SCQC Recap

The Lost Boys sealed the Southern California Quidditch Conference Fall Division I title with a victory over University of California, Los Angeles in the final.

Editor’s Note: Chris Seto, the IQA’s West correspondent, is a member of the Lost Boys. Due to email issues, the publication was delayed. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

After rolling over its opposition throughout the day, the Lost Boys capped a dominant showing with a 170* - 30 victory over University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the final of the Southern California Quidditch Conference (SCQC) Fall Division I Tournament. Not only were the champions out of snitch range in every game, but they also led each opponent by no fewer than 110 points at the time of the snitch catch. These lopsided results, though, belie the exciting, close nature of the rest of the day’s contests.

Pool One



Point Differential

Lost Boys



University of California, Los Angeles



Long Beach Funky Quaffles (LBFQ)



University of California, Berkeley (Cal)



UCLA 240* - 50 LBFQ
Lost Boys 230* - 0 Cal
UCLA 140 - 70* Cal
Lost Boys 180* - 0 LBFQ
Lost Boys 200* - 50 UCLA
LBFQ 100* - 80 Cal

A full record of scores and statistics can be accessed . Non-conference team Cal’s games were recorded, but did not count toward conference standings or leaderboards.

Pool one winner Lost Boys’ blowouts of Long Beach and Cal were not unexpected. What was surprising, however, was its margin of victory over World Cup VI finalist UCLA. The community team hardly wasted a possession, scoring at will with purposeful runs and measured passes after forcing turnovers on its own end. Its beaters rarely gave up bludger control and never for an extended period. Iron-clad leads in each game afforded the Lost Boys the luxury of trying different players at seeker, where debutants Austin Izquierdo and Jake Tieman made their first snatches and Dan Hanson doubled his career total.


Having only held two weeks of practices prior to the tournament, UCLA brought no freshmen recruits, instead opting to fill its roster with players in its program who did not make last year’s tournament team. Consequently, veterans Adam Richardson, Zach Luce, Michael Binger and Corey Osto made the biggest scoring impact, while Brandon Scapa demonstrated his utility by bringing tactical nous to the beater position. Fellow bludger-wielders Ryan Donahue and Sarah Simko also impressed alongside decent showings from newcomers Aaron Fish and Andrea Chau.

Long Beach Funky Quaffles had to endure hidings by two regional giants to start the day but were rewarded for gameness with a hard-fought maiden win over Cal. Evident from the opening game onward was intelligent movement and crisp passing, although weak finishing and difficulty driving through physical defense let Long Beach down at times. LBFQ’s beaters, primarily led by Michael Aguilera, held their fair share of bludger control against Cal and even UCLA, but their inexperience and lack of focus on defense cost the team goal after goal. In a highly-charged matchup against Cal, with both teams playing for the privilege of not meeting University of Southern California (USC) in the quarterfinals, Long Beach fell behind early, but rallied behind goals by Anthony Hawkins, Alex Richardson, Mike Battles, Alex Pisaño and Caleb White. Trailing by 10 points with the snitch on pitch, usual keeper Kyle Epsteen put on the yellow headband and grabbed a historic match-winner for the Funky Quaffles.


Much like Long Beach, Cal had a rough first couple games in pool play. Unfortunately, it came up short in its most winnable match of the day after leading by thirty points. Chaser Sam Harris was the team’s top scorer, though the distinction of that title is undermined by Cal’s overall offensive impotence. Salvador Sánchez’s switch from keeper to beater was as unexpected as it was perplexing, and the gamble didn’t seem to pay off. While his controlled aggression and physicality added a dimension to Cal’s beating line, his inexperience in the role made him ineffective against the stronger beaters of UCLA and the Lost Boys, though not for a lack of effort. Sánchez competed favorably with Long Beach’s beaters, but he likely would have made more of an impact as a keeper given his pre-existing talents. As it is, Cal’s snitch-range loss to the new kids on the block was a major blow that doomed them to near-certain elimination in the quarterfinals.

Pool Two



Point Differential

University of Southern California



Santa Barbara Blacktips



Silicon Valley Skrewts



Riverside Quidditch



 USC 260* - 130 Santa Barbara
Skrewts 110* - 50 Riverside
USC 100^ - 90* Skrewts
Santa Barbara 120* - 70 Riverside
USC 170* - 50 Riverside
Santa Barbara 150* - 70 Skrewts

As expected, USC topped pool two with victories over Santa Barbara, Skrewts and Riverside. It did not all go according to plan for the defending SCQC champions, though. Despite putting up 260 points on the Blacktips in a comfortable win, the team showed a defensive vulnerability in giving up 13 goals to a practically brand new squad. The usual suspects–Ryan Parsons, David Demarest, August Lührs and Tony Likovich–showed up on the scoresheet but were accompanied by some additional talent both new and old. Seeker Jack Cannice scored five goals on the day in addition to pulling a snitch, and freshman Eddie Hays doubled that tally. USC showed an early commitment to blooding its new recruits, a strategy that should yield long-term benefits but caused the offense to look disjointed and resulted in an overtime scare against the Skrewts. Despite the absence of keeper Harrison James, the Trojans’ firepower should have seen them secure a comfortable lead before conceding an unfortunate snitch grab and two unanswered overtime goals. Both Julia Thomas and Sarah Sherman looked solid next to the impressive Nick Metzler, who played a majority of available minutes due to Nicky Guangorena’s health concerns.

