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Burnsville High School Quiz Bowl team sets individual and team records, makes school history in virtual tournaments

Burnsville High School Quiz Bowl finished in a three-way tie for first place in the South Suburban Conference championship tournament that was held virtually on Feb. 9 and hosted by Burnsville High School. 

One team from six other schools in the conference, including Apple Valley, Eagan, Eastview, Prior Lake, Rosemount and Shakopee, was allowed to compete for the varsity championship. Finishing with a 5-1 record, Burnsville and two other schools finished in a three-way tie for first place. Since conference by-laws did not have a three-way tie breaker established, the conference declared all three schools co-champions.

Burnsville's team was composed of seniors Joe Schatz, Wyatt Isakson and Nate Trussell, and juniors Julian Banlao and Iris Gorton. In addition, the top five overall scorers from the varsity tournament were recognized. Joe Schatz earned third place at an average of just over 74 points per round. Wyatt Isakson claimed sixth place and Julian Banlao took ninth.

The Burnsville B team reigned supreme of the JV division. It was the only team with an undefeated record at 5-0. Burnsville B team included senior Luke Trussell, juniors Keegan McDevitt and Carter Stuart, and sophomore John Goettl. Burnsville had five of the top ten scorers overall – sophomore John Goettl placed second, sophomore Ava Drobnick placed fifth, senior Luke Trussell placed sixth, junior Carter Stuart placed ninth and freshman Matt Trussell placed 10th. Statistics are available on the Quiz Bowl booster club's website.

Additionally, on Thursday, Feb. 11, Burnsville participated in the Minnesota High School Quiz Bowl League Championship. The league had nearly 90 teams competing this year and consisted of a 12-match preliminary season, with the top 16 schools invited to compete for the championship.

Burnsville finished the preliminary season with an 11-1 record, losing to St. Thomas Academy.  Tying for the best season record in the state, Burnsville entered the playoffs with the third overall seed.  

Burnsville made it to the championship round after defeating Minnetonka, sixth-seeded Mounds Park Academy, second-seeded Mound View and first-seeded Wayzata. Wayzata rebounded from their loss and was able to hand Burnsville its first loss in the rematch, leading to a final, third matchup with the winner being champion. The match was close, but Wayzata came away with the win. Burnsville finished second overall, the highest league finish in school history. The team included seniors Joe Schatz, Wyatt Isakson and Nate Trussell, and juniors Julian Banlao and Iris Gorton. Julian finished as the night's fourth overall scorer in the playoffs.

On Saturday, Feb. 13, BHS participated in the Run for the Roses virtual tournament. The tournament had 64 teams competing, including teams from Alabama, New York, Arkansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Singapore!

Four teams from Burnsville participated, with Burnsville B, C and D teams each finishing with a record of 2-3, falling short of making the playoffs. However, Burnsville A went 10-0 to capture the tournament championship.  

The Burnsville A Team was again composed of seniors Joe Schatz, Wyatt Isakson and Nate Trussell, and juniors Julian Banlao and Iris Gorton. Julian paced the team in scoring, earning an award for placing fifth overall in scoring in the tournament. Senior Joe Schatz recorded a personal milestone, surpassing the 20,000 point mark in his quiz bowl career. He is the BHS career leader in points scored with nearly 8,000 more than Wyatt Isakson, the only two players in school history with over 10,000 points.

Quiz bowl is a game in which two teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge, including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, popular culture, sports and more. There are also tournaments for individual players rather than teams.

Complete preliminary and playoff statistics can be found on the National Academic Quiz Tournaments website. 

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