Chase Grinde ties up Erik Peterson after Alex Engelhardt had stopped the dribble during sub-section versus Lanesboro.
Chase Grinde ties up Erik Peterson after Alex Engelhardt had stopped the dribble during sub-section versus Lanesboro.
On March 4, the Spring Grove boys bowed out of tournament play with an 80-59 loss to Lanesboro in the 1A East Sub-section semi-final.

A well-executed Lanesboro half-court defense limited Spring Grove to 33% shooting success from the field, while the Burros surpassed their season shooting averages across the board.

Noted for their three-point attack, LHS only launched 15 tries from beyond the arc, while the Lions launched 35 trey attempts. Spring Grove hit 9 threes while the Burros hit 8 shots from three-point land.

Most importantly, Lanesboro scored when they needed to, sinking 5 triples while taking control with a 22-5 run that wiped out a 15-10 Lion lead.

Spring Grove would never seriously challenge for the lead again, trailing 38-28 at halftime. LHS never let go of its stranglehold, opening the second half with a 16-2 run and a 54-30 lead. During that decisive stretch, the Burros hit 6 of 7 shots while SG went 1 for 8.

"It was a much closer game than the score showed," Burro coach John Smith later told KFIL radio. He added that his team's motto this year has been to work hard and take care of the ball.

The Burro offense features four sure-handed perimeter ball handlers and one big man inside. Most of the shots come from three athletic shot creators with extraordinary accuracy from afar and enough quickness to dribble inside and score.

Lanesboro shot 54% overall, finishing 11 points higher than their season average. It was the third best shooting performance of any Spring Grove opponent this season.

At the foul line, the Burros were on target 71% of the time after shooting 59% for the season.

The 21-point win was Lanesboro's greatest margin of victory versus the Lions in nine years.

The Burros' 80-point total was also the most any opponent has scored against Spring Grove in 28 games this season. The teams had split their two conference games.

Josh Olerud led the Lions with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. He was the KFIL radio Player of the Game for Spring Grove in his final high school appearance.

Freshman Alex Engelhardt added 12 points; freshman Brady Schuttemeier grabbed 9 rebounds in addition to 4 points.

Spring Grove received 6 points each from Dustin Vickerman, Blaine Storlie and Chase Grinde. Adding two points apiece were Brandon Schuttemeier and Elliott Cross

While the Lions scored 59 points, Burro sharpshooters Kole Ruud and Erik Peterson combined for 57.

Ruud, the KFIL Lanesboro Player of the Game, hit 36 points including 5 of 6 three-point shots and 11 of 12 free throws. Peterson, the KFIL Game Ball winner, scored 21 points. He sank over half of his shots from the field and 7 of 10 free throws.

Peterson also had 4 assists and was responsible for inbounding the ball against the Lions' aggressive full-court press. Then the senior guard was the primary ball handler while getting the ball down the floor against relentless pressure.

The third Burro in double figures, junior guard Luke Rogers, scored 10 points while putting up only nine shots.

Rogers and Peterson played every second until retiring for the final 21 seconds.

Burro ball handlers managed to hold on despite the Lions' tenacious swarming defense. LHS did not have a turnover during its final 23 possessions of the first half.

Half of Lanesboro's 18 turnovers came late when Spring Grove was desperately double-teaming and triple-teaming Burro ball handlers.

The all-out Spring Grove defensive pressure resulted in 13 late fouls as the Lions clawed to get back into the contest.

During the last eight minutes, LHS attempted only one shot from the field but hit 16 of 22 free throws. Overall, the Burros sank 21 of 31 foul shots, the most made and attempted by any Lion opponent this season. Spring Grove finished 8 for 15 at the line.

During the Lions' late defensive desperation, two players fouled out. Storlie sat out the last seven minutes of his high school career while Engelhardt left exactly four minutes later.

LHS finished with 32 rebounds to 29 for Spring Grove. Securing 7 boards each were Peterson, Rogers and Isaac Freese. Ruud rebounded 6 times.

Freese persevered while visibly suffering from back pain. The 6-foot, 2-inch senior center went 3 for 3 from the field for 6 points. Garrett Boggs was back in action for the first time in 13 days, missing two games and every practice since injuring his back.

The injury was noticeable late in the game. The junior guard hit his only shot from the field and with 3 free throws, scored 5 points and passed out 4 assists. Smith noted that turnovers had increased during his absence.

Senior guard Daulton Gartner, who missed the previous game against SG with an injury, added 2 points.

In the last 65 years (since 1948), the series is exactly even with 47 wins for both the Burros and Lions. In the last 10 games, each team has five wins. LHS has won four of the five sub-section games versus Spring Grove.

The Lions ended the season at 21-7 while Lanesboro (19-7) advanced to the sub-section championship game for a sixth time.

All of those games have been against Rushford-Peterson, who currently is ranked seventh in the state in Class A. The result of that contest was a fourth-straight Sub-section 1A East championship for the Trojans, who won 76-65 on March 9.