WORCESTER – Before Northbridge could even get a look at the basket, they were faced with the task of getting past New Mission’s furious full-court press.
But the Titans cranked up the heat on defense and disrupted Northbridge’s tempo, cruising to a 67-57 win in the Division 2 state championship at the DCU Center Saturday.
“We knew we could use our length on this court,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “I felt like if we came out in [a press] we’d end up in a good situation in terms of getting steals, putbacks – the whole nine.”
Throughout the second half, New Mission’s lead never slipped below 17 points until the two minute mark in the fourth quarter when the Titans were leading 65-49.
“[The lead] gave us a lot of momentum,” said senior Darius Davis, who led New Mission with 17 points. “Being in the press really fired me up and we used our intensity to force a lot of turnovers.”
“Those guys are the best guys I ever coached,” McCarthy said. “They’ve stuck together and they’re four different personalities, and usually in those situations that’s tough to manage. But they’re able to stick together cause they’re high character guys.”
McCarthy said that the team was a little shaky on offense, but that was because the team focused on getting the ball inside, especially Nzerem.
“It’s not always about me,” Nzerem said. “My coach always wants me to shoot and my shooting’s an ability I have, but I always like to feed my teammates.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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