Avon Lake High School bested Elyria in this week’s High School Scholastic Games, propelled by a rally in a final round where Avon Lake earned 390 points to Elyria’s 230.
The Feb. 4 competition featured Hailey Dorsey, Adam Litzler and team captain Hunter Tharp representing Avon Lake.
Litzler was awarded the program’s weekly $50 “Standout Scholar” award, an honor he had previously earned on one of Avon Lake’s appearances on the program last year. This presentation honors the student who contributes the most to his or her team based on the observations of judges and scorekeepers.
After four rounds of very close scores, a rally by Avon Lake in the final round yielded the team a winning score.
Elyria was represented by Mary Scherer, Scott Behmer, and team captain David MacCluskie
The program features five rounds of competition, focusing on questions of general knowledge, history, science, literature and other academic disciplines. The first round, featuring questions on authors, geography and vocabulary, ended with a 60 to 40 point advantage for Avon Lake. In the usually challenging Current Events Round, Elyria narrowed Avon Lake’s lead to 10 points. When the buzzers came out in round three, giving the advantage to quicker responders, a collection of questions on chemical elements brought about a mid-program tie of 120 points for each team.
The fourth round confronts teams with sequences of clues of decreasing difficulty for each answer, allowing teams to score up to 50 points on an individual item.
Elyria’s Behmer earned that maximum score when he answered the War of 1812 to a clue that stated that indirect results of that conflict were the presidencies of Jackson and Harrison. Elyria’s MacCluskie added 40 points on clues about the invention of the handgun. In spite of Litzler scoring on two items in that round, Elyria had jumped to a 210 to 150 lead entering the final round.
In the final round, points are deducted for incorrect answers, and Elyria fell victim to its own quickness. It appeared that Avon Lake was first to buzz for answers they knew, and Elyria buzzed in too often with incorrect responses, giving their opponents an astounding 220-point advantage in that round, the longest of the competition.
The High School Scholastic Games of Lorain County, sponsored by the Educational Service Center of Lorain County with foundation support, will continue on most Monday evenings (6:05 p.m. to 7 p.m.) with two schools in competition each week.
The games are hosted by Jim Mehrling, a northeast Ohio broadcaster since the 1970s when he was Chief Announcer at WEOL. He spent 13 years at Cleveland’s WERE-AM and is now in his 18th year as production manager at Cleveland’s WCLV-FM.