Edison and Port Clinton handed Norwalk a tough loss Wednesday in the last match of the regular season in Firelands Challenge action. Final Score was Edison, 49, Port Clinton, 48, and Norwalk, 32.
The Truckers got off to a rocky start when they missed their second question, "Name the author of 'St. George and the Godfather' and 'Existential Errands.'" Joe Leffler said after the match that they'd already used Norman Mailer, so they didn't think it could be him again, though he was the most prolific of the eligible authors.
For the rest of the game, the Norwalk squad couldn't seem to catch a break. They lost their points in physical science answering the question: Electrons are shared equally by two atoms in what kind of bond? Alex Howe answered first "covalent," then "nonpolar." The answer the judges were looking for: "nonpolar covalent."
Howe said he wanted to appeal that answer in particular, "Covalent implies nonpolar." Later, in the music question, often a Trucker strong suit, Norwalk identified a piece as played by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, when it was in fact a recording from the tour that marked the first collaboration of Neil Young with the trio: Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
The blue-and-gold really fell behind in the high-point team choice round. They selected world geography and were asked what the scientific name for "greenhouse gases" is. Stephanie Rickel responded "CFCs," but the judges were looking for chlorofluorocarbons. They lost two points in the round, rather than gaining six.
The Truckers could never quite manage to pull themselves back into the game, despite a few spectacular plays. They took the last two points of the game, buzzing in before the question was finished, "What is the only U.S. state where you would find a palace..." James Gerken had the answer: Hawaii.
Team adviser Sue Jump said the other teams were a bit quicker on the buzzer. She said the team might also be feeling the pressure of playing Edison, the winningest team in the league since the 1981-1982 season.
Gerken said, "We just didn't know some stuff," though he also admitted, "we got some tough questions."
Though several appeals are still to be considered by the committee, the loss does not appear to have taken Norwalk out of the running for the third spot in the league championship game, Jeanne Lawrence, program coordinator said.
Regular season third-, fourth-, and fifth-place contenders will compete Feb. 7 at Firelands College for a chance to play in the league championship.
Norwalk entered the match in third overall, behind second-place Edison. Port Clinton trailed in eighth.