Pine River-Backus Knowledge Bowl teams take 10th and 32nd at regions
Season ends, but teams performed admirably
PINE RIVER — Pine River-Backus High School Knowledge Bowl teams ended their season with the two teams earning 10th and 32nd places at regions in a field of 37 teams.
Pine River-Backus 1 spokesperson Olivia Anderson and fellow juniors Cash Kangas and Trinity Osman and ninth-grader Morgan King battled up to 10th place while Pine River-Backus 2, an all ninth-grade team competing in the usually grades 10-12 regional competition, took 32nd under spokesperson Tate Bisted, Katelyn Burns, Rilian Goble, Helen Kerbel and LeeAnn Wynn.
Pine River-Backus 1 had a rough written round, scoring only 32 points, which put them 18 points out of first and starting at 29th place. They rose to the challenge and had a 19-point round, rising to 13th place against Royalton 2 (5) and Staples-Motley 2 (4).
In oral round 2 they faced Pierz 2 and Browerville 1 and again won the room with 13 points to 8 and 6.
Advancing to 12th place, they took on Aitkin 1 and Sebeka 1 in oral round 3. Again, 13 points was a good score, though it only tied Aitkin and Sebeka scored 9.
In oral round 4, Pine River-Backus found itself in ninth place facing Aitkin 1 yet again and Pequot Lakes 2. Here, their winning streak ended with Pequot Lakes scoring 14 to Pine River-Backus's 10 and Aitkin getting 8.
With only a .5 boost from strength of schedule scoring, Pine River-Backus ended the day in 10th place behind both Sebeka 1 and Aitkin 1, who despite beating in head to head competitions have higher strength of schedule points.
Pine River-Backus was the only team in the top 11 to have a written round score below 41, so the focus on the future will be the written round.
Pine River-Backus 2 began the day a single point behind Pine River-Backus 1 with their written round score of 31 and faced Verndale 2 and Pillager 1 in oral round 1.
It was a rough round with 7 points going to Verndale, 5 to Pillager and Pine River-Backus earning 4. Dropping to 36th place, Pine River-Backus faced only one opponent, Menagha 2, whom they beat 11 to 6.
This moved them up to 34th where they still faced only a single opponent, this time Royalton 2. In a tight fought battle, Royalton emerged victorious with 9 to Pine River-Backus's 7.
This score still enabled Pine River-Backus to advance to 32nd place where they faced Sebeka 2 and Royalton 2 again.
Royalton had a solid round scoring 14, while Pine River-Backus's 8 was enough to outpace Sebeka's 6 and leave Pine River-Backus in 32nd place at the end.
Facing teams of much older students, Pine River-Backus 2 was not expecting a high position but many schools commented that for ninth-graders to even compete at this level was impressive and with time they will be clear contenders.
Pine River-Backus Knowledge Bowl and speech teams will hold a showcase of their team members from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, March 16, in the high school gym. Anyone is welcome to attend.
Isaak Anderson is a teacher at Pine River-Backus High School and coach of the Pine River-Backus Knowledge Bowl teams.