WORCESTER -- No. 2 Groton-Dunstable (19-3) found itself behind for much of the second half.
The Crusaders trailed No. 3 Medway (17-5) by three with under four minutes remaining.
Senior Ethan Cook's corner three-pointer late in the fourth highlighted a 11-1 flurry to put Groton-Dunstable in the lead and the Crusaders never looked back, as they held off Medway, 61-54, in Tuesday night's Division 2 Central Mass. boys basketball semifinal at WPI's Harrington Auditorium.
Groton-Dunstable advances to its first Central Mass. final since 2010, where it will meet No. 1 Nashoba Regional on Saturday at 6:45 p.m.
"It is gonna be a tough game either way," said senior forward Gavin Keough, who finished with 16 points.
It was the hustle play of Evan Cook midway through the third quarter to keep the play alive and senior center Alex Platt's putback basket that helped turn the tide for Groton-Dunstable.
"It was hard-fought," said Groton-Dunstable head coach Greg Gillette. "These games you have to find a way to win them -- it isn't always aesthetically pleasing. Evan (Cook) and the kid from Medway diving on the floor and sliding 50-feet for a loose ball is huge -- plays like that are how the games are won. Alex (Platt) kept the ball alive for us with a couple of big putbacks and he did a great job locking down on number 33 (Andrew Tiernan).
Senior guard Tyler Leclerc scored a team-high 19 points and Evan Cook netted 10. Platt scored just four points and had seven boards -- the bulk of which came in the fourth quarter.
"It was a big stage and in the first three quarters I really didn't play well at all," said the 6-foot-6 senior center. "In the fourth quarter, the game wasn't quite going our way and I had to change that. Thirty-three (Tiernan) was their leading scorer. I was face-guarding him and didn't let him get the ball at all. He didn't get any points in that fourth quarter. We had to shut him down. I took on the mentality that whenever the ball was in the air -- it was my ball. I realized that the game could be over just like that -- I didn't want it to end."
Leclerc was impressed with the Crusaders' collective effort.
"We just played Bartlett in the Clark (Tournament), who is a running team and that really prepared us for this game," he said. "We really just got a spark on defense in the fourth and that really gave us a lot more energy on offense."
Medway was led by Tiernan (19 points) and Liam Regan (14 points).