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Punxsy wins DuBois Area Scholastic Challenge for first time

March 9, 2011

PAHS students (from left) Kevin Hughes, Joe Long, Kendall Neal, Lucas Burke and Dane Baker display a traveling trophy they will possess for the next year after winning the 24th annual DuBois Area Senior Scholastic Challenge Wednesday. It was the first time that a PAHS team took first place in the event. (Photo submitted)

DUBOIS — Four students from Punxsutawney Area High School took first place in the 24th annual DuBois Area Senior Scholastic Challenge Wednesday night at PSU-DuBois' Hiller Auditorium, the first time that a Punxsy team has taken top honors in the event.

The team members — seniors Lucas Burke and Joe Long, junior Kendall Neal and freshman Kevin Hughes — garnered 135 total points in the final two rounds.

"Usually what happens is, whoever wins the first preliminary round takes first place," advisor Rose Graffius said. "That's not how it happened this year."

In four rounds of the preliminary contest, one person on each team competes on an individual basis, answering questions about history, current events, math, science, literature and English, some accompanied by audio/visual elements.

From there, the top four point-collecting teams move on to the final two rounds. Wednesday night, it was Brockway, Brookville, DuBois and Punxsy in the finals.

In the final two rounds, the scores are reduced to zero among all teams, and two students representing each team answer questions.

If the first student on a team incorrectly answers a question, his or her teammate can answer. Each correct answer is 10 points, while each correct answer is minus-five points.

Neal and Burke represented PAHS in the first round of the finals, while Hughes and Long handled the questions in the second round.

Punxsy emerged with 135 points in the final two rounds, followed by DuBois with 110 points; Brookville with 85; and Brockway with five.

"These guys were so excited," Graffius said. "This is the first time Punxsy's ever done this (come in first). They did really well."

Dane Baker served as the alternate, offering moral support for his team.

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