Provided by Jennifer Goldsmith
In perhaps the greatest overtime victory in recent competition history, the Brookline quiz bowl team defeated Needham’s team 435-415 in overtime on WGBH’s High School Quiz Show.
Brookline’s starting team was composed by seniors Amir Siraj, Louis Sokolow, Micah Greenberg and Louie Goldsmith. Alternates included sophomores Margaux Kanamori and Emma Kahn. Brookline was coached by science teacher Tyler Wooley-Brown and math teacher Adam Fried.
The competition was split up into four rounds: The toss-up round, the head-to-head round, the category round and the lightning round.
In the toss-up round, host Billy Costa read questions worth 10 points while both teams buzzed in. In this round, there was no point deduction for an incorrect answer. Both teams answered questions ranging from topics about D-Day to Andrew Johnson to Robinson Crusoe to Sumo. At the the end of this round, Brookline maintained a slight edge over their Needham opponent 170-150.
The head-to-head round featured teams using only a single buzzer to answer questions. Each teammate was given a chance to answer a question against their corresponding opponent and then was sent to the back of the line. Questions covered James Madison, the ozone layer, photosynthesis, Thomas Edison among other topics. Brookline emerged with a 210-180 lead going into the category round.
The category round consisted of categories of questions with increasing point values. The categories were “Fast Forward” (questions about futuristic novels), “South of the Border” (questions about Mexico), “Night Fever” (questions about infectious diseases), “Suddenly Susan” (questions about women named Susan), “That 1770s Show” (questions about the 1770s) and “Seas the Day” (questions about the seas). Needham took the upperhand in this round, controlling a 355-335 lead entering the lightning round.
The lightning round included rapid fire questions as both teams scrambled to add to their point value. The electricity in the room magnified as the seconds ticked away. Both teams added to their totals, but as it turned out, the victor would not be decided in this final round. When time ran out, the teams were in a 415-415 dead heat.
In any competition, overtime is a time of apprehension, adrenaline, anxiety. The final question, a winner-take all, was given to both teams, whose hands itched to buzz in the winning answer: “Besides George Washington, who was the only United States president to run unopposed?” Goldsmith of Brookline buzzed in: “Monroe.”
And with that, Brookline beat Needham and cemented themselves as the winners of a classic.
The team will compete in the quarterfinals of the High School Quiz Show competition. Follow High School Quiz Show here.