SGH/Epps
Four of the Spring Grove boys’ top five scorers attended the record-breaking game on Jan. 27. From left are Chase Grinde (no. 1), Aric Elton (no. 2), Blaine Storlie (no. 3) and Brady Schuttemeier (no. 5). Alex Engelhardt holds the no. 4 spot in the record books, and he was unable to attend the record-breaking game.
SGH/Epps Four of the Spring Grove boys’ top five scorers attended the record-breaking game on Jan. 27. From left are Chase Grinde (no. 1), Aric Elton (no. 2), Blaine Storlie (no. 3) and Brady Schuttemeier (no. 5). Alex Engelhardt holds the no. 4 spot in the record books, and he was unable to attend the record-breaking game.
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Spring Grove all-state basketball player Chase Grinde set the school’s all-time career scoring record earlier this season against Lyle-Pacelli on Jan. 27.

This came just a few days after his father, Wade, also his head coach, picked up his 400th career win at Spring Grove.

Chase scored the first bucket in the second half to break the record of 2,145 points (Aric Elton’s previous record), but it wasn’t a typical ho-hum two pointer.

Off a steal near the half court line, he threw down a slam-dunk to put his name in the school’s record book.

Grinde has been playing on the varsity squad since eighth grade and said it was quite an exciting thing to accomplish.

“It was extremely exciting,” said Grinde, “I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it (the scoring record). You might think it was on my mind a lot, but to be honest, when it happened, I didn’t even know it. They announced it, and I didn’t even hear it.”

Because he didn’t really hear the announcement about setting the record, Grinde said it felt like any other win that he’d celebrate with his teammates.

He was asked after the game to take a few pictures and said he wasn’t sure why, telling fans and friends he wanted to go home.

“All I wanted to do was change clothes and go home to bed,” he said through laughter. “They told me I got the scoring record and suddenly I was pretty excited. It was definitely special for me and something you work towards as a young kid, but I was really just happy to get the win and have fun playing with my team.”

Role in team has changed

Looking back from his time as a wide-eyed eighth grader to now as a senior, he said varsity basketball is a lot different.

Grinde said he has a lot more ownership in what’s going on with the team as an upperclassman.

“There’s a lot of accountability to your teammates as a senior,” he said. “As a senior and a (team) captain, it’s my job to help lead our team and be a role model. In eighth grade, you just go with the flow and keep learning and improving as you go. That’s really the main difference between then and now.”

Grinde was quick to credit his dad (and coach) Wade for teaching him how to be a leader, saying it was a different perspective suddenly having other players looking to him for leadership.

Grinde felt a lot of leadership skills don’t come naturally, and it takes time to learn how to lead. He said it was easier to lead with this group of players, because they’re a tight-knit bunch.

“For sure,” said Grinde, “we all love to play sports with each other. We always preach, ‘Be a good teammate,’ which also translates off the court as well.

“In our successes and failures on the court, we just come together. We’re definitely a brotherhood between everybody.”

Starting out as an eighth grader on the varsity team and playing straight through to his senior season, Grinde has obviously played a lot of basketball. Looking back over the years, he talked about the areas of his game that have seen the most improvement.

“I’ve really improved my quickness a lot,” he said. “I came in as an eighth grader and sat in the corner shooting three-pointers. I was too small and not quick enough to create my own shot so others had to do it for me. Athletically and strength-wise is where I think I’ve improved the most.”

Unique relationship with coach

Obviously, Grinde’s situation playing for his father as head coach is an adjustment, calling it “a little different.”

He was quick to add that it’s been nothing but beneficial for him, getting to be with his dad and coach at the same time.

“You’re constantly talking about games and practices, including what you need to work on and what the team needs to work on,” he said.

“All these things we talk about led me to have a better knowledge of the game. When your dad is the coach, you learn a lot more as a player. If he wasn’t the coach, I don’t think I’d be the same as a player.”

Grinde got to be on the floor when his dad (coach) picked up his 400th win as head coach at Spring Grove. What was his reaction to the milestone?

“I just thought it was another win,” he said while laughing heartily. “Four hundred wins are a lot of games, and I don’t think anybody deserves it more than he does. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard at wanting his team to be the best team they can be.”

Looking onto college

He has some time left with his high school teammates, but when this season and his high school career ends, Grinde won’t be finished with basketball. He signed a letter of intent to attend college and play basketball for the University of Sioux Falls next season. So why choose the Cougars?

“Right away, when you come into Sioux Falls it has a bigger town feel to it,” Grinde said. “It wasn’t small like a Spring Grove is, but it kind of reminds me of Rochester. I like all the activity that was going on.”

The campus itself was also comfortable. Enrollment is around 1,200 students, and Grinde liked the small-school feel of it and the big-city feel of Sioux Falls.

Each point scored in each game resets the record books. Currently, Grinde enters this week with 2,222 points. Grinde came into the season having already broken the all-time record for three-point field goals.

This season, he has not only added the record for scoring but also for assists and began this week only 10 steals away from a fourth career record.

It’s safe to say that Chase has established some lofty records for younger Lions to “chase”!