Two-time defending champion Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Virginia) became the first school to claim three NAQT High School National Championships by defeating Lakeside School (Seattle, Washington) in a wildly entertaining final by the score of 415–325. Thomas Jefferson was clearly the class of the field of 96, averaging over 630 points per game and, until being pushed to the final tossup in the final, scoring at least 545 points and winning by at least 280 points in every game. Lakeside School, in their first year of NAQT competition, went 15–3, with all three losses to Thomas Jefferson, to claim runner-up honors. 2000 national champion State College (Pennsylvania) Area High School rebounded from an early playoff loss to finish in third place while Solon (Ohio) High School, paced by the tournament’s leading scorer Noah Rahman, wound up fourth. Mission San Jose High School (Fremont, California) and Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, Maryland) grabbed the final trophy slots.
In the Small School division, Danville (Kentucky) High School finished 20th overall and used a strong surge early in the second half to defeat White Cloud (Michigan) High School in the final 290–190. Brindlee Mountain High School of Guntersville, Alabama—in their first year of existence as a high school—was tied with White Cloud after Saturday’s games, but lost a playoff game 250–130 for the right to contest the final, and therefore finished third.
In addition to the ten All-Stars, Joel Knight of Detroit Catholic Central (Michigan) received the Top Junior award, Mark Guerci of Maggie Walker Governor’s School (Virginia) received the Top Sophomore award, and Nick Truelson of the Greater Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Home School Association received the Top Freshman award.
Other notes from the tournament:
- During the final match, Thomas Jefferson overcame 10 interrupt penalties and deficits of 145–0, 165–(–5), 205–30, and 245–95 to pull out the victory. Each team answered 12 tossups, but Thomas Jefferson’s 88.9% bonus conversion made the difference.
- Virginia produced NAQT national champions at both the college and high school levels this year, with Thomas Jefferson joining ICT undergraduate champion Virginia Commonwealth University. The only other time this occurred was in 2002, when the University of Michigan won the ICT Division–I overall title just before Kent City High School claimed the high school Small School Award.
- For the second year in a row, State College (Pennsylvania) was the highest-seeded team to lose in the first round of the playoffs. After losing last year to Millburn (New Jersey) High School as the fifth seed, they lost to intrastate rival Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh) as the sixth seed this year. Both times they rebounded nicely, finishing fifth last year and third this year.
- As of the end of the tournament, Thomas Jefferson A sported a 38-game HSNCT winning streak, dating back to a loss to Paul L. Dunbar High School (Lexington, Kentucky) in the 2003 preliminaries. (This streak was extended by two games to 40 at the 2006 national championship, ending with a loss to Wilmington Charter B.)
- By going 8-2 on Saturday, Detroit Catholic Central maintained their unique distinction of being the only school to reach the playoff round at every National Championship event. (This record is intact through 2017.)
- Wheaton (Illinois) North High School was the only school to win three do-or-die games in a row during rounds 8–10 to make the playoffs by surging from 3–4 to 6–4. Their magic run did not continue over to Sunday, as they lost their first two playoff games and were eliminated.
- Seventeen schools made their first appearance in the playoffs at the National Championship: Armstrong High School (Plymouth, Minnesota), Bergen County Academies (Hackensack, New Jersey), Bloomfield (New Jersey) High School, Danville (Kentucky) High School, duPont Manual High School (Louisville, Kentucky), Grosse Point North (Michigan) High School, Holland Hall Upper School (Tulsa, Oklahoma), La Jolla (California) High School, Lakeside School (Seattle, Washington), Montgomery Blair High School (Silver Spring, Maryland), New Trier High School (Winnetka, Illinois), Okemos (Michigan) High School, Princess Anne High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia), Richard Montgomery High School (Rockville, Maryland), Santa Monica (California) High School, Shady Side Academy (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and Wheaton (Illinois) North High School. The Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington schools are the first ever from their respective states to make the playoffs.
The tournament, held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare hotel, ran from June 3–5 and featured 96 teams from 24 states and one foreign country (China).