Knowledge Bowl Team thinking its way to regional championship

January 15, 2011 04:00 am

Melissa Wilson, Eileen Goodwin, Travis Dillon and Gage Northrup concentrate on question. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The Bruins’ most successful team is going for a fourth  consecutive regional championship, and little stands in its way.

The Brookings-Harbor High School Knowledge Bowl team continued to dominate the competition at home Wednesday at the Banana Belt Invitational, beating teams from Marshfield High School (Coos Bay) and  Oakland High School.

“The A team kinda demolished everyone,” B team Captain Megan Barries said.

Barries should know; the two Bruin squads met up for the first time in competition, and the A team won, 160-90, to improve the A team’s record to 12-1.

The results of the tournament came as no surprise to anyone, including the competition.

The B team, which previously had a perfect record, experienced their second loss, to the Marshfield Pirates A team in a close 100-115 match. The squad’s record now stands at 11-2.

A single question in Knowledge Bowl can swing a team’s score by 20 points.

Knowledge Bowl is an academic trivia competition similar in form to Jeopardy, played in teams of four. The Brookings-Harbor team has two squads of six players, and rotates players between rounds.

The final round of the day, between Brookings and Marshfield, came down to the buzzer, and Brookings squeaked out a 195-185 win after trailing the Pirates by 20 points.

“Marshfield was awesome, they gave us a run for our money,” Knowledge Bowl coach Robert Wilson said.

Barries, A team Captain Eileen Goodwin and Meredith Horel were named the players of the day by Wilson.

“Eileen continues to really stand out and Megan did very well,” he said. “Meredith also did very well, especially because she was sick today.”

The secret to the Bruin team’s ongoing success is a combination of pride in the team and a lack of other academic options in Brookings.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities to shine, especially in a rural area,” Goodwin said. “People who have the ability want to join.”

Once they begin to shine, the students like it.

“They don’t like to lose,” Wilson said. “They have a culture and tradition of performing well, and they don’t want it to end.”

The Marshfield team was not only impressed by their competition, but by the way their academic sport is supported at Brookings-Harbor.

Parents, former team members who have graduated, community members, teachers and students filled the room throughout the competition, leaving many spectators without seats.

“It’s a much bigger event here, Marshfield coach Scott Stockert said. “They filled up the venue.”

Marshfield Captain Robert Hancock said the very visible support for the Knowledge Bowl makes it a more rewarding experience.

A fourth team, from Reedsport High School, was unable to attend the tournament and pulled out on Tuesday.

The Brookings-Harbor Knowledge Bowl team will continue its run for the championship on Feb. 16 at Oakland.