Cage tourneys continue; summer leagues, Little League begin
Friday, June 20, 2014 6:23 AM
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
Brock Schuttemeier gets to the hoop against Prairie du Chien.
S. Lee Epps
New Albin 8, SG 0
Spring Grove was hobbled by the no-hit pitching of New Albin southpaw Micah Reinke. Thirteen of the 15 Lion outs came with strikeouts. The only three SG base runners came with walks.
It was the league opener for both teams and the season lid-lifter for the Lions. But New Albin had already played a few non-league games.
NA 014 30 - 8 7 0
SG 000 00 - 0 0 5
C. Bergrud and Bratland
In the second/participation game, New Albin won 19-1 with a no-hitter tossed by both Cameron Olson and Jonah Reinke. Neither hurler issued a walk, but the Lions avoided a shutout with the visitors' only 2 errors. Isaac Gengler reached base on an infield error, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error.
Spring Valley 8, SG 4
Both teams had 8 hits; SG had 4 extra-base knocks - a triple by Caleb Nerstad (2 for 3) and doubles from Nic Peterson (3 for 3), Carter Bratland and Kyle Hagen.
Spring Valley had one extra-base hit and was the only squad with a big inning. The home team's 5-run outburst broke a 1-1 tie in the second inning.
Winning pitcher Tyler Ruesink struck out 9 and walked none. For SG, Chandler Bergrud and Bratland combined to fan 9 SV batters.
This game versus a team from the West Division did not count in SG's East Division standings. The crossover game was scheduled to fill in the schedule since usual East Division rivals, Mabel and Brownsville, do not have teams this summer.
SG 120 01 - 4 8 3
SV 152 0x - 8 8 2
C. Bergrud, Bratland and Bratland, Hagen
In the second/participation game, Spring Valley used a no-hitter to win 14-1. Five Lions reached base with walks. Gengler scored with the aid of a passed ball and a pair of wild pitches.
SV hit 3 home runs. Two solo shots came back-to-back, and the third was a grand slam.
VARSITY BOYS BASKETBALL
A second straight weekend tournament found the Lions at La Crosse Central for a two-day, 4-game event. SG went 2-2 with both losses coming against considerably larger schools - including a one-point setback against a team that went undefeated.
SG 43, Tomah 35
There were 10 lead changes, five in each half. An 8-0 Lion run broke a 31-31 tie. SG went to the delay game with a 4-point lead and broke free for a pair of lay-ups to win by 8.
It had been the opposite in the first half when a 7-point Timberwolf run put Tomah ahead 21-19 at halftime.
Each team scored 30 points from the field, but the Lions hit 13 of 15 free throws while Tomah went 5 for 8.
Owatonna 34, SG 33
It was a matter of wide momentum swings. Class AAAA Owatonna scored the first 5 points; the Class A Lions scored the next 17. SG appeared in firm control with a 24-10 lead before the Huskies closed the first half with a 6-point run to make it 24-16 at the break.
Owatonna caught up at 28-28 on the way to a 34-30 advantage. Alex Engelhardt's third 3-point basket made it a one-point game.
The Huskies went to a delay offense in the final minute forcing SG to foul. Owatonna left the door open missing all five free late throws. But the Lions could not get a shot to fall.
SG outscored the Huskies from the field 31-23. But a tough Owatonna defense limited the Lions to only six free throws (2 for 6). One Lion fouled out, and even including their last-minute dry spell, the Huskies netted 11 of 21 free throws. Owatonna won all four of its weekend games.
SG 47, Prairie du Chien 29
The Lions scored the first 13 points. The Blackhawks quickly got back within 6 points, but SG was back up by 13 at halftime (25-12). The Lions held double-digit leads throughout the second half.
Nine different Lions scored. SG made as many free throws (8 for 12) as PdC attempted (4 for 8).
La Crosse Logan 41, SG 37
Logan, a school with about eight and half times as many students as SG, won with superior perimeter shooting. The Rangers buried as many 3-point field goals (7) as they did 2-pointers (7). SG had 15 baskets to 14 for Logan, but the Lions had only 3 treys.
SG rallied from 11 points down to get within 3 at halftime (22-19). The Lions edged ahead 33-32 with a Tanner Sanness bucket; Dustin Vickerman made it 35-32. But back-to-back triples put the Rangers back on top to stay.
