Girls coast past M-C in tourney opener
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:16 AM
The Lions roared into the post-season tournament on Feb. 24, defeating no. 8 seed Mabel-Canton, 73-20. The Cougars closed the season at 6-21.
Addison Cross drives for two points over Coranda Vickerman for a 37-9 Lion lead during Spring Grove’s sub-section win over Mabel-Canton.
Mabel-Canton, coming in off a 38-34 play-in win over no. 9 seed Schaeffer Academy, fell behind in the first few seconds at Spring Grove and trailed 41-9 at halftime.
The Cougars were overwhelmed by a variety of Lion defenses. M-C committed 41 turnovers while attempting only 32 shots from the field and shooting only 27 percent.
However, with a 29-22 backboard advantage, M-C was one of only six teams (in 27 games) to outrebound the Lions.
M-C had little chance in the open court, but in their half-court zone defense, the Cougars caused Spring Grove to settle often for outside shots.
Feasting on 23 steals and 31 fast-break points, the Lions overcame shaky shooting from the foul line and beyond the arc.
Spring Grove hit only 5 of 11 free throws and only 4 of 18 three-point shots (22 percent). After missing their first 11 trey attempts, the Lions hit 4 of their next 5.
Richell Mehus (hitting 14 of 17 shots) poured in 30 points and notched a double-double by adding 12 steals to her career theft record. With 9 rebounds, the senior guard was one board short of a triple double in addition to a game-best 5 assists with only 3 turnovers.
Taylor Elton put in 24 points and with 3 steals moved into the number two position on the girls' career theft list with 387. Joining Mehus and Elton for a final appearance on their home court were seniors Michaela Neuzil (2 steals, 1 assist) and Cheyenne Moen.
Addison Cross added 7 points with 4 points apiece from Nikki Hansen and Julianna Sand. Randi Mehus scored 3 points, rebounded 4 times and passed out 3 assists with no turnovers. Nicole Ellingson added one point.
Christy Welscher led the Cougars with 6 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Lydia Geving added 5 to the score.
Spring Grove is enjoying the top sub-section rank for a third straight year. Historically, the Lions have reached the finals six times and have won the sub-section on four occasions.
Both finals losses came against Rushford-Peterson. Over the last four years, Spring Grove has an 8-1 sub-section record.
Up Next: State-ranked at no. 5, Spring Grove (24-3) advanced to the Feb. 28 semi-finals against no. 5 sub-section seed Houston with the winner moving on to the championship game on Friday, March 2 at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium in Rochester with a 6 p.m. tip-off.
The sub-section champion will play in the Section 1A championship game on Thursday, March 8 in Rochester.
Sub-section 1A East Girls Basketball
Semi-finals at Rochester, Feb. 28
6 p.m. #1 Spring Grove vs. #5 Houston
7:30 p.m. #2 L-O vs. #3 R-P
Finals at Rochester, Friday, March 2
6 p.m. Semi-final winners
at Rochester, Thursday, March 8
6 p.m. East champion vs. West champion