Editor’s Note: Periodically, The Andover Townsman takes a look back at Andover High stars from the past 20 years through pictures. This week, we look at boys Christmas Tournament stars:
For the first time since the mid-1970’s, the Andover High boys basketball team will not be competing in the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic, previously known as the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament.
COVID-19 led to the cancellation of the iconic holiday hoops tournament, which began in 1975 and has been played ever since, with occasional tweaks, a name change and the addition of a girls tourney.
One of the anchor schools of the Christmas Classic from the start has been Andover High, and many Golden Warriors rank among the best to ever play in the tourney.
Andover’s last Christmas Classic title came in 2014, led by tourney MVP Connor Merinder (AHS, ‘15). The center had 12 points and seven rebounds as the Golden Warriors beat archrival Central Catholic 68-53 in the title game.
Another member of that team was guard David Giribaldi (AHS, ‘15), who also led Andover to the 2013 tourney title and earned MVP honors. He scored 113 points in his Christmas Tourney career.
Andover also took the title in 2010 — its first since 1994 — led by MVP Joe Bramanti (AHS, ‘11). A high-flying forward, Bramanti scored 174 points in Christmas Classic games.
Andover Hall of Famer Chris Vetrano set an overall Christmas Classic record with 254 points in four tournament (2000-03). He broke the record of 213 points previously owned by Andover Hall of Famers Tim Perry (1983-85) and Tommy McLaughlin (1997-99). E.J Perry was a rare three-time tourney All-Star (2014-16).