Rappahannock County head coach David Naser did not have an answer for the performance of his Scholastic Bowl team Monday night.
The Panthers led after the first two rounds against Clarke County, then . . .
“They kind of ran out of steam,” he said, after the Eagles stopped the Panthers, 180-165, by answering the final question correctly. “It was a close match, and it could have gone either way. We knew the answer, but they beat us to the buzzer.”
That loss, coupled with a 345-60 defeat to defending Group A state champion George Mason, leaves Rappahannock County with a 4-4 record in the Bull Run District. George Mason, Clarke County and Manassas Park occupy the first three spots in the standings.
Earlier in the evening, Rappahannock County went on a roll in the third period, outscoring Madison County, 110 to minus 5 and winning the match, 225-105. Freshman Danny Collins had 60 points in that third period.
“We had a great third round against Madison,” Collins added. “Everyone was contributing.”
The Panthers will have two weeks off before they face Manassas Park and Strasburg Dec. 6 at Strasburg.
The break could not come at a better time, Naser believes, because Rappahannock County could use the time to brush up on several subject areas.
“The team identified certain areas of academic weakness that we need to work on,” Naser said. “So we’ll spend some practices relearning some things.”
Senior captain Malcolm Perry said that there is a weakness in the team’s knowledge of music, particularly classical composers. Art history has been a problem, too. Collins pointed out difficulties in chemistry and physics.
Naser explained that some of his players have not had chemistry in a year. Neither chemistry nor physics is being offered this semester at Rappahannock County.
“Chemistry is not fresh in their minds, and that does hurt us,” he added. “We’ve got a couple of weeks to prepare them for the next matches.”
What bothered Perry and Naser Monday night was that at least two or three questions in different matches had the same correct answer. But the Panthers missed those questions.
“The math questions were ridiculous. Either they were too easy or way too hard, and you couldn’t solve them in 30 seconds,” Perry said. “Then, we didn’t remember the answer to two or three questions, and they came up again.”
Naser did praise the play of junior Clayton Hatcher, who correctly answered sports and social studies questions.
“Clayton really stepped up for us and got a couple of questions,” he said. “That’s going to give him some more confidence.”
Friday night, Nov. 19, the Panthers will hold a fundraising event at 6 p.m. They will be showing the DVDs from their performances the past two springs on the television game show, “It’s Academic.” A suggested donation of $5 for the purchase of the DVD would be appreciated.