MCC Quiz Bowl team wins West Michigan D League title

MANISTEE —  The Manistee Catholic Central Saber Quiz Bowl team captured the double elimination West Michigan D League tournament trophy on Monday without suffering a loss.

The Manistee Catholic Central Saber Quiz Bowl team won the West Michigan D League Tournament on Monday. Shown (left to right) are Robert Jacobson, Sam Madsen, Claire Wittlieff, Sean Dougherty, Blake Johnson, Henry Hybza, Max Papenfuss. Missing from the photo was Joseph Buswinka.

The Manistee Catholic Central Saber Quiz Bowl team won the West Michigan D League Tournament on Monday. Shown (left to right) are Robert Jacobson, Sam Madsen, Claire Wittlieff, Sean Dougherty, Blake Johnson, Henry Hybza, Max Papenfuss. Missing from the photo was Joseph Buswinka.

Coach Jason Allen’s Saber team took a 135-125 win over the Pentwater Falcons to win the championship. That match had a thrilling finish that went right down to the last question that the Sabers answered correctly to win the match.

“There were a lot of thrilling matches today,” said Allen. “The kids did a great job against some good teams in the West Michigan D League and Pentwater was very good. It was a tie at the end of regulation and it came down to that very last question.”

The Saber team consists of junior co-captains Sean Dougherty and Joseph Buswinka, senior Robert Jacobson, junior Max Papenfuss, sophomore Claire Wittlieff and freshmen Henry Hybza, Blake Johnson and Samuel Madsen.

Earlier this year the Sabers qualified for the state quiz bowl competition that will be held on April 20 and 21 at Michigan State University. One week later April 27 and 28 they will be at the National Academic Quiz Tournament (NAQT) National Quiz Bowl competition in Chicago.

Team member Max Papenfuss will also be competing in the NAQT Individual Championship in Chicago on March 14 and 15.

On Monday the Sabers breezed through the early rounds defeating  Big Rapids Crossroads 270-20, Mason County Eastern 300-70 and Pentwater 250-90 in the last match of the two undefeated teams.

The Brethren Bobcats dropped both of their matches in the competition on Monday. Coach Julie Riggs team was defeated by eventual runner-up Pentwater in the first round and in the second round they were turned back by Mason County Eastern.

Competing for Brethren were senior captain Taylor Cordes and juniors Charlee Schaefer, Jake Riggs’, Brooklyn Cook and Kylah Fischer.

“We have a young team this year and one of our seniors Whitney Dean came down with the flu and couldn’t come today,” said Riggs. “So we lost some senior power at the table today.  Kylah Fischer filled in and it was the first time. She never even practiced with the buzzer. It was a good experience for the kids and our principal Mr. (Jake) Veith was here today for our first match, which was nice.”

Riggs said they have plenty of competition coming up in February and April.

We have registered for a tournament in Traverse City on Feb. 17 as well as the MSU State tournament, April 20-21 and April 28-30 we will travel to Chicago to once again participate in the Small School Nationals,” said Riggs.

Another local school competing in the tournament was the Bear Lake Lakers under coach Lavon Jonson. Bear Lake is a young team that is gaining experience with the passing of each match.

They bowed out of the double elimination tournament after losing to Big Rapids Crossroads Academy 180-30 and to Mason County Eastern by a 165-70 score.

“What our kids need right now is more practice than anything else at this point and seeing what it is all about,” said Jonson. “We talked after the matches and if it weren’t for nerves they would have buzzed in a couple more times because they knew the answers, but that will come with time.”

Competing for the Bear Lake team was Curtis Kennedy, Hunter Bentley, Edward Fairchild, Megan Gydesen, Ella Smith and Ethan Groll.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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