Plymouth Regional High Defeats Trinity High

Granite State Challenge - Semifinals

(DURHAM, May 5, 2023) - Plymouth Regional High defeated Trinity High in the last semifinal game of Granite State Challenge.

Playing for Plymouth was Captain and senior Dash Ough joined by teammates junior Khalil Dakhlia, senior Natalie Boyer, and senior Jason Vuong. The team alternates were senior Trevor Tobine and sophomore Reagan Sutherland. The team was coached by Jay Fogarty and Troy Harris. Plymouth Regional High enrolls around 647 students from Plymouth, Ashland, Holderness, Campton, Rumney, Wentworth, Warren, Ellsworth, Waterville Valley, and Thornton.  Plymouth Regional High defeated Salem High in the first round and Bow High in the quarterfinals to secure their spot in the semifinals.

Playing for Trinity High was captain and senior Katie Scali along with senior Liam Hodge, and juniors Hayden Becker and Matt Salafia. The team alternates were sophomores, Desmond Lee and Tyler Welch. The team was coached by Andrew Lavoie and Louis Sievers. Trinity High School is located in Manchester and enrolls around 330 students. Trinity High defeated Dover High in the first round and Oyster River in the quarterfinals on their way to the semifinals.


The game began with a question about bronze, the alloy you get when you mix copper and tin, and Khalil Dakhlia picked up the first 10 points for Plymouth. Neither team knew that founding father Benjamin Rush was named "father of American psychiatry" in 1965 by the American Psychiatric Association. Matt Salafia picked up the first points for Trinity on a question about assassin James Earl Ray. Natalie Boyer of Plymouth picked up the next 10 points for Plymouth on a question about writer Washington Irving.  Hayden Becker came right back and scored 10 points for Trinity on a question about the Oval Office and the score was tied 20-20. 

The next question was the Unitil Power Question worth double points. Plymouth's Dash Ough confidently picked up 20 points for his team by knowing that Popeye is a nautical cartoon character with super strength when he eats his spinach and the score was 40-20 in Plymouth's favor. Not to be outdone, Hayden proved he had serious spelling chops and picked up 10 points for Trinity by correctly spelling mischievous and his teammate Liam Hodge added another 10 points to Trinity's score by knowing the heptathlon has seven events, and the score was again tied at 40-40. 

Plymouth's Dash and Khalil added 20 points to the board on music-related questions about rapper and producer Timbaland and the bagpipes. With less than a minute left in the round,  Khalil knew that William McKinley was the first president to serve in the 20th Century and the score was Plymouth 70 and Trinity 40. Neither team knew that in 1955 Marian Anderson became the first Black soloist to appear at the Metropolitan Opera. The round ended with Khalil answering a question about Galileo and Plymouth had a lead 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 gets a question, starting with the captain. 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.

In Plymouth's round, Dash picked up 20 points and Natalie picked up 10 points for a team total of 30 points

In Trinity's round, Liam and Hayden picked up 10 points each, and Matt added 20 points, ending the round with Plymouth in the lead by a score of 110-80.

In the third round, alternates join their teams. Each team picks a 10-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.

Trinity chose the category "The Sound Remains the Same" in which all of the answers were words that were homonyms. The team answered nine questions correctly and picked up 90 points, missing only on the clue: What you should do with your toys or a famous single-named singer (Cher and Share.)

Plymouth chose the category "If the Show Fits" in which all of the answers were related to footwear. The team answered eight questions correctly, missing questions about "The Elf and the Shoemaker" and what you might call someone who won’t do anything wrong or a song by Adam Ant (Goody Two Shoes.) At the end of the round, Plymouth had a slim 20-point lead with the score 190-170.

In the game's final round, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer, and leads can quickly be lost or gained.

Neither team could answer the first question in the round about the Bruce Springsteen song, "Born to Run." The next question was a math question and Trinity's Liam quickly calculated the area of a triangle with a base of 10 inches and a height of 10 inches and tied the score at 190-190.

Khalil took back the lead for Plymouth by knowing that Bill Clinton was the first U.S. President to serve in the 21st Century. The next question about the member of the Corvidae family that is also the mascot for a Canadian baseball team (blue jay) was asked by Jay from the NH Science Teachers Association and answered correctly by Hayden of Trinity, tying the score at 210-210. 

Dash took the lead back for Plymouth on a question about the designated hitter in baseball, and his teammate Natalie added another 20 points to Plymouth's score on a question about writer Virginia Woolf, but then the team lost 20 points on a question about the first President of the state of New Hampshire, Meshech Weare and neither team could identify poet and writer Celia Thaxter. Natalie added 20 points to Plymouth's score on a question about Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Plymouth now had a lead of 250-210. Trinity lost 20 points on a question about the musical Cabaret, and Plymouth's Natalie picked up 20 points on a question about Wizard of Oz author L. Frank  Baum, taking Plymouth to a 270-190 lead. Dash added 40 more points to Plymouth's score on questions about the copperhead snake and Nelson Mandela, and Khalil added another 20 points to the team's total on a question about the opera, Madame Butterfly. Plymouth was now in the lead by a score of 330-190.

Hayden picked up 40 points for his team on questions about climate change and the location of Storyland and his teammate Katie added another 20 points to Trinity's total with a question bout chicken pox after Plymouth lost 20 points on the same question and Matt added another 40 points to Trinity's score with questions about Sarah Palin and Ronald Reagan the score was now 310-290, with Plymouth holding a slim 20 point lead.

With less than a minute in the game, Natalie answered a question about Herbert Hoover correctly. Her teammate Khalil added another 20 points to Plymouth's total with a question about the 21st Amendment and Plymouth had a lead of 350-290. With less than a minute left in the round, Matt picked up 20 points for Trinity on a question about the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Dash of Plymouth quickly calculated that the sum of the square root of 64 plus the cube root of 64 was 12 and his teammate Natalie knew that The Paris Peace Accord ended the Vietnam War and Plymouth had a lead of 390-310 with just seconds left in the game. That ended up being the final score of the game, as time ran out on a question about the Boston Celtics.

Plymouth now moves on to the championship game where they will meet Merrimack High. Both teams are no strangers to the championship title.  Plymouth has three titles, and Merrimack has two. The championship game airs on NHPBS Thursday, May 11 @ 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.

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