GRAND LEDGE – Cassell Jones and Grand Ledge have a point to prove.
And they also have some unfinished business to take care of.
Jones and the Comet boys basketball team can take a major step in doing both Friday when they travel to face Class A honorable mention Everett for what is one of the area’s top games and a battle for first in the CAAC Blue.
Grand Ledge (6-0, 4-0) was picked to finish behind the Vikings (6-1, 3-0) in the Blue this season and has been looking forward to this game since the preseason rankings were released.
The Comets are also on a mission to capture the Blue title after finishing a game behind champion Holt last year.
“We all feel like we should have won it last year, so that is a big motivation,” said Jones, a senior point guard in his fourth year on varsity. “It’s a big motivation that we were picked second in the conference. We feel like we need to prove something to everybody.”
It was a 65-64 overtime loss to Holt in their final Blue contest last February that led to the Comets falling short last season. That was one of two conference games Grand Ledge lost by two points or less and one of two it dropped in overtime.
The Comets have all but one player back from last year’s team that finished 14-7 and they all remember the disappointment of coming up just short of the school’s first conference title since 2003.
“That killed us. We had it, and it just slipped away at the end literally by one point,” Grand Ledge junior center Josh Horford said.
“All offseason we’ve been grinding. Coaches have been reminding us daily about it. We’re just trying to prove something this year.”
That fueled the offseason workouts and has been a driving force in practices for Grand Ledge, which is off to its best start under fifth-year coach Scott Lewis. The team has adopted the motto “One more” because it finished a game and a point short in the Blue. That meant one more individual workout each week in April, one more shootout each week during the summer and its even carried over into the weight room, shooting free throws and other drills.
“Collectively, I think as a team we felt like we fell short of our goal of winning the conference,” Lewis said. “When stuff like that happens it either breaks you or makes you better. So far this year, and even in our offseason, I think it made our team better. That’s been our goal since April — to finish the job and to finish strong this year.”
Waverly at Haslett, 6 p.m.
Sexton at East Lansing, 6 p.m.
Grand Ledge at Everett, 6 p.m.
St. Johns at Mason, 6 p.m.
Jackson at Eastern, 6 p.m.
Eaton Rapids at Ionia, 6 p.m.
Okemos at Holt, 6 p.m.
Williamston at Portland, 6 p.m.
DeWitt at Owosso, 6 p.m.
Lansing Catholic at Fowlerville, 6 p.m.
Stockbridge at Lansing Christian, 7 p.m.
Leslie at Olivet, 7 p.m.
Webberville at Genesee, 7 p.m.
New Lothrop at Morrice, 7 p.m.
Lakewood at Maple Valley, 7 p.m.
Perry at Corunna, 7:30 p.m.
Alma at Ovid-Elsie, 7:30 p.m.
Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary at Ithaca, 7:30 p.m.
Charlotte at Battle Creek Pennfield, 7:30 p.m.
Stockbridge at Lansing Christian, 5:30 p.m.
New Lothrop at Morrice, 5:30 p.m.
Leslie at Olivet, 5:30 p.m.
Webberville at Genesee, 5:30 p.m.
Lakewood at Maple Valley, 5:30 p.m.
Charlotte at Battle Creek Pennfield, 6 p.m.
Perry at Corunna, 6 p.m.
Alma at Ovid-Elsie, 6 p.m.
Fulton at Dansville, 6 p.m.
Portland St. Patrick at Potterville, 7 p.m.
Fowler at Bath, 7 p.m.
Saranac at Laingsburg, 7 p.m.
Lansing Catholic at Fowlerville, 7:30 p.m.
Williamston at Portland, 7:30 p.m.
DeWitt at Owosso, 7:30 p.m.
St. Johns at Mason, 7:30 p.m.
Ashley at Sacred Heart, 7:30 p.m.
Fulton at Dansville, 7:30 p.m.
Sexton at East Lansing, 7:30 p.m.
Waverly at Haslett, 7:30 p.m.
Okemos at Holt, 7:30 p.m.
Eaton Rapids at Ionia, 7:30 p.m.
Grand Ledge at Everett, 7:30 p.m.
Blanchard Montabella at Carson City-Crystal, 7:30 p.m.
Jackson at Eastern, 7:30 p.m.