For the first time in school history, University High School’s Academic Team has won the conference championship and the conference tournament for the White River Academic League.
The White River Academic League Tournament was Saturday, Feb. 11 at Zionsville High School. The Trailblazers were one of 16 teams to compete. The Trailblazers were undefeated (4-0) in their morning matches to earn the #1 seed going into the single-elimination tournament in the afternoon.
The Trailblazers faced Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities in the quarterfinals, Zionsville High School in the semifinals, and finally Center Grove High School in the finals. The Trailblazers defeated the Trojans 62-47 to win the tournament.
Karl Wang had an especially notable performance against Lapel High School, where he scored 37 of the team’s 91 points. This is a new record for a single-match individual performance, beating the previous record holder Jack Paganelli’s all-time best of 35 points in a match.
The team’s record for the season now stands at 23-0, with a division championship, the league scoring title, the regular season championship, the championship of the Brownsburg Tournament, and now the WRAL Tournament Championship. Next up is the state tournament on Saturday, March 11.
Updated Feb. 14, 2023
University Academic Team Wins Conference Championship
The University High School Academic Team has won its second straight championship of the White River Academic League! This is the second year in a row the Trailblazers have claimed this title, and the third time in team history!
The Trailblazers went into the four-team competition with the #1 seed, followed by North Central at #2, Center Grove at #3, and Fishers at #4.
In the semifinals, the Trailblazers’ varsity team (senior Karl Wang, sophomore Mikey Caldwell, sophomore Lukas Fiur, junior Marie Coutant, and junior Steven Zhang) took on the Fishers Tigers. In Round One, after trading scores on the two questions, the Blazers reeled off scores on questions #3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 to take a 14-2 lead. While the Tigers scored on a couple more questions, the Blazers finished the round strong, taking 5 of the final 6 questions. Score at the end of the round: UHS 24, Fishers 6. Highlight of the round: Karl scoring 12 points!
University effectively put the match away in Round Two. The Blazers scored on five toss-up questions and four bonus questions: 18 points to just 4 scored by Fishers. Score after the second round: UHS 42, Fishers 10.
In Round Three, the Trailblazers recovered from a poor first category (“Beatles”) to nearly sweep (9 points) their second category (“European Cuisine”). Fishers scored 7 points on its first category, but none on its second. Score after third round: UHS 58, Fishers 19.
Round Four was relatively quiet. UHS scored 15 in the round to Fishers’s 3. Highlight of the round: Karl and Marie’s collective arts knowledge about Conrad’s Lord Jim, Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and Shelley’s Ozymandias. Wow!
Final score: UHS 73, Fishers 22.
In the championship match, the Trailblazers faced #3 seed Center Grove. In the first round, UHS scored 24 to Center Grove’s 8. Mikey led all scorers in the first round, with 10 points.
The second round went in favor of the Trailblazers, but in an odd way. Two of the toss-up questions were not answered correctly by either side. UHS scored on three of the toss-ups, which was matched by Center Grove scoring on the remaining three. The difference was in the bonus questions. University scored on all three of its bonus questions, while Center Grove got only one of its – and University picked up the other two on the rebound. Score at the end of the second round: UHS 40, Center Grove 16.
The third round was close. University scored 7 on its first category (CG 1 rebound), while Center Grove scored 7 on its first category (UHS 3 rebound). University scored 7 on its second, to Center Grove’s 6. Highlight of the round: after passing on six (!!) of the ten questions in its second category, UHS was able to regroup and come back around to the passed questions and score on three of them the second time around. Score at the end of the third round: UHS 57, Center Grove 30.
Center Grove was far behind, but not without fight left in them. They came right out of the gate in the fourth round, scoring on the first two questions. Karl scored on #3; Center Grove on #4. Lukas, Karl, and Lukas (again) scored on each of the next three questions, but then Center Grove roared right back and scored on the next three questions in a row … back and forth action! The highlight of the round came when Steven scored on question #11. That made the score 72 – 48. With only six more questions remaining, there was not enough possible points for Center Grove to win. Steven scored the game winner!
Final score: UHS 75, Center Grove 51.
The team now has a total record for the season of 16 wins and 0 losses. The win streak (going back to last season) for the team is now 18 matches in a row, and, stretching over this season and the preceding two, the team has won 46 of the last 47 matches.
The next interscholastic competition is the WRAL Tournament on Saturday, February 11 at Zionsville High School.