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Back to 1998 MSSC Commentary

1998 MSSC Commentary: Round 5

The tension in the room is high and the noise level low. I think the fact that this event is soon to be decided is settling in. There are three undefeated teams.

Table 1 has Barron/Coughlin (Runkle red) at 4-0 +220 playing Crory/Reeves (Hawthorne Brook) at 4-0 +130.

Table 2 pits Moss/Silverman (Runkle blue) at 4-0 +179 against Au/Ochoa at 3-1 +202.

At table 3, Beauregard/Cini (Quabbin blue) at 3-1 +174 plays Kidder/Smith (Erving) at 3-1 +32.

At table 23, the word BEB was challenged. The play is unacceptable.

Faith Christian, in Gloucester, MA, made an interesting coaching decision. Micahel Nimon and his son, Micah, decided to split the teams. So, father coached Nimon/Chiccarelli (blue) and son coached Evans/Nimon (red).

As the round ended, Ben Lyons handed me some notes he'd taken from Table 1's game between Barron/Coughlin (Runkle red) and Crory/Reeves (Hawthorne Brook).

Hawthorne Brook (H) opened with FELT. Runkle red responded with TZARS, making FELTS.

H: SKA R: PREVOKE, making EF for 69 points. (score now H 31 to R 105)

H: PIG R: exchanged 7 tiles

H: SLIMED R: ZONE

H: DIME, making ZONED R: BALL

H: HEH, HI (score now R 136 to H 133) R: GRAB

H: JARS R: YO, creating JO

H: QUOTE (score now R 176, H 180, H taking its first lead) R: QAT

H: WINS, creating QUOTES R: NAY

H: NEAT, creating the phoney PREVOKEN R: ONE, creating OY

H: had RIUE left on their rack R: had VIUB left on their rack

Final score: H 222 to R 202

As it turns out, however, the championship board was on table 2, between Moss/Silverman (Runkle blue) and Au/Ochoa (Kiley red). Runkle blue won, 272-172, by playing SERVINg (creating the phoney EG) to the square above the triple and then the next turn coming down the triple lane with IMAgES. They also played QUA and BORED. Kiely red played pIGOT (not acceptable) down from the top triple.

Soon after this game ended, John D. Williams took to the podium and thanked everyone for attending. He then called teams and coaches to the big board one at a time, in alphabetical school name order. The teams were loudly appauded and after posing for photographs, presented with gift bags of games and MSSC T-shirts. Within minutes, cellophane was swirling around in the room as excited middle schoolers tore into and gazed upon their new 50th Edition SCRABBLE® boards. The losing team at each table was given the Deluxe SCRABBLE® game that had been used during the tournament.

Mark Morris, of Hasbro, told me that in 1860 Mr. Milton Bradley began the Milton Bradley company on Main Street in Springfield in the very block where the Civic Center sits. Mr. Bradley's credo was "learning can be a fun experience" and School SCRABBLE® shares the exact credo.

Within minutes of the awards ceremony, the students and coaches headed towards home. We disassembled the room and soon our host building, the Springfield Civic Center, was gearing up for another competition: that night's hockey game.


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