East Quiz Team Takes on Mason

The Lakota East Academic Quiz Team took on Mason this past month, ultimately falling to the Comets 45-64.


Nisso Sacha

Four members of the East Academic Quiz Team wait to buzz-in with their answers during a match against the Mason Comets.

Nisso Sacha


The Lakota East Academic Quiz Team lost 45-64 to an undefeated Mason on Feb. 23. The team stayed competitive during the first two rounds of the match but fell during the Lightning round, only scoring points on one of the 20 questions due to Mason’s fast buzz-ins. 

Mason was quick on the buzzer and buzzed in first on 17 of the 20 questions during the Lightning round, converting on 10 of the questions. Most buzz-ins were completed before the questions were done being asked.

“It seems like they are just really fast on the buzzer. Our main weakness is that we aren’t,” senior quiz team captain Sean Carlin says. “We have some confidence sometimes but we don’t have the confidence to really just hit the buzzer.”

That is something that quiz team head coach Brandon Bright says the team has been working on, saying that there had been an improvement on buzzing in the Lightning round during the match. Bright’s main strategy going into the match was to put students in rounds that they were knowledgeable about and felt comfortable in. 

“We have the kids look at stuff on their own, try and find things that they’re interested in, and try and learn a little bit about it,” Bright says.

Individuals on the team have different fortes, some having a stronger focus in mathematics, while others concentrate on subjects like German, literature, or Chinese dynasties.

“For example, we have Ryan Young, he’s in for the second half of Category and he’s very strong at American History and Geography,” says Carlin. “He sometimes sweeps those categories.”

East started out strong with an 8-5 lead thanks to two steals from Sean Huggins during the Category round. East finished the Category round trailing 15-18, however two sections of the round were skipped due to missing questions. Once the match was over, those sections were played. During the Alphabet round, East tied with Mason, both teams scoring 10 points, making the score 35-38. During the Lightning round, Mason pulled ahead with a commanding lead to win the match. 

Assistant coach Richard Schmaltz attributes Mason’s knowledge and quickness to their school’s more comprehensive curriculum. Mason’s Program of Studies includes 26 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and electives such as Fashion Design & Construction and Forensics. 

“Mason’s academic curriculum is just broader than ours. They have more things that they take so these kids are just getting more stuff that would go into this,” Schmaltz says. “They have six different sections of AP Euro, we have six kids taking AP Euro. And you can’t really fix that, other than changing the curriculum.”

East’s Quiz Team finished the season fifth in the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) and placed sixth in the GMC tournament.