Bells Take Bay Area Quiz Kid 2009 Championship

Posted: March 2, 2009

Chris Fleitas
This Sunday, the #7 seeded Bellarmine Quiz Kids (seniors Garrett Kingman, James Hill III, and Nitin Egbert), having defeated #2 seed Crystal Springs handily in their quarterfinal match back in January, took down the defending champs and #1 seed San Mateo in the semis and #3 seed Harker to win the 10th Annual Bay Area Quiz Kids tournament.

The long-awaited rematch with San Mateo, who handed the team a defeat in a ridiculously high-scoring November match, was exciting, albeit a little sloppy, with both teams, while still strong, missing more questions than usual. The Bells started strong taking a small lead of 140-120 at the midway point. This was San Mateo’s cue to stage the sort of furious comeback that we’ve come to expect from them, and they tried. Nevertheless, the Bells were just a little bit faster and a little bit more accurate in the Extreme Lightning Round and, in a significant upset, won going away, 380-320.

Having dropped the top seed and clear favorite, the Bells might have thought the heavy lifting was behind them. Harker defeated Gunn in the other semifinal match by an astonishing margin, racking up over 500 points in the round, something only San Mateo had previously done. While the Bells had defeated Harker at other tournaments earlier in the year, this was as sharp, as quick, and as hungry as we’d ever seen our rivals.

The championship match was quite the opposite of the semi-finals. Harker served notice that they meant business, setting the tone for the match by answering the first two Lightning questions after about four words apiece, and the Bells faithful had a sinking feeling. But Garrett showed the Bells were capable of that same speed, ripping off three in a row while the Eagles gnashed their teeth and watch their lead dwindle and vanish. Inspired by their captain’s gutsy response, James and Nitin joined in the act, amassing a 190-140 lead at the midpoint that they would not relinquish. Final score: 370-280.

The Bells had an outstanding run in this year’s tournament, and all involved were pleasantly surprised that we were able to take the title in only our second year of participation against well-established powerhouses. As the first place prize-winners, the team (and their coach) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica this July, compliments of ACIS.

The matches will air Saturday, March 14th and March 28th, 2 pm, Channel 4 KRON. I believe they will also be posted to the web at

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