In the first clash of the titans since the Boston City League was reshuffled so the five top programs are in the North division, the actual Titans defeated the Townies at Charlestown High on Friday night.
Since New Mission used to play in the South division before the league was divided into three divisions, their 87-60 victory on Friday was the Titans' (3-0) first meeting with Charlestown (0-1) since their program started about a decade ago.
“We could've executed better but we knew this was our first time playing here, we knew they had a really good coaching staff and we knew we had to prepare,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “And we prepared and we got the results because we prepared.
“We didn’t do 11 scrimmages for nothing.”
Unlike the slow start he had in New Mission’s home opening win against Burke on Wednesday night, sophomore guard Juwan Gooding got off to a scorching start against Charlestown.
The Milton High transfer scored a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers. The first three of the 3-pointers came as he scored New Mission's first 11 points.
After Gooding hit a 3-pointer at the 6:43 mark of the first quarter he hit another one at 5:18 to go up 6-3. Then he drained two foul shots before hitting a third 3-pointer about 20 seconds later to go up 11-6.
“It was the crowd, the crowd got me into it,” Gooding said. “Our crowd was louder than their crowd so it just happened, you know.”
After that opening sequence, Gooding didn’t score in the second quarter as he looked to get his teammates more involved.
New Mission took a 39-28 lead into the locker room at halftime but Charlestown got back into the game as Gooding committed his fourth foul and sat out much of the third quarter.
A 6-0 run by Charlestown made the score 53-40 with about three minutes left in the third before New Mission senior Chima Ebele (10 points) stopped the bleeding with a bucket. Then Gooding scored his first basket of the quarter on a free throw to put his team up, 56-40.
With 38 seconds left in the quarter, junior guard Shaquan Murray (14 points) hit a 3-pointer just before Gooding hit his own to go up 66-44. Then, as time expired in the quarter, Murray missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as he was fouled on his way up for the shot and then again on his way down. He appealed to the referee for a foul call, and after a brief delay had his wish granted.
“That sequence was pivotal to the game, we just wanted to extend the lead, and those threes were very pivotal,” said Murray, who hit two of three free throws to send his team into the final quarter with a 71-45 edge. “That gave us a lot of momentum. We just really wanted to win the game. We were hungry.”
Junior forward Fred Rivers also had 10 points for the Titans while Charlestown was led by junior forward Freddy Oliveira (15 points) who transferred from West Roxbury this year.
“I was anxious, I was nervous, it was more than I expected,” Oliveira said. “I didn’t expect it to be like that. I’ve never been to a Charlestown game, like the fans and all that, the intensity got to me.
“We had a scouting report on them, everybody knew what to expect, it’s just that we are a new team.”
The sixth man for the Townies last year, junior guard Taris Wilson (13 points) is the only returning contributor from last year's team that lost in overtime in the Division 1 state semifinals to Brockton.
“We’re trying to get our nucleus together, our team together,” Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso said. “I love coaching these guys, brand new team, but I love coaching them; great guys.”
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