New Mission of Roxbury raced to a 17-point halftime lead and defeated Northbridge 67-57 on Saturday in the Massachusetts Division 2 championship.
New Mission, a Boston-area school of only about 275 students, won the Division 4 championship last season. Most Division 2 schools have more than 1,000 students.
"We made the decision to move up," New Mission head coach Cory McCarthy told the Worcester Telegram prior to the game. "Actually, it was my decision."
Turns out that was a good decision. With Saturday's victory at the DCU Center, New Mission (22-4) becomes the first school to win Division 4 and Division 2 championships in back-to-back seasons.
The turning point in the final seemed to come early in the second quarter as Northbridge mustered just two points in the first three minutes, allowing New Mission to get out to a comfortable lead. Up 55-34 going into the final stanza, New Mission never looked back.
New Mission was led by Darius Davis, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, who finished with 17 points -- 12 of which came in the first half. Samir McDaniels added 16 points while Kachi Nzerem poured in another 15.
For Northbridge (20-6), Corey Pryor scored 17 points, nine of which came in the first half. The talented senior averaged over 27 points per game this season. Jake Ratcliffe chipped in 11, and Harrison Murphy had 10 to round out Northbridge's double-digit scorers. It was the team's first time in a state championship game since 1980.