Raheem Robinson (top left) and Justus Dodd (top right) of Grand Ledge leap with joy after their win over Everett Friday January 16, 2015 in Lansing. Grand Ledge won 65-62 securing 1st place in the CAAC Blue.
JT Houghton found his groove.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time for Grand Ledge.
Houghton got hot in the final quarter to help the Comets make a statement with a 65-62 victory over host Everett in Friday’s battle for first in the CAAC Blue in front of a large crowd at Earvin “Magic” Johnson Gymnasium.
Houghton’s 3 with 3:20 remaining was the go-ahead basket and he followed with a 3 on the next possession to help Grand Ledge (7-0, 5-0) put itself in the driver’s seat in the Blue race.
“He can stroke it and he’s just a streaky player,” Comets coach Scott Lewis said. “When he catches on fire it’s quick. He was huge.That was the momentum change that we needed. It got our guys going and probably helped get us that W.”
Houghton had 18 points and made four 3-pointers in the final quarter for the Comets.
“My job on the team is to make shots and provide on the offensive end,” said Houghton, who finished with a game-high 29 points. “That’s what I did.
“Usually when I hit one shot I kind of get my rhythm going. And when I get going it’s hard to miss.”
Houghton’s two straight 3s gave Grand Ledge a 60-55 lead with 2:40 remaining. Everett (6-2, 3-1) pulled to within two after Jamyrin Jackson’s 3 with just under two minutes left. The Comets hit 5 of 8 free throws, including four from Houghton, to hold on for the victory.
“He was a big difference,” said Everett’s Trevor Manuel, who had 16 points – 11 below his season average. “He was in there just putting up points and helping his team to a victory.”
Malek Adams added 17 points and Cassell Jones scored 14 to help the Comets to a victory that could be a key if they are to capture their first conference championship since 2003. Grand Ledge fell a game and a point short of the title last season.
“It’s big, but we know we can’t take anything for granted because it’s a hard conference,” Jones said.
Deshae Doll had 12 points and Jackson finished with nine for the Vikings.
“We really just got to focus on our next game and make sure we don’t drop two in a row.” Manuel said.