John Stark Regional High Falls to Merrimack High

Granite State Challenge - Round One

(DURHAM, February 3, 2023) - John Stark Regional High fell to Merrimack High in game one of the new season of Granite State Challenge

Playing for John Stark Regional High were Captain and senior Sophia McGinty. She was joined by junior Brody Jones, senior Ben Prescott, and junior Connor Lavertu. The team alternates were junior Arik Linstad and senior Jackie O'Donnell. The team was coached by Michele KIrschbaum. John Stark High is located in Weare, NH, and enrolls around 500 students from Weare and Henniker.

Playing for Merrimack High were Captain and senior Jack Pikora joined by seniors Rainier Murray, Aris Corman-O’Reilly, and Alli Pikora. The team alternates were juniors Kishan Sreenivasan and Liam Clark. Merrimack was coached by Sara Campbell and Sally Agel. Merrimack enrolls around 1,119 students.

Brody Jones opened the game by correctly identifying the Azores and Madeira as being part of Portugal, picking up 10 points for John Stark. Jack Pikora of Merrimack answered the next two questions correctly and picked up 20 points for his team and his sister Alli Pikora picked up another 10 points for the team answering a question about the planet and the dog, Pluto. Jack Pikora answered the next question about economist Adam Smith correctly and Rainier Murray added another 10 points to Merrimack's total with a correct answer about elephants, and Aris Corman-O’Reilly added another 10 points to the team's total with a question about The Hunchback of Notre Dame, bringing the score to 60-10. Ben Prescott of John Stark put 10 points on the board with a question about Steve Jobs, Both teams were stumped over questions about Jeannette Rankin and Edward R. Murrow, but Connor Lavertu of John Stark correctly answered a question about Phil Collins. At the end of the round Merrimack led the game by a score of 130-40.

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. John Stark answered two questions in their category correctly. Merrimack cleared the board in their category and picked up 110 points bringing the score to 240-60.

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. John Stark chose the category "A is For Apple." All of the answers in the category included the word apple. They answered all 10 questions correctly and picked up 110 points. Merrimack chose the category "Over the Moon." All of the answers included the word moon. The team answered nine questions correctly, adding 90 points to their score. At the end of the round, Merrimack led by a score of 330-170.

In the final round of the game, each correct answer is worth 20 points, but teams lose 20 points with an incorrect answer. Connor Lavertu picked up a quick 20 points for John Stark with a question about the Pythagorean theorem. The teams went back and forth with correct and sometimes incorrect answers, but at the end of the round Merrimack held on to their lead and won the match by a score of 550-190.

Merrimack now moves on to the quarterfinals where they will meet the winner of game two between Nashua South and Souhegan High airing Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 pm on NHPBS.

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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