach Julie Riggs said many of the teams, like her own, brought large rosters to the tournament. She said it was the first time Brethren has hosted the tournament since 2009, but that the popularity in Quiz Bowl is strong among the conference teams.

“All the teams brought lots of kids today,” said Riggs. “You can only put four players at a table, but many of the schools brought 18 to 20 kids today. So it is very nice to see that kind of interest. There are five new coaches in the league this year so, that helps  keep the interest up as well.”

Riggs said Quiz Bowl also brings another level of students into an activity that might not participate in sports or things of that nature.

“It’s a lot of fun for the kids,” she said.

Brethren defeated Big Rapids Crossroads Academy in their opening round (150-80) before suffering their first loss to Pentwater by 220-70 score. The tournament road then came to an end for the Bobcats when they lost 180-135 to Mason County Eastern.

Bobcat team members are John Schaefer, Jordan Cook, Mary Voorhees, Sarah Wayward, Mackenzie Voorhees, Charlee Schaefer, Hunter Wojciechowski, Mike Potter, Josh Dekooekkoek, Jacob Cook, Whitney Dean, Taylor Cordes and Falon Luzier.

Bear Lake was the last Manistee County school to take part in the tournament. The Lakers started slow with a loss in the first round to Pentwater, but bounced back to soundly defeat Big Rapids Crossroads Academy in the first game of the loser’s bracket 195-55.  However, bowed out against Onekama in the next match.

Coach Lavon Jonson’s team included Johnathon Wertheimer, Jozsias Szarka, Caleb Szarka, Todd Merrill, Avery Mullet and Ethan Skagg.

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