Rollings speller eliminated after third round of Scripps bee

Razeen Basunia, Rollings Middle School of the Arts, is all smiles after winning the Dorchester District 2 spelling bee in January. Razeen was eliminated from the Scripps National Bee on Wednesday after the third round. Paul Zoeller/Staff

A Rollings Middle School of the Arts eighth-grader hoped to make it a little bit farther in his second appearance at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

But Razeen Basunia, 12, of North Charleston, was eliminated after the third round for the second year in a row.

“I’m somewhat upset,” he said Wednesday moments after the 49 semifinalists were announced. “I just don’t know what to say.”

Razeen, who is sponsored by The Post and Courier, correctly spelled “pileus” and “scenario” on Wednesday in the preliminary round that narrowed the field from 283 spellers to 214.

After that round, the results from Tuesday’s computerized multiple choice spelling and vocabulary tests were added to Wednesday’s results to cut the field to a maximum of 50.

Razeen was not among the 49 named to compete in the fifth round, which will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Thursday on ESPN2. Five other spellers from South Carolina were also eliminated before the semifinals.

“I’m just proud that I’m even here,” he said of making it to the national competition. “Getting to the national level is an accomplishment itself. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, you’re there.”

A dozen spellers or less will compete in the final round, which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Thursday on ESPN.

A two-time winner of Spellbound!, the Lowcountry’s regional spelling bee, Razeen last year also correctly spelled both of his words — kama and hyporhined — but was eliminated when the tests were figured in.

The son of Ayesha Zaman and Mahmudunnabi Basunia of North Charleston, Razeen plans to attend Academic Magnet High School next year,

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.