GRAND LEDGE — – After trailing 36-35 at the end of the third quarter, Grand Ledge outscored Sexton in the fourth, 19-15, to win Friday night’s CAAC Blue matchup at Grand Ledge High School, 54-51.
The Comets (2-0, 1-0), in their home opener, didn’t grab their first lead until the 5:15 mark of the fourth quarter.
“We’re a team of runs this year,” Grand Ledge coach Scott Lewis said. “We can put 10, 15 points up on the board quick. Our thing is, if we stay close and tight, we have the type of team that we are confident enough that we’re going to make that run.
“Luckily enough we did it in the fourth quarter.”
The Comets’ Malek Adams scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the game’s final eight minutes.
“I challenged him before the game today,” Lewis said. “I said there might be some college scouts here today, and they might be looking at you or looking at somebody else.
“But, by the end of the game, make sure that they are looking at you.”
Friday’s showdown was the Big Reds’ (0-1, 0-1) first of the season, and despite getting off to a 14-7 lead, it was clear that Sexton had yet to get its feet wet. The Big Reds had 14 first-half turnovers, as well as some costly ones down the stretch.
Sexton has key players on its roster that lost in the Division 4 football state championship just a few weeks ago, and Big Reds coach Carlton Valentine expected that his team “would be better later rather than sooner.”
The eighth-year coach isn’t concerned.
“That was the team that was going to win the conference last year, and they got the most returners,” Valentine said. “Our guys haven’t played together. We played together for five days.
“We had the lead, and we were winning. I’m very encouraged by this. We’re going to be OK.”
Cassell Jones also came up huge in the game’s final moments for Grand Ledge. The senior scored seven of his 17 points — went 5 for 6 from the free throw line — in the fourth quarter.
“We trust everybody on the team, and we know everyone can get it done,” Adams said. “We have Cassell, JT (Houghton), Josh (Horford). …We don’t really have that one guy we can really go to, but whoever has the hot hand we just try and give it to them.”
Senior R.J. Parker led the Big Reds in scoring with 13 points — 11 of which came in the first half. Transfer Carlo Marble scored 11 points in his Sexton debut.