Santa Barbara’s opening loss to USC portended a strong offensive performance throughout the tournament. At the heart of the scoring were newcomers Ren Bettendorf, Ben Harding and Justin Fernandez. Bettendorf and Harding displayed a sorely needed ability to drive to the hoops, while Fernandez’s speed and scrappy play made him a threat at chaser and seeker, where he made two snatches. All three rookies were among the top ten players in points per game at the tournament. Combined with keeper Chris Lock’s solid offensive showing, the Blacktips’ offense proved too much for rivals Riverside and, surprisingly, the Skrewts, on the way to taking second place in the pool. If Brian Vampola can rein in his impulsive tendencies and develop his fellow beaters, Santa Barbara may prove to be one of the stronger teams in the region.

Missing three of its most important quaffle players in Greg Weber, Kevin Oelze and Craig Kaplan, the Silicon Valley Skrewts were expected to struggle to score and rely on beaters Kyrie Timbrook and Willis Miles to stay in matches. While the beating corps’ performance was not as strong as anticipated, the offensive output from role players such as Jason Winerip, Frank Nolin, Forrest Stone and San Jose State University defector Andrew Covel was a pleasant surprise. Covel’s long shots were a unique asset to the team, while Winerip’s strong tackling and drives were critical, especially against USC. After Stone caught an inattentive snitch to force overtime, Winerip was ten yards away from completing an overtime hat-trick on a fast break, but was wrapped up just as Demarest pulled the snitch to spare USC’s blushes. A follow-up 80-point defeat to Santa Barbara was a puzzling letdown after such a promising display.


Riverside started the day with a respectable snitch-range loss to the Skrewts, which featured an aggressive two-male beater line that caused the opposition problems. Unfortunately, it seemed to cause even more problems for Riverside’s defense, which was caught on bludgerless fast breaks again and again. A lack of depth in the 14-player roster started to tell in Riverside’s second game against rivals Santa Barbara, as Tye Rush tired under the burden of carrying his offense. Rush was eventually reduced to cherry picking in order to pick up points, a tactic that left his defense exposed without his involvement. Michael Logue managed to score a few goals throughout the day, but poor ball control resulted in many more missed opportunities from dropped passes or loose balls by the hoops. When Rush was marked tightly, there was a clear dearth of threatening targets for keeper Andy Carlson’s distribution.

Bracket Play
All eight teams entered the bracket against opponents from the opposite pool, matched up based on record. The quarterfinals yielded no upsets, with Lost Boys dismissing Riverside 220 - 70*, along with USC and UCLA handling Cal and Skrewts 180* - 10 and 150* - 10, respectively. The pick of the bunch, though, was the close contest between Santa Barbara and Long Beach. Fernandez and Bettendorf each scored three goals for the Blacktips, while Funky Quaffles’ Hawkins and White, in particular, had strong offensive games. The highlight of the match was the play of Long Beach’s Epsteen, this time as a beater. Overcoming a lack of mobility due to a hip injury sustained in the first game of the day, Epsteen used his cannon arm with startling accuracy to make long-range beats and almost singlehandedly kept the match level after entering the game. The outstanding talent is reason for Long Beach to look forward with encouragement after Blacktips’ Lock broke the deadlock with the crucial snatch to win 100* - 70. 

Santa Barbara would fail to stop the rampant Lost Boys in the semifinals, though, pulling a suicide snatch to fall 210 - 70*. On the other side of the bracket, a mouth-watering clash between archrivals UCLA and USC saw the Bruins take an early lead through Luce, who scored all four goals for his team. After beaters Donahue and Simko subbed out, USC mounted a comeback led by Lührs’s three goals to take the lead, despite a string of heroic tackles by UCLA’s Scapa. The match was there for either team to win following the snitch runner’s return, and with the runner’s shorts seemingly pulled out of position moments earlier in a tussle with Scapa and USC’s rookie seeker Brian Lam, Scapa swooped in for the controversial snatch to send UCLA through to the final with a 70* - 50 victory.

The final played out very similarly to the earlier match between UCLA and the Lost Boys, with Chris Seto, Michael Mohlman and tournament MVP Peter Lee instrumental in the champions’ bludger advantage throughout. Tony Rodriguez and Andrew Waldschmidt displayed strong playmaking abilities and each registered three assists, with Rodriguez adding three goals and Waldschmidt tallying one. Former Bruin Jake Tieman powered through his former team several times to lead the Lost Boys’ scoring with four goals, while one-time UCLA coach Mitch Cavender paired an impressive performance as point defender with a hat-trick. For UCLA, Richardson scored all three goals and Scapa continued his strong tackling form. As far as the result was concerned, though, Steve DiCarlo’s snatch for the Lost Boys was simply a formality as the Lomita-based squad celebrated their newfound place at the top of the Southern California Quidditch Conference.


 With the Western Regional Championship less than five weeks away, the Lost Boys are now the clear favorite and heir apparent to UCLA’s throne. USC showed a glimpse of its potential to surpass last spring’s performance with a number of solid recruits to join a squad with almost no losses, and the Trojans will draw encouragement from their semi-final lead over UCLA. As for the Bruins, the jury is still out. Only a couple unfamiliar faces made an impact at the tournament, but the team has yet to bring in any new recruits. Like USC, how the team trains during the lead-up to regionals will determine if UCLA can make it to the final, where it will likely get another crack at the Lost Boys.

Dan Hanson and Steve DiCarlo contributed reporting to this article.