The Pine River-Backus Knowledge Bowl team Fire Nation ended the day in 19th place after facing some of the toughest competition of the year Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Lucky Lindy Invitational in Little Falls.
Seniors Ryan Sweeny, Colton Dabrowski, Amanda Fleming and Chantelle Peterson, sophomore Kade Renwick and freshman Josh Sweeny faced teams from Chaska, Chanhassen, Albany, Cloquet, Pierz, Little Falls and defending Class A state champion Glencoe Silver-Lake.
The written round showed solid improvement over earlier meets with a score of 36 for PR-B. However, average scores at the invitational were much higher, with first place scoring 54 out of 60, so PR-B’s strong showing placed only 19th going into oral round 1.
Because a total of 22 teams were registered, both bottom rooms had only two teams competing rather than the usual three.
Oral round 1 saw Albany’s I don’t Gnome team come out on top in head-to-head competition, 19-6. However, causing Fire to drop to 20th place, where the team faced Little Falls NO. This round also saw a loss in the room, but a score increase to 9 vs. NO’s 15.
Movement in other rooms returned Fire Nation to 19th place to face Little Falls Build Team. Oral round 3 saw the best performance of the day and a victory for PR-B, 10-9, and advancement to 18th place.
Oral round 4 saw a three-way competition against a pair of Cloquet teams, Tropical Storm and S-J. This round was the most difficult, with Fire Nation not scoring points until question No. 34 and ending the round with 2 points to 11 and 9.
This caused a drop to 19th place, where the team had started the day.