The 2014-15 team from Lisgar Collegiate Institute was successful on multiple fronts, winning the 2015 Reach for the Top Nationals and the inaugural Canadian Varsity History Bowl Nationals, along with several strong performances in quizbowl.
After the graduation of their two leading scorers, it was widely expected that Lisgar would have a difficult season, particularly due to the strength of Colonel By (who retained their entire team). However, extensive efforts in studying over the summer meant that Lisgar came into the year strongly, becoming the first Canadian team to win a quizbowl tournament in the United States by going undefeated at Brainbusters Fall in Ithaca. Aidan Ryan scored more than 80 PPG, earning him recognition as one of the tournament's MVPs.
Having secured their qualifying spot for HSNCT, Lisgar split their A-team at the Ottawa Quizbowl Tournament, managing to go 2nd and 3rd (behind Colonel By) and thereby qualifying their B team as well. They followed this up with a strong showing at their own BELLOCO mirror; while they lost 2nd place as a result of a poor game against the second half of Colonel By's split A-team, their performance was enough to bring them into the top 200 on HSQBRank. Lisgar B placed 5th despite nearly being grailed by their A-team in the second round of the tournament.
At provincials, Lisgar comfortably cleared the field until facing Colonel By, who defeated them 410-270. The two teams then faced off in an advantaged final. Lisgar managed to keep the score close, even overtaking Colonel By late in the game. It was nearly a tie going into the final tossup, which Cameron Amini powered using his bizarrely deep knowledge of William Howard Taft. The final score of 390-360 was the closest game Colonel By had had in a local highschool tournament since the 2012-2013 season, and Lisgar's PPB of 22.5 was enough to send them into 72nd on the Morlan rankings (their final position at the end of the year was 77th). Lisgar B performed strongly and placed 4th behind Bell.
At HSNCT, Lisgar A struggled slightly after having played mostly Reach for the Top for several weeks straight. By round 8 they had a record of 5-3, but they lost their last two games and missed out on making the playoffs. Lisgar B, a team made up mostly of grade 10s, went 3-7. The teams placed 111th and 231st, respectively.
Reach for the Top
Lisgar went into the year with the goal of making Ontario playoffs, something they had failed to do in 2014. Their first Reach-style tournament was the Lisgar Invitational in January, played on a modified NAQT set. The prelims saw them enter a circle of death with visiting teams UTS and Kennebecasis, losing to the former and defeating the latter. They took second seed, however, by defeating Colonel By in their final prelim game (the first time they had done so in any format since the 2012-2013 season). The playoff games once again saw Lisgar and the visiting teams enter a circle of death; Lisgar's prelim record secured them 2nd place behind Colonel By.
With Colonel By not attending regionals, Lisgar dominated the prelims, being the only undefeated team and never winning a game by less than 180 points (other than against Lisgar B, who were acting as a placeholder for Holy Trinity and were themselves the second-highest scoring team). They once again went undefeated in the second preliminary stage, taking first seed for the playoffs. They won the final against Glebe 410-160, bringing the Ottawa Schoolreach League title back to Lisgar after two consecutive defeats in the final.
At provincials Lisgar once again swept the field in the preliminary rounds, making them the 2nd seed behind UTS (who outscored them by 70 points). They defeated UCC and London Central by reasonably comfortable margins in their first two playoff games, qualifying them for nationals and allowing them to play for the provincial title against Martingrove; the final ended with a 60-point margin in the latter's favour.
Going into nationals, Lisgar had only lost a single game (Ontario finals) in official Reach competition all year. The early stages of the tournament, however, saw them face four of the top teams in the first five rounds. This left Lisgar with one win, three close losses, and one heavy loss to UTS. They managed to win nearly all of their remaining games, ending the prelims with a 9-5 record and the 6th seed for playoffs. They began by facing Eric Hamber in the quarter finals; having maintained the lead throughout the game, Lisgar went into the 90-second lightning round up by 60 points. An incredible streak by Eric Hamber saw them pull Lisgar back (and briefly overtake them), resulting in a tied game. A tiebreaker was then read, and Colin Veevers's deep knowledge of lobster fishing allowed Lisgar to progress to the semi-final against UTS. This time Lisgar managed to seize the advantage, turning a tied game after round 2 into a 120-point lead after round 3, giving them more than enough of a buffer to survive the final round. The final saw Lisgar and Kennebecasis face off for the title, and again Lisgar managed to turn a close game into a clear victory towards the end, winning their second national title seven years after their first. Nicholas Sunderland won All-Star honours, following in the footsteps of Nevin Hotson.
At regionals, Lisgar A only lost to Colonel By, placing 2nd. Lisgar B was defeated by the A-team along with Colonel By and Bell, leaving them 4th out of 6. The Junior Varsity team defeated Colonel By and placed 1st. In the Bee, Benjamin Hillier-Weltman placed 4th in Varsity, while in Junior Varsity three Lisgar students made it to the 5-person final. Joshua Lane took 1st place, with Sheena Li (the leading scorer of the tournament) 2nd and Gabriel Sher 5th.
At nationals, Lisgar's Varsity team lost one prelim game against Bell, defeating all their other opponents (none of whom were Colonel By) and even shutting out Villa Maria. They got back at Bell in the semi-final before facing off with Colonel By's two-person team, whom they trailed for most of the game before dominating the final quarter and winning the title. The Junior Varsity team also made it to the final, losing out to Royal St. George's to place 2nd. In the Bee, Benjamin Hillier-Weltman once again placed fourth in Varsity, while in Junior Varsity Joshua Lane and Sheena Li (the top scorer of the tournament, like at regionals) made it to the first part of the final. Sheena Li then made it to the 2nd part of the final, where she ended up placing 3rd.
Captain: Aidan Ryan
Regular members: Nicholas Sunderland, Benjamin Hillier-Weltman, Alex Roeder
Captain (at HSNCT): Sheena Li
Regular members: Sam Karovitch, Colin Veevers, Gabriel Sher, Joshua Lane
Reach for the Top
Captain: Nicholas Sunderland
Regular members: Aidan Ryan, Alex Roeder, Colin Veevers
Captain: Benjamin Hillier-Weltman
Team members (nationals): Alex Roeder, Nicholas Sunderland, Sam Karovitch
Captain: Sheena Li
Team members (nationals): Joshua Lane, Patrick Leong, Gareth Adamson