Spencer-Van Etten moves on in Scholarship Challenge

The students representing the Spencer-Van Etten Panthers strategize between rounds of the 40th Annual Scholarship Challenge.

SAYRE — The squad from the Spencer-Van Etten High School had the most exciting match thus far of this year’s 40th Scholarship Challenge and carried that momentum with them as they claimed the second spot in next month’s finals.

The challenge is organized and broadcast by Choice 102 Radio and hosted by owner and on-air personality Chuck Carver. The event pits 24 high school teams from New York and Pennsylvania against each other, in a test of knowledge to win prize money — and the coveted Kwasnoski Cup — for their school districts.

Each match is comprised of three 10-question rounds, with teams gaining 10 points for each correct answer, and losing 10 points for each incorrect answer. In the final round of each match, correct answers earn 20 points.

The S-VE Panthers had the most nail-biting match of the day,as they opened their Scholarship Challenge season up with an overtime match against the Towanda Black Knights.

After maintaining a modest 40-point lead through each of the first two rounds, Towanda found its footing and mounted a comeback to send the match into overtime, which called for each team to work together and submit a written answer to a question posed by Carver.

The overtime round lasted through four questions before S-VE came out with the win by correctly answering “Australia” as the continent that is home to the Great Sandy Desert.

Lancaster Catholic then rejoined the stage to take on Northeast Bradford after the former had defeated the three-student Notre Dame Gold squad earlier in the day with a score of 190-70.

After a slow start that saw Lancaster get out to just a 0 to -10 lead, the team from Lancaster County eventually pulled away and moved on with a score of 150-70.

Against the team from Sullivan County, S-VE grabbed an early lead and did not let go as the overtime match appeared to kick the Panthers into high gear and they cruised to a 180-40 victory.

While this year only marks Lancaster Catholic’s second-ever season as part of the Scholarship Challenge, last year’s team made it all the way to the final match, and this year’s team had already dominated its first two matches. Meanwhile, S-VE carried strong momentum into the final round.

The match did indeed prove to be tight clash as both teams struggled early on to get a lead. However, the Panthers from New York grasped a small 40-10 lead after round one.

In the second round, S-VE’s squad was blazing fast on the buzzers, which led to Lancaster Catholic trying to counter by buzzing in even faster and created mistakes for the Pennsylvania team.

Entering the final round with a 90-30 lead, the Panthers finished punching their ticket to the March 14 finals and won 150-60.

The third round of the Scholarship Challenge will kick off at noon on Feb. 22 at the Patterson Auditorium on the Guthrie campus in Sayre and will also include the team from the hometown Sayre Redskins. The challenge will be broadcast live by The Choice 102.1.

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 888-9643 ext. 232 or jwilliams@morning-times.com. Follow Johnny Williams on Twitter @johnnywMT

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