Titans defeat Cathedral High to win first state title
By Justin A. Rice
With about 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining in the Division 4 state championship boys’ basketball game on Monday afternoon at TD Garden, members of the New Mission girls’ basketball team started chanting “Cory, Cory, Cory, Cory!”
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“Cory,” is the Titans boys’ coach Cory McCarthy, who led the girls program to their first ever state crown in 2007.
“Those were my girls in 2007,” McCarthy said after duplicating the feat by coaching the boys’ team to its first ever state championship by beating Cathedral High, 75-47, on Monday afternoon. It was great.
“New Mission High kids, I always tell people when I go on the train and when I go in public you can always pick out New Mission kids. Not because they’re the loudest but because they are usually the most well spoken, are aware of their surroundings and can have a conversation with anybody. This is for New Mission.”
When the previous boys’ coach left a team that was the doormat of the City League from its inception, McCarthy figured it was easier to take over the boys’ program himself and find a new girls’ coach.
But despite the fact that McCarthy is also New Mission’s Dean of Students, he still had to earn the boys’ trust.
“Corey coming in as a girls coach, I was thinking ‘He knows nothing about boys’ basketball,’” junior guard Samir McDaniels said after scoring 17 points against Cathedral on Monday. “So it was kind of hard for us to trust him. Girls’ basketball is a totally different story to be honest.
“Honestly, it took a couple practices and a couple games for him to show us he knows what he’s talking about, what he shows us actually works. We learned to trust each other. We became a family.”
Taking over the program last season, the easiest way for McCarthy to prove he knew what he was doing in those early days was to tell his players he’s coached on the famed parquet.
By the time they lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament last season, McCarthy had well won over his new guys.
“We didn’t practice hard last year because they were still feeling me out, ‘Do I want to play for this guy, he thinks I’m a tough guy,’” McCarthy said. “Once they found out how much I loved them it changed. There’s a lot of love in that locker room.
“Thank you guys for allowing me to prove that I’m not a liar. This is where they want to be, they’re in awe of this place. I’m in awe of this place, in absolute awe of this place.”