Merrimack Defeats Sanborn Regional

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, APRIL 17, 2021) – Granite State Challenge defending champs, the Tomahawks of Merrimack High, defeated the Indians of Sanborn Regional High in the first round of Granite State Challenge.

Playing for the Tomahawks of Merrimack were Captain Nick Gacharna, Michael Clark, Aidan Remick, Jack Pikora, and alternates Aris Corman-O'Reilly and Alli Pikora. The team was coached by Sara Campbell and Kyle Harvell. Merrimack High is located in Merrimack, NH in Hillsborough County and enrolls around 1,170 students.

The Indians of Sanborn Regional High were represented by Captain Diana Gibson, Kaiden Lytle, Jared Rembis, Noah Cavallo, and alternate Meagan Gaffney. The team is coached by Brian Hurley. Sanborn Regional High is located in Kingston, NH in Rockingham County. It serves the towns of Kingston, Newton, and Fremont. and has an enrollment of around 650 students.

In the first round of the game, correct answers are worth ten 10 points. Jared Rembis of Sanborn put the first point on the board by correctly naming Sally Ride as the first American woman in space. Merrimack came back strong though and at the end of the round had a 140-30 lead.

In the second round, correct answers are worth 20 points. Merrimack Captain Nick Gacharna was quick on the buzzer and correctly answered 110 for the number of years in a decade and a century.  Jared Rembis of Sanborn answered the next question correctly and named New Mexico as the home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Merrimack then went on a roll and answered the next three questions correctly, but Sanborn Captain Diana Gibson picked up 20 points for her team by identifying California as the state Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi represents. Neither team could identify an eastern box turtle in the picture question.  Both teams had problems with some literature questions, but at the end of the round Merrimack held the lead by a score of 320-90.

The third round of the game is 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. If a team answers all 10 questions correctly, they pick up an additional 10 points.

Sanborn chose the category "Sometime Y " in which all of the answers were words with the letter Y serving as the only vowel sound in the word.   They answered correctly on lynx, and hymn and missed on crypt, fly, and myth, ending the round with a pickup of 20 points.

Merrimack picked the category "For the Birds". The answers to all of the questions in the category would be related to birds. They correctly identified the Edgar Allan Poe poem "The Raven", missed on a question about the albatross, correctly identified Chicken Little and the Ugly Duckling, missed on a question about the Maya Angelou work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, correctly identified the novel To Kill a Mockingbird,  and missed a question about Mother Goose, ending their round with a pickup of 40 points. At the end of the round, the score was Merrimack  350 and Sanborn 110.

In the final round, correct answers are worth 20 points, but an incorrect answer will cost a team 20 points and leads can be quickly lost or gained. Noah Cavallo of Sanborn scored the first 20 points in the round correctly identifying the rap group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.  Unfortunately for Sanborn, Merrimack played a strong final round and won the game by a score of 600-190.  

Merrimack now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet either Exeter High School or Plymouth Regional High on May 29 at 6:30 pm on NHPBS.

*Granite State Challenge games were pre-recorded in March.

Granite State Challenge features New Hampshire's top high school academic quiz teams 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 own 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 Insurance, New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard, Cognia, and HRCU.

About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement.

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