Merrimack High Defeats Belmont High

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, February 9, 2024) - Belmont High fell to defending champ Merrimack High in the first game of the 42nd season of Granite State Challenge. 

Playing for Belmont High were Captain and senior Jonathan Holmes joined by seniors Leanna Rowley, Kayleigh Thompson, and Ryder Dutton. The team was coached by science teacher Kevin Charleston and math teacher Craig Wilkins. Belmont High enrolls around 400 students from Belmont and Canterbury.

Playing for Merrimack High were Captain and senior Kishan Sreenivasan joined by seniors Liam Clark and Trey Grant, and junior Erin Murray. Merrimack was coached by chemistry teacher Dr. Sara Campbell and Gifted and Talented Coordinator Sally Agel. Merrimack enrolls around 1,094 students.

ROUND ONE

Trey Grant opened the game by correctly identifying Madison, Wisconsin as one of four state capitals named for a president picking up 10 points for Merrimack. Kayleigh Thompson of Belmont answered the next question about Weirs Beach and the score was tied 10-10. Erin Murray picked up 10 points on the next question about Pride and Prejudice. Neither team could identify Newport, NH native Sarah Josepha Hale as the author of the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb," but  Merrimack captain Kishan Sreenivasan knew that spinal tap could refer to a medical procedure or be the name of a band in a rock mockumentary directed by Rob Reiner. His teammate Liam Clark correctly answered a question about John Paul Jones bringing the score to 40-10. Merrimack answered the next eight questions correctly, but Jonathan Holmes of Belmont picked up 20 points for his team on the Unitil Power Question about power naps bringing the score to 120-30. Neither team could identify Dixville Notch as the location that has voted first in the New Hampshire presidential primary since 1960. Liam Clark of Merrimack correctly named U.S. President John Tyler as having been elected to the Confederate House of Representatives in 1861.  The next question, from Nick Capodice, co-host of the Civics 101 Podcast from New Hampshire Public Radio, was about the origin of the word gerrymander and was correctly answered by Trey Grant of Merrimack. Merrimack picked up thirty more points, and the round ended with Merrimack in the lead by 170-30.

THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE OUT ROUND
In the Three Strikes and You're Out Round each team picks a 10-question category and each team member, starting with the captain, gets one question. The team continues to answer questions until they miss three questions. Each team also has three passes in each round. If a team answers all 10 questions correctly, they pick up an additional 10 points. Belmont answered four questions in their category correctly. Merrimack answered five questions correctly and the round ended with Merrimack holding a commanding lead of 220-70.

60-SECOND ROUND

In the 60-Second Round alternates join their teams. Each team picks a ten-question category and has 60 seconds to answer the questions. If they answer all ten correctly, teams get a 10-point bonus. Team members can confer in the round, but the captain answers. Belmont chose the category "Salt of the Earth." All of the answers in the category included the word salt. They answered four questions correctly and picked up 40 points.  Merrimack chose the category "Rock and a Hard Place." All of the answers included the word rock. The team answered nine questions correctly, adding 90 points to their score. At the end of the round, Merrimack led by a score of 310-110.

FINAL ROUND

In the final round of the game, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer. Merrimack picked up 60 points in the round and the game ended with a score of 370-110 and a win for Merrimack.

Merrimack now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet the winner of game two between The Academy for Science and Design and Manchester Central High airing Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

Granite State Challenge is hosted by Bow High School teacher and former Granite State Challenge coach (Bedford High), contestant (Belmont High), and Granite State Challenge crew member, Jon Cannon.

Granite State Challenge features some of New Hampshire's brightest high school students as they demonstrate remarkable teamwork, quick thinking, and smarts to beat the clock and buzz in first on this iconic New Hampshire game show. The game emphasizes quick recall of math, science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts facts - along with questions about current events, entertainment, sports, and New Hampshire.

You can follow your favorite team, test your knowledge with GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE online quizzes, and more at the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE web page, or try your hands at daily brainteasers on the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE Facebook page.

GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE is funded by lead sponsor Unitil with additional funding from NEA New Hampshire, Safety InsuranceD.F. Richard Energy, and HRCU.

Major funding provided by Unitil

Additional funding is provided by NEA New HampshireSafety InsuranceD.F. Richard Energy, and  HRCU.


Watch Online

Academy Science & Design Vs Manchester Central

ASD takes on Manchester Central.

Watch More Merrimack High Defeats Belmont High

Latest Updates

TV Schedule

Full Schedule



GSC Fun Facts:

  • Granite State Challenge premiered on January 30, 1984
  • 21 NH high schools have taken home the GSC Championship Trophy
  • Londonderry High School took the first championship title.
  • Merrimack High School took the 2023 title.
  • Over 6,500 students have participated in GSC.
  • Over 135, 000 questions have been asked on GSC.

More Video

Souhegan Vs Dover

Souhegan Vs Dover

Dover High faces off against Souhegan High in the third Round One game.

Belmont Vs Merrimack

Belmont Vs Merrimack

Belmont High will face 2023 champion, Merrimack High.

Granite State Challenge Season 42

Granite State Challenge Season 42

New Hampshire's brightest high school kids square off in a high-stakes quiz showdown.

Wildcard Game 1 - Belmont vs. Concord

Wildcard Game 1 - Belmont vs. Concord

Belmont High meets Concord High in the first wildcard qualifying game.


Wildcard Game 2 - Lin-Wood vs. Newfound

Wildcard Game 2 - Lin-Wood vs. Newfound

Lin-Wood High faces Newfound Regional High in the second wildcard qualifying game.

SuperChallenge: Merrimack V. Plymouth

SuperChallenge: Merrimack V. Plymouth

Bobcats vs. Tomahawks in this final matchup of the season.