Also playing major roles in the Lions' mostly eight-player rotation were Brady Schuttemeier, Dylan Kampschroer, Gabe Solum, Chase Grinde and Elliott Cross. Vickerman missed the first game (Tomah) taking college entrance exams; Grinde did not play in the finale after sustaining an injury during the PdC game.
B-team stalwarts staying for reserve duty were Jordan Jaster and Brock Schuttemeier.
After two tournaments, the varsity boys enter league play this week with a 5-2 summer record.
B-TEAM BOYS BASKETBALL
Also in a weekend tourney at La Crosse Central, the B-boys won three and lost one with two of the triumphs coming in overtime. None of the seven B-teams went undefeated; five finished pool play with 2-1 records.
SG 33, La Crosse Central 28
An 11-point second half run gave the Lions a 25-20 lead. The Red Raiders got back within one point (29-28) but would not score again in the final minute and a half. SG scored the final four points from the foul line.
A taller and more physical Central squad outscored SG by one point from the field, but the Lions sank 8 of 12 free throws. The Raiders went to the foul line only once (2 for 2).
SG 57, Tomah 52 (OT)
The B-team boys led by 17 at halftime (34-17). But outscored by 17 (33-16) in the second half, the Lions had to go to overtime to finally tame the Timberwolves.
After five late lead changes, Brock Schuttemeier hit 1 of 2 free throws with under 5 seconds to play to force the extra period at 50-50.
A steal and lay-up by Schuttemeier followed by a driving basket by Devon Nerstad gave the Lions a quick 54-50 lead.
SG forced a Tomah turnover and hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final 8 seconds to seal the win.
The Lions drilled five 3-point baskets while taking the large first-half lead. All 3 second-half treys came during Tomah's comeback. SG sank 12 of 19 free throws while Tomah hit only 3 of 8 - all in the first half.
Prairie du Chien 53, SG 34
This was the best team the Lions faced. The Blackhawks had very few turnovers and did not miss a free throw (9 for 9). PdC scored the first 8 points of each half. However, SG remained in contention trailing only 37-30 until the Hawks closed with a 16-4 run.
SG 42, Aquinas 38 (OT)
The Lions trailed until an Alex Folz 3-pointer put SG up 20-19 early in the second half. His fourth trey tied the game at 34-all with 1:03 left in regulation. Each team then missed a shot, and it was on to overtime.
The Lions never trailed in the extra period opening with a Brock Schuttemeier basket and Folz's fifth triple. Two Toby Leahy free throws made it 41-36 with a half minute remaining.
But better free throw accuracy could have avoided overtime. The Lions hit only 7 of 18 charity attempts; they limited the Bluegolds to only 6 free throws (3 for 6).
After two tournaments, the B-boys enter league play this week with a 6-1 summer record.
VARSITY GIRLS BASKETBALL
Holmen 34, SG 26
After 5 lead changes, Holmen took the lead for good with a 7-1 run. The Vikings led 17-15 at halftime, and then spurred by 3 successive 3-point baskets, outscored SG 17-11 in the second half.
Starting for SG were Kailee Bjerke, Elizabeth Johnson, Jordan Anderson, Lauren Arneson and Samantha Bratland. Staying after two B-team games were three reserves - Kelsey Hermanson, Grace Edgington and upcoming eighth grader Lauryn Bohr.
Onalaska Luther 52, SG 37
The Knights won the battle of 1-3-1 zone defenses. A 14-point Luther run wiped away an early 5-2 Lion lead. SG trimmed that 11-point deficit down to 7 at halftime (29-22). But the Knights quickly went back ahead by double digits.
With a 5-0 spurt, the Lions were within striking range at 39-31 before Luther scored the next 11 points.
It was the first night of summer league play at Viterbo in La Crosse.
B-TEAM GIRLS BASKETBALL
Caledonia 27, SG 25
Summer league began with a last-minute 27-25 loss versus Caledonia. SG led until the final 25 seconds and by as many as 13 points in the second half.
Caledonia came back with a full-court press and scored the final 15 points of the game. With one key Lion having fouled out, the Warriors tied the score with 53 seconds left and scored the winning basket with 25 seconds on the clock.
Aquinas 40, SG 11
The Lions scored first, but the Blugolds were never in trouble. SG was overwhelmed by a taller team that was also very skilled and athletic.
