Hopkinton High Bests Defending Champs Portsmouth High

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, February 24, 2023) - Hopkinton High defeated defending champs Portsmouth High in game four in the first round of Granite State Challenge.

Captain and junior Adam Richter, senior Hal Stokes, junior Colton Murphy, and freshman Thomas Ashton played for Hopkinton High. The team alternates were freshmen Enola Bauer and Fin Murphy. The team was coached by Matthew Krogman. Hopkinton High enrolls around 271 students. 

Playing for Portsmouth High was captain and senior Nick Dahlen. He was joined by sophomore Nolan Peters, senior Sam Starbranch, and junior Henry Honeyman and team alternates sophomore Olivia Evilsizer and junior Emily Carlson. The team was coached by Hannah Dul. Portsmouth High School enrolls around 1,100 students from Portsmouth, Rye, Greenland, Newcastle, and Newington.

Hal Stokes of Hopkinton kicked off Round One answering a question about Helen of Troy and putting 10 points on the board for his team. He answered the next two questions correctly and Hopkinton was out to a 30-0 lead. Henry Honeyman put the first points on the board for Portsmouth with a question about the Bill of Rights, and Nolan Peters added another 10 points to the board for Portsmouth with a question about the Warren Zevon song "Werewolves of London." Hal Stokes picked up the next 10 points for Hopkinton and Portsmouth's Nolan Peters came right back with a question about George Orwell and brought his team within 10 points of Hopkinton. Neither team could answer a question about Red Sox catcher and spy for the U.S. during World War II, Mo Berg, and both teams were also stumped by a question about who the U.S. defeated in the Gold Medal game of the 1980 Olympics. It was Finland. Hal Stokes picked up 20 points for Hopkinton with a question about wolverines with the Unitil Power Question giving his team a 60-30 lead with less than a minute left in the round. The round ended with Hopkinton in the lead by a score of 80-40.

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. Hopkinton went first and Hal Stokes answered three questions correctly, Colton Murphy answered two questions correctly and Adam Richter answered one question correctly in the round and Hopkinton picked up 60 points bringing the score to 140-40. Nick Dahlen, and Nolan Peters each answered three questions correctly, Sam Starbranch answered two questions correctly and Henry Honeyman answered one question correctly. At the end of the round Portsmouth answered nine questions correctly and narrowed the score to 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. Portsmouth chose the category Ocean Life. All of the questions in the round were related to the sea. The team answered six of the 10 questions correctly and added 60 points to their score. Hopkinton picked the category Deal Me In. The answers to all of the questions included a word related to playing cards. The team answered seven questions correctly and added 70 points to their score and now led by a score of 210-190.

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. Nick Dahlen of Portsmouth picked up the first 20 points in the round by spelling the word colonel and the score was now tied at 210-210. Neither team knew New Hampshire was the last state to have a holiday named for Martin Luther King, Jr. Hopkinton's Hal Stokes broke the tie, correctly naming the three states that are part of Yellowstone National Park - Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. The next question was a video science question from the New Hampshire Science Teachers Association. Nolan Peters of Portsmouth knew the reservoir for the infectious viral disease monkey pox was rodents and not simians, and the score was tied again at 230-230. Nick Dahlen of Portsmouth put his team in the lead with a math question. The team then lost those points on a question about the species of the animated characters Chip and Dale, and the score was back to a 230-230 tie. Portsmouth's Nolan Peters answered a question about Nicholas II of Russia. Portsmouth's lead didn't last long after Hopkinton's Hal Stokes tied the score 250-250 with a question about William McKinley. Colton Murphy of Hopkinton brought the score to 270-250 with a correct answer about the Defense of Marriage Act. Nolan Peters of Portsmouth tied the score again with a correct answer about swimmer Michael Phelps. Adam Richter of Hopkinton broke the tie with a question about the musical group TLC and then extended Hopkinton's lead with a question about pitcher Cy Young. Nolan Peters of Portsmouth knew that the trade name for acetylsalicylic acid is aspirin and Portsmouth now trailed by a score of 310-290 with just under a minute left in the game. Adam Richter of Hopkinton answered a question about the band Styx. Portsmouth missed a question about Boris Johnson and lost 20 points and Hopkinton answered the question correctly and the score was now 350-270 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Neither team could identify a marmot, and Nolan Peters picked up the last points of the game with a question about the Thames in London, but it wasn't enough to take the lead and Hopkinton won the game by a score of 350-290 in one of the tightest games of the season.

Hopkinton High now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet the team from St. Thomas Aquinas High School on Thursday, April 6, @ 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

The next round-one game pits Plymouth Regional High against Salem High on Thursday, March 2 @ 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

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 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, The New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard Energy, Cognia, and HRCU.

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