Commonwealth Christmas Classic: Tourney dedicated to Hammel, Benjamin

MIKE SPRINGER/Staff photoColleen Furlong of Londonderry High School picks up her Commonweath Motors Christmas Classic shirt following the tourney banquet Sunday night.

HAVERHILL — The annual Greater Lawrence Christmas Tourneys (aka the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classics) will be highlighting two well known figures from the basketball community who died recently.

The tourney is being dedicated to Bert Hammel, the longtime Merrimack College coach and founder of the Academic Basketball Awareness Camp, which hosted thousands of area youths, mostly from the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.

The tournament program is being dedicated to longtime WCCM radio personality Frank Benjamin.

Tourney co-chairman Rick Gorman said at Sunday night’s tourney banquet at DiBurro’s, “Bert was beloved by the basketball community. We miss him daily. Frank Benjamin loved high school sports and he loved this tourney.”

Gorman was effusive in his praise of the Daher family and Commonwealth Motors.

With good reason. Since the family became chief sponsor of the tournaments six years ago, they’ve given out nearly $100,000 just in scholarship money to participating athletes.

Last night Sales Manager Charles Daher gave out $1,000 scholarships to one senior boy and one senior girl from each of the 16 participating teams.

The boys’ tourney is now in its 44th year and the girls’ tourney is in its 33rd year.

Gorman said, “We feel the tourneys are heading back to an all-time high.”

Hall on hold

Gorman said there have been delays in the new tournament hall of fame and the first class won’t be announced until next year. ... The top seeds for the boys and girls tourney are last year’s champions: St. John’s Prep boys and Bishop Guertin girls. Gorman said that part of the seeding process may be revisited before next year.

Scholarships winners

Andover: Emmett Kim, Gia Bramanti; Bishop Guertin: Max Matarazzo, Gabrielle Sousa; Central Catholic: Kevin Constant, Mary Gerard; Lawrence: Brian Martir; Londonderry: James Buttafuoco, Paige Velie;

Methuen: Nick Napolitano; North Andover: Garrett Murphy, Julia Daigle; Pentucket: Emily Riley; St. John’s Prep: Peter Holmes; Westford: Carolyn Graham; Winnacunnet: Marisa Lamprey

¢¢¢

Follow Michael on Twitter at @MullyET.

Boys Commonwealth Classic

44th annual, at North Andover High

Seeds: 1. St. John’s Prep, 2. North Andover, 3. Central Catholic, 4. Lawrence, 5. Andover, 6. Methuen, 7. Bishop Guertin, 8. Londonderry

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27

GAME 1: Londonderry-St. John’s, 2:30 p.m.; GAME 2: Andover-Lawrence, 4:15 p.m.; GAME 3: Methuen-Central Catholic, 6 p.m.; GAME 4: BG-North Andover, 7:45 p.m.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28

Consolations: 2:30/4:15; Semifinals: 6/7:45 p.m.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30

2:30 p.m.: 7th-place game; 4:15 p.m.: 5th-place game; 6 p.m.: 3rd-place game; 7:45 p.m.: Championship

 

GIRLs Commonwealth Classic

33rd annual, at Andover High

Seeds: 1. Bishop Guertin, 2. Central Catholic, 3. Andover, 4. Westford, 5. Pentucket, 6. North Andover, 7. Londonderry, 8. Winnacunnet

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 27

GAME 1: Winnacunnet-BG, 1 p.m.; GAME 2: Pentucket-Westford, 2:45 p.m.; GAME 3: Londonderry-Central Catholic, 4:15 p.m.; GAME 4: North Andover-Andover, 6 p.m.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 29

Consolations: 1 p.m./2:45 p.m.; Semifinals: 4:30/6:15 p.m.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30

12 p.m.: 7th-place game; 1:45 p.m.: 5th-place game; 3:30 p.m.: 3rd-place game; 5:15 p.m.: Championship

This Week's Circulars