Ava Thurman, left, and the Lynn Classical girls basketball team will play in the opening game of the Walter Boverini Tournament Tuesday afternoon against Lynn Tech. (Item File Photo)

Boverini Tournament set to make its return

After a year away due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic last winter, the Walter J. Boverini Tournament is making its return for its 17th edition, beginning Tuesday at Lynn English High School. 

The tournament's namesake, who died in 2008, served as a teacher, coach and mentor at four of the Lynn high schools — Classical, English, St. Mary’s and Tech — for 18 years. His contributions in the classroom and in sports earned him the distinction of being inducted into both the Classical Hall of Fame (1996) and the English Hall of Fame (2003). 

After his career as an educator and coach in Lynn, Boverini moved on to the political field and was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1970 to represent the then-9th Essex District. He was then elected to the Massachusetts State Senate in 1972 to serve the 1st Essex District. He was appointed Majority Whip in 1979, serving in that capacity for six years before being appointed Senate Majority Leader in 1985, a position he held until his retirement from politics in 1994.

This year's tournament will once again feature the boys and girls basketball teams from all four Lynn high schools that Boverini was involved with during his lifetime — Classical, English, St. Mary's and Tech. It's a bit of a switch from the 2019 edition on the boys side, when KIPP took English's place while the Bulldogs competed in a tournament in South Dakota. 

But all teams will be looking to unseat St. Mary's on both sides, as the Spartan boys and girls are both looking to repeat as tournament champions. The St. Mary's boys are actually looking for their third straight Boverini title, while the girls are aiming for their seventh in a row.

But while the outcomes are never guaranteed, one thing that is for sure is that all eight teams are coming into the tournament playing good basketball. The St. Mary's girls are already 5-1 on the year after a successful trip to southwest Florida, while the St. Mary's boys sit at 3-1. The English boys and girls as well as the Classical girls are all 3-0 and still undefeated on the season, while the Tech girls are 2-2 and the Tech boys are 1-2. 

Everything tips off at noon Tuesday, when the Classical and Tech girls will start off the festivities with the opening game. The Classical and Tech boys will follow at 1:45 p.m., then the English and St. Mary's girls face off at 3:45 p.m. before the English and St. Mary's boys cap off the first night with a 5:15 p.m. bout. 

The tournament will then continue into Wednesday, with the girls consolation game set for noon, the boys consolation at 1:45 p.m., the girls championship game at 3:45 p.m. and the boys championship game at 5:15 p.m.

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