By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer
Jasper’s Mike Spicer sliced through McAuley Catholic’s defense and scored 29 points in the Eagles’ 51-45 victory Tuesday night in a boys nonconference game at McAuley.
Spicer, a 6-foot-1 senior, scored 10 of Jasper’s first 12 points, then the Eagles closed the first half with a 16-0 run to take a 29-17 lead.
“We had good rotation on our press and made layups when we had the opportunity,” said Jasper head coach Chad Harris. “We were pressing too much on the offensive end and weren’t playing with enough energy on the defensive end.”
McAuley trailed 35-19 midway through the third quarter, then went on a 9-0 run that cut Jasper’s lead to 35-28 going into the final period. Spicer scored seven of Jasper’s first eight points in the fourth quarter, and two free throws by Logan Johnson gave the Eagles a 49-37 lead with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining.
Shaw Robertson led McAuley Catholic with 13 points. Cole Lowry scored all eight of his points in the second half as the Warriors’ comeback attempt fell short.
“There’s no reason to get that far behind in the first place,” said McAuley head coach Randy Robertson. “We had too many turnovers and, of course, they were scoring off of them.
“We were down 12 or 14 points Monday night and came back and won,” he said. “There’s just no reason to be that far behind.”
McAuley, trailing 12-8 after the first quarter, gradually built a 17-13 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half. After a Jasper timeout, the Eagles’ defensive pressure intensified.
Jacob Holliday scored eight of his 11 points during Jasper’s 16-0 run, which was highlighted by four steals that directly led to baskets by Holliday, Austin Sweeney, Jed Kaderly and Spicer.
Jasper gained an advantage at the free-throw line by making 12 of 25 free throws compared with 5 of 18 free throws for the Warriors.
McAuley’s Zach Crossland scored six of his nine points in the game’s last two minutes.