BLACKSBURG, Va. — On Saturday, September 16 the Northmont Academic Challenge team traveled to Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia to compete in the Virginia Fall Kickoff Tournament.
Northmont’s 2017-2018 team features three of the four varsity spots occupied by freshmen in the wake of last year’s graduations, so not much was expected from the young Bolts early in the season. The top three teams in the tournament would qualify to the NAQT National Championship Tournament in Atlanta in May and the PACE Scholastic National Championship in Washington DC in June.
Northmont opened the tournament with a loss to eventual runner up McLean High School from Virginia, but rebounded to win its next four matches to qualify for the top six championship bracket. Those wins included a 425-115 win over defending West Virginia state champion George Washington High School and a 395-240 win over Thomas Jefferson Classical, one of the top teams from North Carolina.
In the championship bracket, Northmont again defeated George Washington (WV) and knocked off Blacksburg High School (VA) 405-110 to clinch a spot in the top four. A tough loss on the last question to eventual champion Cave Spring (VA) left the Bolts in third place for the day.
However, this third place finish means that the Bolts have now qualified to both national championship events. The Bolts were led in scoring by freshman captain Samantha Street, who scored 38 points per game. Senior Ryan Laing was right behind with 36 points per game, while freshmen Sean Scranton and Amara Nwanoro and sophomore Athena Dobles rounded out the Bolts scoring.
The team will compete locally the next few weeks at Miami Valley School (September 30), Ohio State (October 21) and Beavercreek (October 28). Sandwiched in between is a trip to White Cloud, Michigan on October 14. The high school team will also host a middle school invitational on October 7 to introduce younger students to the activity.
Any parent or student interested in learning more about Academic Challenge can contact coach David Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.