Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic 2017

LAWRENCE, Mass. - Dec. 11, 2017 - PRLog -- RYAN HUTTON/ Staff photoNorth Andover's Sean Kenneally receives his scholarship award from Commonwealth Motors owner Charlie Daher at the Commonwealth Christmas Tourney banquet.

HAVERHILL — Rick Gorman had a blockbuster announcement Sunday night at the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classics banquet at DiBurro's.

The legendary tourney is launching a Hall of Fame beginning in 2018.

The boys tourney is entering its 43rd year and the girls tourney its 32nd year.

Gorman, the tournament co-chairman, said, "We're officially establishing a Hall of Fame. It's long overdue."

So good luck to 29th-year Andover High boys coach Dave Fazio, who was a Christmas Tourney champion at Central Catholic. He is heading up the committee.

This one should have more basketball greatness (male and female) than any outside of Springfield.

The inaugural class will be inducted at next year's tourneys.

This year's tourneys begin Saturday, Dec. 23 with the boys tourney at Methuen High for the second year in a row and the girls tourney moving from North Andover to Central Catholic.

Commonwealth's 5th year of sponsorship

Gorman went out of his way to praise Charlie Daher and the Daher family of Commonwealth Motors.

This will be the fifth year Commonwealth has been generous principal sponsors of the tournament.

Gorman said, "If it wasn't for Charlie, we wouldn't have all the things we have," alluding to the banquet, T-shirts and scholarships.Commonwealth has awarded $80,000 in scholarships the five years they have sponsored the tournament.

Changes afoot

For decades, there were almost no changes in the boys tournament, but the last few years there have been major overhauls.

St. John's Prep of Danvers and Bishop Guertin of Nashua have been added, replacing Salem, one of the original members from 1975, and Windham, which had been in the tournament the last two years.

Gorman said, "Bishop Guertin and St. John's are great additions. To bring in two programs like this is huge."

He added, "Salem and Windham withdrew, they weren't kicked out."

Windham was 0-6 over the last two years while Salem certainly had its moments as a top team in the tourney. The Blue Devils, however, never won the title in 41 years, but played for the title in 1975, 1991, 1994 and 2003.

On the girls' side, last year four teams were added (Pentucket, Londonderry, Bishop Guertin and Winnacunnet) to make it an eight-team field.

The same eight schools are back this winter.

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