Christiansburg Blue Demons earn second-place finish in VHSL Scholastic Bowl championships
The Scholastic Bowl team at Christiansburg High School recently placed second at the VHSL AA State Championships. The following article about the event was submitted by Ken Flint:
At the end, it was a step too far, even for a defending state champion.
Led by captain Matt Moschella, the Christiansburg High School Scholastic Bowl team rebounded from an early upset loss and fought its way through the consolation bracket of the VHSL AA State Championships. Seniors Chris Lee and Jiyun Chang, junior Matt Fleisher and sophomore Jordan Kuhn joined Moschella in winning three consecutive win-or-go-home matches to propel them back to the final round of the tournament.
There, they ran into a very familiar, very hot opponent—Cave Spring—which jumped to a 40-0 lead over the Blue Demons and slowly pulled away to record a 270-150 victory to claim the championship. Christiansburg finished the VHSL season at 21-5, with four of the losses to their fellow River Ridge District member.
Scholastic Bowl can be described as a Team Jeopardy contest, with four person-squads competing to answer questions on literature, social sciences, science, arts, and popular culture. VHSL matches consist of two 15 question tossup rounds separated by a 20 question directed-question round where team members can discuss possible answers. Questions are worth 10 points each.
Coach Anita Alderman’s squad started the double-elimination tournament in the same Region IV runnerup position from which they won the 2011 title. In their first match, they defeated Region I champion New Kent 260-170, setting up a second round match with Region II champion Western Albemarle.
There, Christiansburg took an 85-60 lead after the first tossup segment. The Warriors from Crozet rebounded, outscoring Christiansburg 110-50 in the second, directed segment to lead by 35 points going into the final 15 question tossup. Moschella and the Blue Demons charged back, and held a 210-200 lead with four questions to go. After the Warriors tied the match, the teams traded correct answers to enter the final question tied at 220. By converting on a geography question, Western Albemarle moved on and dropped Christiansburg into the consolation bracket.
In its first elimination match, the Blue Demons thumped Woodgrove (Loudon County) 285-140. Facing New Kent a second time, they sent the Trojans home, winning 245-150. That win set up a rematch against Western Albemarle in the consolation finals. Again Christiansburg grabbed an early lead, and this time made it stand up, winning impressively by a 265-200 score.
The finals match was the seventh in VHSL play this season between Christiansburg and Cave Spring, with the teams splitting the first six meetings. Together they have dominated AA play during the past two seasons with a combined 63-3 record against all other teams.
The Knights’ win broke two years of Montgomery County dominance in the AA Scholastic Bowl, with Christiansburg winning in 2011 and Blacksburg sweeping to victory in 2010.
While the VHSL season is over, the Christiansburg High School team will keep playing in spring tournaments in the region, with the goal of participating in the NAQT national tournament Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta.
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