The following article was a guest contribution by Anish Kodali, Carolyn Meng, Aum Mundhe, and Pedro Juan Orduz.
After two months of intense competition, the Prison Bowl mainsite league has concluded. Prison Bowl is a set written and edited yearly by Hunter College High School players. 22 teams (mostly from the Northeast) competed in an online “league” format, wherein one or two rounds were played each week. Thank you to Hunter College High School players for writing, organizing, and staffing this event.
Despite being without Aum Mundhe for nearly half of their prelim rounds, Ridgewood A finished prelims a strong 6–1, and won most of their playoff games at a relative cant on their way to winning the tournament. Senior Aum Mundhe and junior Aiden Dartley combined for over 120 points per game and slightly under four powers per game, despite Aum’s missing their more comfortable prelims wins and their covering roughly the same categories. Ridgewood’s team continued its evolution from a history-focused History Bowl crossover team to a regional contender with broad knowledge across the distribution.
East Brunswick B:
East Brunswick B (actually closer to East Brunswick A) finished the tournament in second place, with their only losses coming to eventual champions Ridgewood A in playoffs and in a final. They finished their prelim rounds undefeated, defeating strong teams in State College, Darien, and High Tech A along the way. Their all-senior attack was led by Joshua Yi (67.00 PPG), and he was supported by Aniket Das (21.25 PPG), Chinmay Sahasrabudhe (15.28 PPG), and Kavin Mohan (7.08 PPG). They edged out High Tech A for the second-highest points per bonus in the field, and showed strong coverage of science, literature, and history en route to a runner-up finish. Their neg count leaves much to be desired, but their steady improvement and impressive finishes leave them a force to be reckoned with.
Playing their full A team for the first time all year, Livingston A proved how potent they were with a third-place finish. Their balanced attack was led by seniors Rosa Xia (47.73 PPG) and Carolyn Meng (46.88 PPG) and sophomore Jeffrey Xu (45.00 PPG). Their wide range of coverage enabled them to get 20.75 PPB. Though they were ranked 52nd in the latest Groger Ranks, Rosa’s literature coverage and the generalism of Carolyn and Jeffrey helped them beat higher-ranked teams like High Tech A (28th) and Great Valley A (40th).
High Tech A (playing as Democritus A):
High Tech A finished fourth with a 8–3 record, losing only to the three teams above them. Literature/arts player Max Brodsky (63.00 PPG) and history/science player Deepak Gopalakrishnan (48.18 PPG) combined for 50 powers. Largely thanks to those two players, High Tech A led all playoff teams in powers and had 21.84 PPB. They came into the tournament as the highest-ranked team according to Groger Ranks, and their high power numbers, even in tough playoff games, demonstrated why they are not to be taken lightly.
Great Valley A:
Great Valley A, drafted in at the last minute to replace East Brunswick C, quickly proved themselves to be more than able replacements, going 6–1 in prelims — beating eventual winner Ridgewood A along the way — and coming a hair’s breadth from winning each of their playoff games. Junior Anish Kodali (73.64 PPG) did well, getting 32 powers over eleven rounds (most of them in literature). He was supported by his teammates, senior Rishi Raman (34.50 PPG), junior Nolan Greenways (21.11 PPG), and senior Anshu Nunemunthala (11.67 PPG).
High Tech B (playing as Democritus B):
High Tech B ended up 6th with a 6–5 record. Although their stats were lower than the other playoff teams, this team, led by Kevin Liu (39.73 PPG), Sidharth Srivastava (31.45 PPG), and Alexander Wu (25.50 PPG) showed some promise in history but struggled with literature and fine arts. Kevin is an up-and-coming player, showing promise with 10 powers over the course of the tournament.
Hotchkiss was perhaps unlucky to miss out on playoffs, but they comfortably won a competitive Consolation 1 bracket, finishing in seventh place with a 9–2 record. Cooper Roh (87.27 PPG) led all individuals with 37 powers, but the team showed that it was more than its ace: Jack McGlinn had 16 powers and 50 PPG beside Cooper, while Yihan Ding and Sachin Umashankar both scored over 10 PPG. While there were doubts about Hotchkiss’ ability to get tossups outside of history, this performance on a harder high school set showed their capacity to get questions all across the board.
East Brunswick A:
East Brunswick A finished 8th in the field with an 8–3 record. This team, led by the trio of Amitav Narayan (73.89 PPG), Tanuj Chandekar (55.71 PPG), and Simon Emanuel (40.23 PPG), put up the highest power numbers in the field — 61 — despite playing short-handed for much of the tournament. Although their PPB, 17.81, was low compared to their tossup conversion, this team has very strong history knowledge and enough knowledge in other categories to be competitive with any team.
Darien A, made up of the core of the Darien B team that came within one question of beating full Hunter A in 2019-20, made the top consolation bracket after going 3–3 in prelims. History player Alexander DelVecchio (29.47 PPG), science player Darryl Wang (29.00 PPG), and literature/arts player Iman Onbargi (25.29 PPG) made for a balanced team. They won against J. P. Stevens, getting 6 powers, but they were held back by a negging problem, as they had as many negs as they did powers. Regardless, Darien’s broad coverage makes them a threatening opponent, especially when considering their PPB increased during playoffs.
State College was led in scoring by literature and fine arts player Ananya Tadigadapa (52.50 PPG) and science player Darren Chen (31.11 PPG), with good contributions from Kyle Hynes (13.33 PPG) and Miriam Ruback (11.34 PPG). They finished 6–5 for 10th place and were powered by strong fine arts, literature, and science knowledge from Ananya and Darren.
J. P. Stevens A:
Led by seniors Allen Wang (50 PPG) and Joseph George (39.38 PPG), J. P. Stevens put in their strongest performance in years, and likely would’ve put in an even stronger one were it not for two unfortunate forfeits. Though many had assumed that J. P. Stevens’ program would be moribund after the departure of Karan Menon (class of 2019), Allen and Joseph, rounded out by Nilay Patel, Kushal Aluru, and Rajeev Atla, proved them wrong. They produced an upset win in prelims against T-4 Great Valley, and lost to Ridgewood A by only five points. Their strongest category was science, but they struggled on literature and fine arts.
Teterboro rounded out the top consolation bracket, going 3–3 in prelims before losing all of their consolation rounds. Teterboro was largely dependent on captain Nicholas Zhang, who scored 64.50 PPG but also had over 4 negs per game, leading the field in that statistic. His support was limited, as his three teammates combined for 15 PPG. Teterboro had 17.16 PPB, owing largely to Nicholas’ good-but-not-great coverage of every category.
Playing severely shorthanded, Millburn stumbled to a 1-6 record in the preliminary rounds in a difficult bracket before recovering in playoffs. Leading scorer Ben Hu had a remarkable 17 powers in just six games, and finished with 65.00 PPG, while Sachin Sahay proved to be a solid supporting player with 27.50 PPG. This team is very strong at science and has some solid coverage on history and religion, but they are lacking in their literature coverage.
Anish Kodali is a junior at Great Valley High School in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Carolyn Meng is a senior at Livingston High School in Livingston, New Jersey. Aum Mundhe is a senior at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Pedro Juan Orduz is a senior at Hunter College High School in New York, New York.