By Ryan Atkinson
Globe Sports Writer
Purdy came to life, Cole Lowry left with a twisted ankle and McAuley Catholic’s homecoming night ended on a sour note.
McAuley led by double figures in the first half before Purdy’s stellar second half led the Eagles to a 73-62 win over the Warriors on Friday night at McAuley High School.
The Warriors built a a 22-11 lead late in the first quarter and led 31-22 midway through the second, thanks in large part to Shaw Robertson’s 16 first-half points.
But Lowry, a solid defender who had already scored five points, then went down with a twisted ankle. Coincidence or not, that’s when the Eagles began to claw back.
“Cole is our best defender and when he’s gone everybody moves down a slot,” McAuley coach Randy Robertson said. “It hurt us. It’s not why we lost — Purdy played a good ball game — but it hurt us.”
Purdy used a small 10-6 run to end the half to crawl within 37-32.
The Eagles (15-8, 3-2 Ozark 7 Conference) then exploded in the third quarter, scoring the first seven points to spark a 16-3 run that gave them a 48-40 lead at the 2:36 mark. Ten of those points came on layups, one of which was part of a Alex Mareth three-point play.
“We finally started getting some stops defensively,” Purdy coach Tommy Egan said. “They got whatever they wanted in the first half. We got some big stops, which led to transition and that was really the key.
“We turned them over a couple times, which led to east baskets and then we could relax a little bit and play loose.”
Purdy led by 12 — 59-47 — after Keevin Walker’s trey early in the fourth quarter before McAuley, and especially Robertson, made it interesting.
Robertson, who was held to one point in the third quarter, scored eight points in a 10-2 McAuley (9-14, 3-3) run that cut the Eagle lead to 61-57 with 4:31 to play.
But the Eagles scored the next eight points and ended the game on a 12-5 run.
“We didn’t take good shots and we didn’t make good decisions when we needed to,” Randy Robertson said. “All the things we did in the first half we didn’t do in the second half and they finally got going a little bit.”
Robertson finished the night with 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting from the field. He was 5-of-7 from the foul line.
“We had to do some box-and-1 type stuff on him and tell a man not to help off and zone off around him,” Egan said of Robertson. “He’s a heck of a player, holy cow.”
Connor Schlegel added 13 for the Warriors.
Purdy’s balanced scoring attack was led by Walker and Brent Cornman, who each had 17. Cameron Terry added 16 and Alex Mareth had 13.
Purdy girls 34, McAuley 25
Purdy jumped out to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter and held off the Warriors.
Just eight players scored in the game — five for Purdy and three for McAuley.
Victoria Foley, a senior forward, scored 21 of McAuley’s 25 points, including all 10 of the Warriors’ fourth-quarter points. Abby Pekarek and Katie Carr each added two.
Katie Hughes led Purdy with 10 points while Desirie Ennes and Billie House added eight apiece. Jayse Henderson (6) and Courtney White (2) rounded out the scoring.