Plymouth V. Trinity

Plymouth V. Trinity

Plymouth Regional High School takes on Trinity High School.

Hopkinton V. Merrimack

Hopkinton V. Merrimack

The semifinal round opens with Hopkinton taking on Merrimack.

Oyster River V. Trinity

Oyster River V. Trinity

Oyster River takes on Trinity in this quarter final match.

Bow V. Plymouth

Bow V. Plymouth

Bow High School takes on Plymouth Regional High School.

St. Thomas Aquinas V. Hopkinton

St. Thomas Aquinas V. Hopkinton

Hopkinton and St. Thomas Aquinas face off in a fast-paced round two competition.

Merrimack V. Souhegan

Merrimack V. Souhegan

Merrimack High School takes on Souhegan High school.

Dover High V. Trinity High

Dover High V. Trinity High

Dover High School takes on Trinity High School in the final match up of round one.

Oyster River High V. Winnacunnet High

Oyster River High V. Winnacunnet High

Oyster River High School takes on Winnacunnet High School.

Bow High V. Mascoma Valley Regional High

Bow High V. Mascoma Valley Regional High

Mascoma Valley Regional High School takes on Bow High School in this round one match.

Plymouth Regional High V. Salem High

Plymouth Regional High V. Salem High

Plymouth Regional High meets Salem High in this round one match.

Hopkinton High V. Portsmouth High

Hopkinton High V. Portsmouth High

Hopkinton High meets defending champion Portsmouth High.

Fall Mountain Regional High V. St. Thomas Aquinas

Fall Mountain Regional High V. St. Thomas Aquinas

Fall Mountain Regional High meets St. Thomas Aquinas High in game three.

Nashua High South V. Souhegan High

Nashua High South V. Souhegan High

Nashua High School South takes on Souhegan High School in this first round match.

Merrimack High V. John Stark Regional High

Merrimack High V. John Stark Regional High

John Stark Regional High meets Merrimack High in the first game of the 41st season.

Wildcard Game 1 - John Stark vs. Newfound

Wildcard Game 1 - John Stark vs. Newfound

John Stark takes on Newfound in this Wildcard Preseason matchup.

Wildcard Game 2 - Profile vs. Salem

Wildcard Game 2 - Profile vs. Salem

Profile takes on Salem in this Wildcard Preseason matchup.

Londonderry Vs Portsmouth

Londonderry Vs Portsmouth

Londonderry High School takes on Portsmouth High School.

Nashua South Vs Merrimack

Nashua South Vs Merrimack

Merrimack High School takes on Nashua High School South.

Londonderry Vs Manchester Central

Londonderry Vs Manchester Central

Londonderry takes on Manchester Central in this quarterfinal matchup.

Conval Vs Portsmouth

Conval Vs Portsmouth

ConVal High School takes on Portsmouth High School in this quarterfinal matchup.

Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Merrimack High School takes on Plymouth Regional High School in this quarterfinal matchup.

Nashua South Vs Fall Mountain

Nashua South Vs Fall Mountain

The first match in the quarterfinals in the 40th season of Granite State Challenge.

Londonderry Vs Winnacunnet

Londonderry Vs Winnacunnet

The eighth game of the season and final game in the first round.

Manchester Central Vs Salem

Manchester Central Vs Salem

The seventh game of the season pits Manchester Central High against Salem High.

Conval Vs Hopkinton

Conval Vs Hopkinton

The Conval Cougars take on the Hopkinton Hawks!

Mascoma Vs Portsmouth

Mascoma Vs Portsmouth

Mascoma takes on Portsmouth.

Fall Mountain Vs Littleton

Fall Mountain Vs Littleton

The Crusaders of Littleton High take on the Fall Mountain Wildcats.

Bow High Vs Nashua South

Bow High Vs Nashua South

The Purple Panthers of Nashua High South take on the Falcons of Bow High.

Academy For Science & Design Vs Plymouth

Academy For Science & Design Vs Plymouth

The Academy for Science and Design take on Plymouth Regional High School.

Kingswood Vs Merrimack

Kingswood Vs Merrimack

The Tomahawks of Merrimack take on the Kingswood Knights.

It's the 40th season of Granite State Challenge!

It's the 40th season of Granite State Challenge!

Tune in to the first episode of the 40th season when Kingswood takes on Merrimack.

Super Challenge

Super Challenge

Merrimack takes on Bow in the final matchup of the season.

Semi Final 2

Semi Final 2

Bow takes on Portsmouth in this semi final matchup.

Semi Final 1

Semi Final 1

Manchester Central takes on Merrimack in this semi final matchup.

Quarter Final 4

Quarter Final 4

Bow High takes on Stevens in the forth Quarterfinal match up.

Quarter Final 3

Quarter Final 3

Portsmouth High takes on Londonderry in the third Quarterfinal match up.

Quarter Final 2: Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Quarter Final 2: Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Defending champs Merrimack High against Plymouth Regional High.

Quarter Final 1: Manchester Central Vs Bishop Guertin

Quarter Final 1: Manchester Central Vs Bishop Guertin

The Little Green of Manchester Central High take on the Cardinals of Bishop Guertin.

Salem V Stevens

Salem V Stevens

The Salem High Blue Devils take on the Cardinals Stevens High.

Bow Vs Prospect Mountain

Bow Vs Prospect Mountain

The Bow Falcons meet the Prospect Mountain Timberwolves.

Londondery Vs Pinkerton

Londondery Vs Pinkerton

The Lancers of Londonderry High take on the Astros of Pinkerton Academy



Visit video.nhpbs.org to see even more local and national video.