By Robert Carter
ST. LOUIS, MO — The 2021 AG Teen Bible Quiz National Finals has come down to the last two rounds of play, and which team will win it all is still very much undecided.
The “J” team from Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois still stands at the top of the table in the Championship Division, as they have from the beginning of the tournament. But that team, comprised of the Powell family, has seen its lead shrink to just one game after they lost two rounds on Wednesday. Sitting right behind Naperville is the Ponraj family team from Deeper Life Church of Burien, Washington, who are alone in second place with a 14-3 record.
To take the title outright, Naperville needs to win out with victories over Bethel Church of San Jose, California and Cedar Park Church of Bothell, Washington. A loss in either match would allow Burien to stay in contention, but only if they prevail over both the Ramsey family team from Springfield, Missouri in Round 18 and Journey Life Church of Holt, Michigan in the last round.
Lurking in third place with a 13-4 record is Central Assembly from Houston, Pennsylvania. To have a chance at the championship, they could have to win out, Naperville would have to lose both its remaining games and Burien would have to lose at least one — and then Houston would face a playoff scenario.
Three teams are tied for fourth place with 12-5 records: the #1 team from Trinity Church in Cedar Hill, Texas; the Ramsey family; and the Brookbank family from Colorado Springs (Colo.) Assembly of God. The Brookbanks, then competing out of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, are the defending national champions after winning National Finals in 2019. (The tournament was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.)
In the Challenger Division, the title situation is even more complicated, in part because there are only 19 teams instead of the normal 20. That means each team has a bye round, and two of the top four teams in the standings have their byes on Thursday.
Atlanta Tamil Church of Norcross, Georgia is at the top of the leaderboard with 15 wins and two losses as Thursday play begins. They have their bye round right off the bat, so a victory over Sioux Falls, South Dakota in the last game of the day would ensure at least a tie for the division title. With 14 wins and two losses, Living Water Bible Church of San Diego, California needs victories over Germantown, Wisconsin and Mustang, Oklahoma to force a playoff. Right behind those teams is Lexington (Kentucky) First Assembly at 14-3 and Braeswood Assembly of Houston, Texas at 13-3. Those two teams play each other in Round 18, the Lexington has its bye round and Braeswood plays Rapid City, South Dakota.
In both divisions, a playoff match will only be held in the case of a tie for first place. All other ties will be broken by head-to-head results between the teams involved. Ties between three or more teams will be broken by total points.
Thursday’s team play will be play will be followed by the individual tournament.
Real-time results Thursday morning can be found here for the Championship Division: https://www.jbq.org/registration/epost.aspx?l=TBQ_Nationals&m=501532&d=2021__Preliminaries&t=M
For the Challenger Division, real-time results are at https://www.jbq.org/registration/epost.aspx?l=TBQ_Nationals&m=501533&d=2021__Preliminaries&t=M. (Please note that the “Ghost Team” that appears at the top of the standings is a filler for the bye-round situation and should be disregarded.)