Nashua High South Beats ConVal Regional High

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, March 15, 2024) -  Nashua High South defeated ConVal Regional High in Round One of Granite State Challenge.

Playing for ConVal Regional High were team captain and senior Laura Phillips, seniors Charlie Savage and Frank LeBlanc, and sophomore Lukas Baker. The team alternates were seniors Aidan McClusky and Colin Pellettieri. The coaches for the team were social studies teachers Chris Heider and Eric Bowman. ConVal Regional High is located in Peterborough and enrolls around 734 students from Antrim, Bennington, Dublin, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Peterborough, Sharon, and Temple.

Playing for Nashua High South was the team captain and senior Curtis Newton along with seniors Deetya Nagri and Narayan Sajeev, and junior Calvin Song. The team alternates were sophomores Henry Long and Eric Picanco. Nashua High South was coached by social studies teacher Lex Duval and English teacher Kelli Thornhill-Telerski. Nashua High South enrolls around 1,790 students.


Neither team could answer the first question in the round about the rapper, Megan Thee Stallion, but Nashua High South's Narayan Sajeev answered the next question about Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and his teammate Curtis Newton added another 10 points to the team's score with a question about the word, wicked. Neither team knew that there were eight crayons in an original box of Crayola crayons. Frank LeBlanc picked up the first points for ConVal on a question about the movie, Ghostbusters. Nashua's Curtis Newton picked up the next 10 points on a question about the starship Enterprise, and ConVal captain Laura Phillips brought the score to 30-20  on a question about Crater Lake. Laura's teammate Charlie Savage tied the score with a question about the lullaby, "Hush Little Baby" and he then took ConVal into the lead with a baseball question.

Frank LeBlanc extended ConVal's lead to 50-30 with a question about the "1812 Overture."  Charlie and Frank picked up another 20 points for ConVal and Nashua High South's Deetya Nagri picked up 10 points on a question about Cinderella and the score was 70-40, with ConVal in the lead. Each team picked up 10 points on the next two questions and ConVal's Lukas Baker took his team to a 90-50 lead by correctly identifying a burrowing owl. ConVal's Frank LeBlanc knew that cream could be a rock band or something you add to your coffee and Curtis Newton of Nashua High South correctly spelled Massachusetts and the score was now 100-60, with Conval in the lead. Lukas Baker extended his team's lead to 110-60 on a question featuring Australian slang, and with less than a minute left in the round, Deetya, Curtis, and Calvin picked up 30 points for Nashua South and the round ended with ConVal holding a narrow lead of 110-90.

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. ConVal picked up 30 points in their round, with Laura adding 20 points and  Frank adding 10.  Nashua had a strong round with Curtis and Deetya each picking up 30 points, Calvin Song adding 20 points and Narayan adding another 10 points for a total of 90 points for the team and the score was now 180-140 with Nashua South in the lead.

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. ConVal chose the category "Feeling Blue." All of the answers in the category began with the word blue They answered eight questions correctly and picked up 80 points.  

Nashua High South chose the category "Are You a Mouse of a Man?" All of the answers in the category were mythological or creatures with human characteristics. Nashua almost had a perfect round, but they missed a question about the Little Mermaid and added 90 points to their score. The round ended with Nashua South in the lead by a score of 270-220.

In the final round of the game, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer and a lead can be easily lost or gained in the round. Deetya of Nashua South picked up the first question and took the score to 290-220. The next question in the round was the Unitil Power Question, worth 40 points. Calvin picked up the 40 points for Nashua on a question about director Spike Lee and the Public Enemy song, "Fight the Power" and took Nashua to a lead of 330-220. ConVal lost 20 points on the next question about the Supreme Court case, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Narayan of Nashua South picked up the points with the correct answer taking Nashua South to a strong lead of 350-220. Neither team could answer a question about Jethro Tull.

The next question from the 2024 NH Kid Governor, Ellie Lively was correctly answered by Calvin of Nashua South, and Laura of ConVal knew that the capital of both Maine and Oregon is Portland and the score was now 370-220. To the amusement of his team, Calvin of Nashua South knew that the 2023 Oxford Dictionary word of the year was "rizz." With just under a minute left in the game the score was 390-220, with Nashua South in the lead. ConVal added 20 points to their score and Nashua South added 30 points and the game ended with a win for Nashua South by a score of 450-240.

Nashua High South now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet Plymouth Regional High in a game airing on Thursday, April 18 at 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

Hopkinton High meets Salem High in the next Round One game, airing Thursday, March 21 at 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 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.

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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