Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl

2004 State Tournament Final Four

Hanover captures second straight Scholars' Bowl championship

COLCHESTER -- For a second consecutive year, Hanover (N.H.) High School stands atop the pack in Vermont academic competition.

Hanover slowly pulled away in the championship game and claimed the 21st Vermont-NEA Scholars' Bowl title with a 345-185 victory over Colchester High School on Saturday, April 3. The match was the culmination of the tournament's final four, held at the University of Vermont's Williams Hall.

With their victory, the Marauders became just the second team to capture consecutive state titles in Vermont and win the competition for the third time overall. They will look to complete back-to-back double state championships Wednesday when they take part in the finals of the New Hampshire Quiz Bowl League. Hanover is the three-time defending champion in the Granite State's academic competition.

In Saturday's Vermont final, Hanover rode consistent play in amassing a comfortable 190-80 lead after the second of three rounds of competition. Colchester held its own late in the match but was not able to cut significantly into the deficit. Hanover's final margin of victory, 345-185, give it the highest point total in the state championship game since 1996.

Members of the Hanover team are seniors Niall Prendergast and Evan Gardner, junior Harker Rhodes, and coaches Bill Murphy and John Donnelly. With the win, they earned the right to represent Vermont in national play at the Panasonic Academic Challenge at Disney World in June. However, for the second straight year, they will be joined on "Team Vermont" by a pair of standout players from other school in the competition. Selected were seniors Jack McClintock of Essex and Alan West of Colchester.

The tournament's semifinals were also held Saturday. In the opener, Rice Memorial staged a late rally but came up one question short as Colchester earned a 210-200 victory. Hanover bolted to a quick 100-point lead in securing its finals berth with a 375-215 win over a strong Essex team.

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 32 schools competed in the tournament.

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