Local teams place 3rd, 5th at Quiz Bowl state finals

EAST LANSING — Heading into the Quiz Bowl state finals at Michigan State University last weekend there may have been some people who never heard of Manistee, but by the end

The Manistee Catholic Central Quiz Bowl team finished in third place in the Class C/D Division. Team members (front row, left to right) are Blake Johnson, Henry Hybza, Claire Wittlieff and Sam Madsen; (back row) Robert Jacobson, Joe Buswinka, Sean Daugherty and Max Papenfuss.

The Manistee Catholic Central Quiz Bowl team finished in third place in the Class C/D Division. Team members (front row, left to right) are Blake Johnson, Henry Hybza, Claire Wittlieff and Sam Madsen; (back row) Robert Jacobson, Joe Buswinka, Sean Daugherty and Max Papenfuss.

of the tournament most were well aware of the talented students who live here.

Manistee Catholic Central and Manistee High School both had runs in the double elimination tournament that impressed everyone. Manistee Catholic Central finished in third place out of 25 teams in the Class C/D division while Manistee High School finished in fifth place out of 22 teams in the Class B division.

Both team’s coaches couldn’t have been happier with the way things went on Friday and Saturday as their teams knocked off some pretty impressive schools.

Manistee Catholic Central coach Jason Allen and his team that consisted of Blake Johnson, Henry Hybza, Claire Wittlieff and Sam Madsen Robert Jacobson, Joe Buswinka, Sean Daugherty and Max Papenfuss drew a first round bye.

Allen said prior to the tournament that his team didn’t mind meeting the powerhouse schools.

“These kids just don’t seem to get intimidated by anyone,” said Allen.They did a terrific job in the state tournament. The team worked together, continually supporting one another and discussing best answers. I’m very proud of every member of the team. We were fortunate to have a great deal of parental and alumni support at the tournament.”

Allen said Max Pappenfuss also earned all state honors for his efforts at the tournament.

Before the Sabers swung into action they had the chance to watch who their first round opponent would be when Lawrence defeated Marcellus 230-145 to advance into the second round.

In what proved to be a good match for the Sabers, they came away with a 225-160 victory over Lawrence. That put them up against a good Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart team who was one of the favorites for the tournament.

The Manistee High School Quiz Bowl team finished in fifth place out of 22 teams at the Quiz Bowl State finals. Pictured (left to right) are team members Haley Harland, Haley Johnson, Maggie Blevins, Liam Quinn and Jack Holtgren.

The Manistee High School Quiz Bowl team finished in fifth place out of 22 teams at the Quiz Bowl State finals. Pictured (left to right) are team members Haley Harland, Haley Johnson, Maggie Blevins, Liam Quinn and Jack Holtgren.

Sacred Heart steamrolled through the Class C/D Division without suffering a loss to claim the state title. In their meeting with MCC, the Irish had to fight hard to claim a 235-180 victory over the Sabers.

That loss dropped the Sabers into the loser bracket of the double elimination tournament, but that was where they made an incredible charge in their next several matches. The Sabers seemed to gain strength with the passing of each match beginning with a 255-205 win over Napoleon.

Quincy was the next team to fall victim to the Saber charge when they were defeated 305-230 by the Sabers. MCC then rolled into the finals of the losers bracket with a 335-160 win over Whitmore.

The Sabers needed to just get past Kalamazoo Christian to earn the right to meet Sacred Heart for the second time in the championship round. However, Kalamazoo ended the Saber title hopes by defeating them 350-205.

Happiness was also to be found in the Manistee High School camp as the Chippewas made one of their best showings ever at a state Quiz Bowl finals. Coaches Kate Thomson and Polly Schlaff were thrilled at what their team accomplished during the weekend. Team members included Haley Harland, Haley Johnson, Maggie Blevins, Liam Quinn and Jack Holtgren.

“In the class B bracket we finished tying for fifth place, out of 22 teams,” said Schlaff. “We were so pleased with our team’s performance. They solidly won three matches and their last match against Western Catholic of Grand Rapids was extremely close.”

Schlaff added that the group really performed well against some good teams.

“We were proud they earned a place in the state competition and were so impressed at the caliber of their play,” she said. “They contended with the best and were clearly strong state competitors.”

Thomson agreed that the Chippewas made the Manistee contingent that followed them to the tournament very proud.

“Our students played and competed so well,” said Thomson. “They are a very strong team. Each member contributes and they genuinely celebrate each others’ personal successes. It is exciting and encouraging to watch them. This is a tremendously bright and kind group of young people.They made us and our community proud this weekend at MSU.”

The Chippewas began with a 155-130 win over Marysville in the opening round and then rolled over Hamilton with a 315-100 score in their next match. Tawas Area was the next team to fall to Manistee, losing 245-140.

At that point Manistee was in the semifinals of the winners bracket, but they were paired up with powerhouse Detroit Country Day, who became the eventual champions. Country Day swept through all six of their matches scoring more than 500 points in five of them. They defeated Manistee by a 615-40 score.

In their opening match of the loser’s bracket, the Chippewas went right down to the wire before they dropped a heartbreaking 230-215 decision to Grand Rapids West Catholic.

“We lost that match by only two questions,” said Schlaff.

Another Manistee County school that has had a good season to qualify for the Class C/D state finals were the Brethren Bobcats. Coach Julie Riggs and team members Taylor Cordes, Whitney Dean, Kylah Fischer, Charlee Schaefer and Brooklyn Cook battled hard, but dropped both of their matches.

Brethren was defeated 205-65 in the first round by Centreville. The Bobcats then dropped a 210-65 decision to Fulton in their second match.

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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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