Lynn has been a rising power in high school girls basketball for the past decade.
It started with the St. Mary’s girls owning the Division 4 tournament. It continued with the Helen Ridley-Monique Lee eras at Lynn Classical under former coach Gene Constantino, an amazing run that included a 20-0 regular season. When Fred Hogan took over the Lynn English program, he took the competitiveness of Lynn basketball – not to mention the Lady Bulldogs’ program – to a new level. Second-year coach Kevin McDormand is trying to make his mark and build a top program at Lynn Tech.
The decade has ended with Coach Jeff Newhall and the St. Mary’s team as the new holder of the throne after an impressive performance in the Boverini Tournament. The Spartans, led by tournament MVP Cassi Amenta, defeated English, 60-45, to capture the championship.
Amenta scored 26 points and her emergence as a scorer, rebounder, and defensive force has helped the Spartans race to a 6-0 record. Junior center Tori Faieta was again immense with 14 ponts and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Bria Tiro, who joined Amenta on the All-Tournament team, chipped in with 15 points.
“Cassi has improved every year and had an outstanding tournament,” said Newhall. “She’s really playing excellent basketball at both ends of the court.”
Brianna Anderson, a 5-foot-7-inch forward, came off the bench to play outstanding defense atop the Spartans’ zone defense. Molly Carey, a junior guard, was also tremendous on defense and hit a huge three-pointer to break open a 30-30 and ignite the team. Carey had eight rebounds and seven steals. Starting guard Kirsten Ferrari also played well for the Spartans in the tournament.
Newhall recognized that winning the well-attended Boverini Tournament was a milestone for his program.
“Going into the season, you think you have a pretty good team and there are certain things you want to accomplish and this is certainly one of them,” said Newhall. “To be recognized as the best team in the city – a city that has strong girls basketball – is obviously a huge step for our team and our program.”
Newhall isn’t about to let his team rest on its Lynn supremacy and the schedule wouldn’t allow it anyway. The Spartans host Division 4 powerhouse Manchester Wednesday and a 5-1 Arlington Catholic team Friday. The best individual match-up of the year may be next Wednesday (Jan. 13) when Archbishop Williams and its 6-foot-4-inch Michigan-bound center Val Driscoll comes to Conigliaro Gymnasium to play St. Mary’s D-1 prospect and 6-foot-2-inch center Tori Faieta and the Lady Spartans.