SG 2, La Crosse Central 1
Winona 3, SG 0
Summer league at Winona State University began on June 4 with the Lions' 2-1 victory against La Crosse Central. The nightcap was a 3-0 loss versus Winona, but all three sets were highly competitive.
SG 3, Lake City 0
In week two, the Lions did not drop a set. The first win (25-19, 25-15, 15-9) came against Lake City. The Lions scored 41 of their 65 points with strong play - 23 kills, 5 blocks and 13 service aces.
The Tigers relied mostly on charity coming up with only 7 kills and 5 aces.
SG 3, Lanesboro 0
Fewer errors and superior serving sent SG past conference rival Lanesboro 25-11, 25-19, 15-13. SG held a 15 to 6 advantage in service aces.
SG scored with 37 winning points (21 kills, 1 block, 15 aces) while the Burros had 26 winners and 28 errors.
Lanesboro fought to the end taking a 7-2 lead in the third set. SG went up 11-9, but the Burros scored the next 4 points. The Lions closed by scoring the final 4 points.
Playing for SG were Samantha Bratland, Carrie Hagen, Jordan Anderson, Kailee Bjerke, Elizabeth Johnson, Lauren Arneson, Grace Edgington and Lauryn Bohr.
AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL
By Joel Lidstrom
Caledonia 15, Lewiston Junior 1
The Caledonia Legion baseball team easily defeated the Lewiston Junior Legion team in the first game of a scheduled three-team round-robin event on Saturday, June 14 in Preston, coming out on top 15-1.
The anticipated championship matchup between Caledonia and Preston, who had beaten Lewiston earlier in the afternoon by a similarly lopsided score, was thwarted by a powerful lightning storm and sudden, heavy rain.
Nevertheless, it was a confidence-building trip for the Warriors, who came out swinging and running hard. Dylan Lee of Houston led the way, opening the game with a three-base blast and the game's first run as Tanner Langen immediately followed with an RBI groundout.
Perhaps unnerved, Lewiston's pitcher walked the next three batters to set the table for former Caledonia resident Andrew Hesse who tripled to bring in T. J. Schultz, Harrison Speltz, and Mason Drake. Welcome back Andrew.
The Warriors never looked back. Langen stroked two doubles, Lee stole three bases and Schultz two. And Speltz contributed with two singles as the Warriors scored 4 runs in the first inning, 3 in the second, and 7 in the third for an utterly dominant win. It was nice to see the players loose and having fun as they prepared for their first conference matchup this Tuesday against the Lewiston team's Senior Legion counterpart.
Hard-throwing Langen picked up the win for Caledonia. His command of the Lewiston batters was never in doubt, despite a brief first inning lapse. After retiring the game's first two batters, a single by Lewiston pitcher John Clobes was followed by several uncharacteristic wild pitches that scored a run. Langen bore down, allowing only two more base runners before the game was called for lightning in the 4th.
Caledonia: 15 runs, 7 hits, no errors
Lewiston Jr. 1 run, 2 hits, 5 errors
CANTON MEN'S SOFTBALL
In week one, Mabel Liquor opened with an 11-7 win against On the Crunchy Side while Soland Carpentry defeated Spring Grove Legion.
Larson Well Drilling outscored Steuart's Lab 17-15. Riley Austin hit two home runs for LWD with Trevor Storlie belting one for Steuart's.
In the second week, Steuart's Labs dealt another loss to SG Legion 11-6. Ryan Lange had a homer for Legion while Dustin Bunke and Levi Schmitz sent the ball over the fence for Steuart's.
Soland Carpentry edged Mabel Liquor 17-15. Ryker Bergo had a round-tripper for Soland; Blaine Coyle had a home run for Mabel Liquor.
Larson Well Drilling blasted On the Crunchy Side 27-7 behind home runs from Austin and Eric Wilder.
Mabel Liquor 1-1
SG Legion 0-2
After coasting through the Section 1AA Tournament, state-ranked No. 1 Kasson-Mantorville gave up only one run while rolling through the state tourney as well. The KoMets dismissed Hermantown 4-1 in the quarterfinals before blanking Hawley 10-0 in 5 innings. In the state championship game, K-M shutout Le Seuer-Henderson 3-0.
K-M thus completed a perfect 28-0 season with a second straight state softball championship.
K-M also won the Section 1AA baseball title and finished fourth at the state tournament.
After winning the Three Rivers South baseball title, the Chatfield boys went on to take the Section 1A championship and placed third at state.