In one of his only missteps of the evening, Central Catholic’s Tyler Nelson slipped to the floor underneath the opposing basket, and a loose ball found his hands. Even while seated on the hardwood, the junior guard managed to hoist a shot that swished through the net, indicative of his shooting prowess.

Nelson led all scorers with 21 points — 18 of which came in the first half — as No. 1 Central Catholic buried No. 4 Lowell, 70-49, last night in Lawrence. The Raiders (10-1) maintained their position atop the Merrimack Valley standings with the win, while Lowell (10-2) suffered its second loss in three games.

Senior guard Lucas Hammel and junior forward Nick Cambio also reached double figures for Central, scoring 16 points and 13 points, respectively. Cambio also pulled down 10 rebounds.

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The hosts raced to a 17-4 lead through the first six minutes, aided by 8 points from Nelson and six turnovers from the Red Raiders.

“We’ve only lost once here in the last five years, and the only team to beat us was Lowell last year,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “We got off to a great start and it just took off from there.”

Senior forward Robert Allard led Lowell with 11 points.

Andover 64, North Andover 52— Chris Bordwell had 23 points for the No. 6 Golden Warriors, who topped the No. 7 Scarlet Knights.

BC High 62, Catholic Memorial 43— Senior guards Jameilin Jones and Charles Collins combined for 38 points in the ninth-ranked Eagles’ win over the No. 18 Knights.

Scituate 57, Hingham 56 — The Sailors’ Matt McRae broke a 56-all tie from the free throw line for the win. John Foster led all scorers with 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Scituate (8-2)

Lynn English 74, Saugus 72 — Stevie Collins stole the ball and got off last-second, game-winning shot for the Bulldogs.

Girls’ basketball

Springfield (Ore.) 51, Braintree 42 — The Oregon-based Millers defeated the first-ranked Wamps (11-1) behind a impressive performance from Tennessee-commit Mercedes Russell (25 points, 17 rebounds, 8 blocks).

Barnstable 47, Bridgewater-Raynham 41— Molly Bend nearly had a triple-double for the Red Raiders (9-2) with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Lawrence 57, Haverhill 34— Five-foot-11-inch Molly Hoopes had a big game for the Hillies with 26 rebounds, 15 blocks, and 9 nine points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lancers.

West Bridgewater 50, Bristol Aggie 23 — The Wildcats (10-0) got a 28-point, 12-rebound effort from Brittany Stone.

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Two basketball tournaments this weekend will bring some of the top players in the country to Massachusetts.

The BABC is hosting the 2013 Prep School Classic starting Saturday at the Kroc Community Center in Boston. The first of four games begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.

And at Springfield College, the Spalding Hoophall Classic continues today with six games. The tournament includes teams from as far away as California and concludes Monday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students.