AACS Review–within a week

Amidst the stress of trying to get my computer to link to BJU’s wireless connection (which, let me just say, Bob Jones could not have been any less helpful! L ) and finally deciding to just use the cell phone internet access, I tried to be attentive to the great quizzing that is the AACS National Championship.

As the quizzing started with the Final 3 teams, New York (one loss already) was faced with the undesirable task of competing against two teams which had no losses yet in the tournament. Early in the first quiz, Florida was dominating against both teams and held the early lead. Abby Carbonell led the Florida team with 5 quick correct answers. Florida slowed down after question 10 to hold onto their assured win. Faith Lofgren quizzed well early to keep New York on pace with Kentucky. While Autumn struggled early in the quiz, Aaron kept Kentucky in the quiz. Eventually, New York began to error frequently. This enabled Kentucky to come back and pass both New York and Florida for the high win. The errors and nerves proved to be too much for New York as they were eliminated in 3rd place. I was surprised by New York’s 2nd place finish last year, and I am surprised by their 3rd place finish this year. This team lost their top 2 quizzers from last year’s team and still managed to come out of nowhere at Nationals and post a solid finish.

Going into two-team quizzing, it was hard to tell who had the upper hand. Kentucky and Florida had not quizzed each other but once at Nationals. Neither team had a loss. While I know that the Bible Quiz world was aware of the powerful Wells duo at Kentucky, I don’t think anyone expected Praise Santos to quiz the way she did on Tuesday. In the first Florida quiz I covered on Tuesday, Abby only answered 2 and had 4 errors. Praise picked up the pace and quizzed out! When I saw that Florida had a solid #2, it was harder for me believe that Kentucky would win easily.

As the first quiz started, it was apparent that the National Championship would be won by the team which had the best effort from their #2-5 quizzers. Aaron and Abby were both quizzing like the stars that they are, leaving the quiz up to their teammates. Praise (not quizzing in the Finals for the first time, but quizzing with a lot of pressure on her for the first time) was the recipient of an early questionable call that seemed to bother her for the rest of the quiz. Already dealing with the frustration of error problems and the questionable calls, Praise lost a contact lens in the middle of the quiz. While Florida struggled to keep pace with Kentucky, Autumn Wells and Josh Voyles teamed with Aaron Wells to give Kentucky a dominating win in the first quiz. At one point in the second half of the quiz, Kentucky had answered 7 in a row. Truthfully, the final score doesn’t tell the magnitude of Kentucky’s win. They allowed Florida to answer first on many of the last questions as they knew their lead was insurmountable. When Florida missed Question 20, Josh Voyles took the rebound and quizzed out for Kentucky.

Immediately into the second quiz, it was apparent that Florida was able to shake off the craziness of the first quiz. I think “craziness” is definitely the right word for Florida’s first quiz. They had some questionable calls, a quizzer lost her contact, a quizzer’s light accidentally came off which is an error at nationals, and plenty more less than ideal problems (like errors) to face in that first quiz. With Florida getting out to an early 60-20 lead, Kentucky regrouped and got 5 of the next 6 questions to take a 120-80 lead after 10 questions. Although Autumn seemed to be somewhat bothered by nerves (who can blame her?), she seemed to think of the answer on the 10th second each time she stood. After Kentucky went up 160-100 through 13 questions, Florida called a timeout trailing by 3 questions. The timeout seemed to be effective as Praise and Abby got #14 and # 15 to pull within one question. But Kentucky turned to the one that got them to this point, and he didn’t let them down. Aaron Wells sandwiched one of his sister’s answers with two of his own and quizzed out on question 18 to secure the National Championship for Pleasant View Baptist of McQuady, Kentucky!

As Mr. Wells told me following the quiz, crow is much easier to eat while it is still worm. I admit it. I was wrong! I didn’t think that one team would be able to win SCQANIT and Nationals back to back. Kentucky did it. They did it with no losses. They won Nationals without even needing a middle win in any of their 3 team quizzes (this had only been done once before in the history of Nationals). They deserved to win. They deserve to have the #1 ranking, and they will. Their top quizzer deserves to have the #1 ranking, and he will. Their #2 quizzer deserves to be in the top 3, and she will. They deserved to be National Champions, and they are.

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