In leading the McAuley High girls’ basketball team on both ends of the floor Friday against Thornton Academy, Eva Mazur invoked memories of one of the school’s best ever players.

“The last girl I had like this was Alexa Coulombe,” McAuley Coach Bill Goodman said after a 41-31 win. “Alexa filled the stat sheet like Eva.”

That’s high praise heaped on a sophomore point guard, considering Coulombe helped McAuley win two state titles and was named Miss Maine Basketball before heading to Boston College, where she is currently a captain for the Eagles.

Mazur certainly was a force in leading the defensive-minded Lions (5-0) past one of their biggest rivals, finishing with six points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals to keep McAuley unbeaten.

“Eva is a special talent,” said Goodman. “Last year, she averaged two points per game and I couldn’t take her off the floor. We won 19 games and she was out there a lot. She’s a winner, just a very good natural basketball player, and we need her on the floor.

“She does everything. She’s been filling the stat sheet with rebounds, steals, assists and points. She really does it all.”

Mazur anchored a defensive zone that wreaked havoc for much of the contest, forcing 21 turnovers while limiting the Trojans (4-1) to five second-half field goals.

The defense allowed McAuley to record a pair of stretches where they scored at least 10 straight points.

“We work on defense every day,” said Goodman. “We’re a young team, and we struggle on offense sometimes, so we just have to make sure we’re good at something. We start with that.”

“The trap on the perimeter caused some problems for us,” said Thornton Coach Eric Marston. “We made some adjustments, but I feel like they play like we do. They rotate really well, they close out really well, they don’t give up a lot of open shots, and they’re very scrappy on defense.”

After McAuley kept Thornton scoreless for six minutes at the end of the third and into the middle of the fourth, the Trojans climbed back into the game. A 3-pointer by Ashley Howe (12 points) started a 10-1 run that cut the deficit to four with a minute to play.

Emily Weisser (12 points) put back an offensive rebound for McAuley to halt the Trojans’ momentum.

“That was huge,” said Goodman. “Emily Weisser works every day – extra – on her moves, on her shot. She’s constantly working hard. I need her out there for defense, but her offense is really coming around and she played tough tonight.”

McAuley’s leading scoring, senior center Jess Willerson, was held to nine points but grabbed 11 rebounds.

“Jess has been averaging 20 points a game for us this year, and tonight the shots weren’t going in,” said Goodman. “She’s made a concentrated effort to be a better defender and it’s really paying off. She’s improved a lot, and when her offense wasn’t there tonight, her defense was.”

Thornton point guard Alex Hart finished with six steals and four assists.