Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl

2003 State Tournament Final Four

Hanover Completes Academic Championship Double

COLCHESTER -- Perennial academic competition powerhouse Hanover (N.H.) High School was a state championship two times over Thursday, April 10.

Hanover built an early lead and held on to capture the 20th annual Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl with a 330-270 win over Champlain Valley Union High School in a well-played championship game at Saint Michael's College.

The victory, coupled with Hanover's triumph in the New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League finals Sunday, gives the Marauders an unprecedented sweep of the high school academic titles of the Twin States. Hanover is a two-time Vermont state champion -- having last won the crown in 1993 -- and has claimed five New Hampshire championships (1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003).

Hanover fared well early in Thursday's Scholars' Bowl final, amassing a 160-90 lead at the end of the first of the three rounds of competition. The Marauders' advantage grew to as large 125 points in the final round. Champlain Valley staged a valiant comeback, but could never draw closer than 50 points. Hanover's final margin of victory was 330-270, making the game the highest-scoring Vermont state final since 1996.

With the win, the Marauders earned the right to represent Vermont in national play at the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World in June. Members of the Hanover team are: senior Andy Lee; juniors Doug Brown, Evan Gardner and Niall Prendergast; sophomore Harker Rhodes; and freshman Iain Prendergast. The squad is coached by Bill Murphy.

The tournament's semifinals were also held Thursday. In the opener, Champlain Valley clung to a narrow lead over Mount Anthony Union High School before staging a late run to win going away, 350-185. Burr and Burton Academy started quickly in the second semifinal, opening a 65-(-5) advantage over Hanover. But the Marauders rallied to take the lead in the closing moments of the first round and earned their place in the final with a 280-165 victory.

The Scholars' Bowl is an academic competition in which teams of high school students are awarded points for correctly answering rapid-response questions. This season 33 schools competed in the tournament.

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