Souhegan Defeats Nashua High South

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, February 10, 2023) - Souhegan High bested Nashua High South in game two in the first round of Granite State Challenge.

Playing for Nashua High South were Captain and junior Curtis Newton, juniors Narayan Sajeev and Deetya Nagri, and sophomore Calvin Song. The team alternates were junior Krish Kankure and freshman Henry Long. The team was coached by Lex Duval and Kelli Thornhill. Nashua High South enrolls 1,844 students.

Playing for Souhegan High were Captain and senior PJ Cloutier-Kennedy. PJ was joined by sophomore Kasen Fox, senior Andrew Coleman, and junior Alec Simoneau. The team alternate was Caleb Brower. The team was coached by Nicholas Drinkwater. Souhegan High enrolls around 831 students from Amherst and Mont Vernon.

Narayan Sajeev of Nashua High South kicked off the first round by answering a question about Senator Joseph McCarthy correctly, picking up 10 points for his team. Andrew Coleman of Souhegan answered the next question about Chris Van Allsburg's book, The Polar Express, and put 10 points on the board for Souhegan. Calvin Song of Nashua High answered the next question about Juneteenth and added 10 points to Nashua's total. PJ of Souhegan picked up the next 10 points with a question about the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and Curtis Newton of Nashua High South came right back with a correct answer about the Seattle Mariners. Later in the round, Curtis Newton picked up 20 points for Nashua South by correctly answering the Unitil Power Question by knowing that Metropolis was the city where both Batman and Clark Kent worked. The round ended with Nashua High South in the lead by a score of 110-50.

The second 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. Each team also has three passes in each round. If a team answers all 10 questions correctly, they pick up an additional 10 points. Narayan Sajeev, Deetya Nagri, and Calvin Song each answered a question in the round correctly and Nashua High South added 30 points to their score. Bringing their lead to 140-50. Alec Simoneau answered a question about Napoleon the pig in the George Orwell novel Animal Farm and PJ Cloutier-Kennedy answered a question about the novel 1984. In all, Souhegan answered eight questions in the round correctly and added 80 points to their total, and at the end of the round Nashua South had a slim lead of 140-130.

In the third 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 up a 10-point bonus. Team members can confer in the round, but the captain answers for the team. Souhegan chose the category "Sugar and Spice." All of the answers in the category included the word sugar or the word spice. They answered seven questions correctly and picked up 70 points. Nashua High South chose the category "Law and Order." All of the answers in the category were related to law enforcement. The team answered four questions correctly, adding 40 points to their score. At the end of the round, Souhegan led by a score of 190-180.

In the final round of the game, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer and leads can quickly be lost or gained. Curtis Newton of Nashua High South picked up the first 20 points of the game with a question about the Battle of Verdun. PJ Cloutier-Kennedy answered a question about the TV series MASH and put 20 points on the board for Souhegan. Charlotte Cotti, the 2022 NH Kid Governor asked a video question in the round about the two New England state that do not have a lieutenant governor. Neither of the two teams named the two states, Maine and New Hampshire. At that point in the game, Nashua South led by a score 0f 240-230. PJ Cloutier-Kennedy picked up the next 20 points for Souhegan with a question about Julius Caesar. Kasen Fox of Souhegan picked up another 20 points for the team with a question about artist Piet Mondrian after Nashua South lost 20 points on the same question with an incorrect answer. Suddenly the score was 270-220 with Souhegan in the lead. Nashua High South lost another 40 points with incorrect answers to questions about Judy Garland and primatologist Dian Fossey. With less than a minute left in the game, Souhegan led by a score of 290-220. Neither team answered questions about Cyrano de Bergerac, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, or Robert Frost. Souhegan picked up 20 points with a question about Harry Truman and the game ended with a score of 310-220 and a win for Souhegan.

Souhegan now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet Merrimack High. The next round-one game pits Fall Mountain Regional High against St. Thomas Aquinas High on Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 pm.

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 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 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, The New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard Energy, 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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