Lindsay Orwat’s 30-foot 3-point basket to end the first quarter only trimmed an 8-point deficit to five.
But it started the Comets toward a 56-44 Class A girls basketball regional semifinal win over Kalamazoo Central on Tuesday night.
“We just missed a few shots early on, and got a little frustrated in some of our offense,” Grand Ledge coach David Jones said. “You’ve got to give credit to Kalamazoo Central, because they came out and put a lot of pressure on us.
“But when Lindsay hit that shot, that just kind of loosened everybody up. We just came out and played really well in that second quarter.”
No. 4-ranked Grand Ledge (22-2) faces No. 6 Haslett (23-1) in Thursday’s 7 p.m. regional final at Ann Arbor Huron.
“We just kind of got wound up in the big game, big crowd thing,” said Lindsay Orwat, who finished with a game-high 17 points. “But we’re experienced, we just settled down and ended up playing like a team and coming around.”
Cori Crocker added 14 points and 10 rebounds and Hannah Orwat 10 points for the Comets, who scored 12 straight points in the second quarter to turn a 17-9 deficit into a 21-17 lead.
“They’ve got two pretty good-sized inside players, and I thought Cori did what she needed to do to get us the win,” Jones said. “She was just very active, and she’s been like that the past couple of weeks for us.”
Grand Ledge expanded a 25-19 halftime lead to 39-25 after three quarters and then 51-27 with 3:35 remaining.
“We just got into a groove, and we were handling their pressure, moving the ball well, and it helped that Lauren Rambo came in and hit a couple of shots,” Jones said.
Comet reserve players then gave up 13 straight points before Jones put the starters back in.
Lindsay Orwat hit 4-of-4 free throws to secure the Comets’ 20th straight win in 2014 after a 2-2 start in 2013.
Crocker and senior Codie Drake held Kalamazoo Central center and Miss Basketball candidate Asia Robeson to her team’s first three points until she added nine in the last 3:23.