MCHS Scholar Bowl falls in EMO semifinals

By Theo Tate
Posted 3/14/24

The Montgomery County Scholar Bowl team got off to a blazing start in the Eastern Missouri Conference Scholar Bowl Tournament on March 5 in Bowling Green, winning all three of matches in …

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MCHS Scholar Bowl falls in EMO semifinals


The Montgomery County Scholar Bowl team got off to a blazing start in the Eastern Missouri Conference Scholar Bowl Tournament on March 5 in Bowling Green, winning all three of matches in preliminary-round play.

But that hot start wasn’t enough to help the Wildcats win their first EMO title in six years. MCHS was knocked out of the tournament semifinals for the second year in a row after losing to Clopton in a semifinal match.

The Wildcats came from behind to beat Clopton in their first preliminary-round match, winning 300-200. In the semifinals, the Hawks scored 90 points in toss-up questions en route to a 220-170 victory to advance to the championship match, which they lost to Silex.

Juniors Beckham Cothren, Bryson Nichols and Landon Pottebaum, sophomore Emily Clark and freshman Luke Eggen represented the Wildcats at the EMO tournament.

“I really like this team,” Pottebaum said. “We’re going to be around next year since none of us are graduating. I’m excited to see where we go. We’re a very diverse team. I think we can go pretty far if we put our minds into it.”

Pottebaum and Cothren earned all-conference honors for the second consecutive year. They were among the top eight scorers in preliminary play. Cothren finished in a four-way tie for fourth, while Pottebaum was in third with a 43-point average.

“I increased my average points per game,” Pottebaum said. “But it’s not about the accolades I win because I’d rather see team success over an individual award.”

The Wildcats drew the No. 10 seed in the tournament. After beating Clopton, Elsberry and Louisiana in preliminary play, MCHS was selected as the top seed in the semifinals.

MCHS came back from a 150-100 halftime deficit to beat Clopton in the preliminaries after scoring points in eight toss-up questions in the second half. Eggen, who substituted for Clark in the second half, got three of the toss-up questions correctly.

In the semifinals, Clopton led 110-70 at halftime. The Wildcats got within 170-150 after Pottebaum correctly answered a toss-up question in history and three bonus questions in geography, but that’s as close as they would get for the rest of the match.

“Clopton is similar to us,” Cothren said. “They’re a very good team. I knew they were going to be coming to get some revenge. Clopton wanted to go to the finals as badly as we did.”

In Scholar Bowl, any team that correctly answers a toss-up question automatically receives three bonus questions. There are 22 toss-up questions in a match.

Silex also finished 3-0 in preliminaries and earned the No. 2 seed. The Owls were led by Corbin Woodall, who was the top scorer in the tournament with an 113-point average.

“You need to be somebody like Corbin who knows just about everything to be a really good team,” Pottebaum said. “As a team, we played really well tonight.”

The Wildcats, who finished their conference season at 10-5, will now focus on turning in a strong showing in the Class 4, District 6 tournament in Hallsville, which is scheduled for April 13.

“We’re all pretty involved on the team, so we’re going to show up and see what we can do and see if we can make it to state or not,” Cothren said.

Also, Wellsville-Middletown finished 0-2 in the tournament, losing to 180-130 to Mark Twain and 310-40 to Silex. Representing the Tigers were Evan Bryson, Meagan Cripe, Shane Joles, Chase Mitchell and Jonathon Pike.


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