Delco Hi-Q teams from Haverford and Marple Newtown scored big wins at the semifinals recently, which means they’ll face Penncrest in the championship match 9:30a.m., Tuesday (March 12) at Penncrest High School.
Penncrest won the right to bypass the semifinals and host the final competition because it scored the most cumulative points after the regular season of three contests played by each team. The team will be seeking to best its second-place finishes in 2011 and 2012. Penncrest won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.
Marple Newtown last won the championship in 2008, while Haverford’s last title was in 1997.
The final faceoff will mark Penncrest’s 27th championship appearance since 1959 — a Delco Hi-Q record — and its seventh consecutive trip to the final contest.
Haverford will make its 19th appearance since 1955, when Hi-Q was a radio quiz competition. It will be Marple Newtown’s 17th appearance since 1966.
The winning team earns $3,000 for their school to benefit the student body, along with the right to display the Donna Zerby Trophy for a year. The trophy that revolves among top winning schools honors the late Hi-Q national director. The second- and third-place teams earn $2,500 and $2,000, respectively, for their schools.
Awards will be presented at the Partners in Learning Celebration April 18 at the Drexelbrook, when all Delco Hi-Q teams will be honored.
In the first semifinal contest, Strath Haven and Delaware County Christian School met at Haverford for what proved to be a real nail-biter. It all came down to the last question posed by quizmaster Tom McCarthy.
Haverford jumped to an early lead, but Delco Christian tied things up during the team choice category which occurs in the middle of the second half.
This half of the contest saw Strath Haven come alive, when it missed only two of the last regular questions. However, after the last regular category in world history, Haverford held a one-point lead over Delco Christian.
Delco Christian had a chance to capture the lead by buzzing in first with the correct answer to the final question, the math toss-up. But Strath Haven proved to be the spoiler by being first with the right answer. The home team wildly cheered the narrow win that earned the Fords a championship spot.
Final score: Haverford 43, Delco Christian 42, Strath Haven 32.
In the second semifinal, defending champions Garnet Valley hosted Springfield and Marple Newtown. All three teams got off on the right foot with the correct answer to their current events questions. But at the conclusion of the third category of questions, in biology, Marple Newtown surged ahead.
By nailing its questions and picking up bonus points on its opponents’ missed questions, Marple Newtown held the lead. At halftime, it had missed only one question to lead Garnet Valley by eight points and Springfield by 13.
In the second half, Springfield and Garnet Valley worked hard to put points on the scoreboard. Although Springfield struggled a bit, it remained competitive. But Marple Newtown could not be caught. To cap its strong showing, it buzzed in first with the correct answer to the final math toss-up question to take the win, upsetting the two higher ranked teams.
Final score: Marple Newtown 47, Garnet Valley 40, Springfield 25.
Delco Hi-Q is a partnership between the Delaware County Intermediate Unit and Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union. Winding down its 65th season, it’s the oldest academic quiz competition in the nation. Rick Durante from FMFCU is director, Karen Hassett is coordinator and Dave Bramble from the Intermediate Unit is production engineer. In addition to 21 participating public and non-public schools, support comes from FMFCU Foundation Inc., the primary corporate sponsor. Other sponsors are Kimberly-Clark Corp. and the Delaware County Daily Times. For school security reasons, anyone wishing to attend the championship contest should call Penncrest at 610-627-6200.