Elliott Cross and Gabe Solum
Elliott Cross and Gabe Solum
While the varsity boys (21-7) were on the way to 21 basketball wins this winter (one of only five Lion boys teams to reach that number), their younger counterparts were also piling up wins.

The B-team posted a 17-5 record while the eighth-grade squad went 16-2 and the seventh grade 15-1. Doing the math, that is a combined record of 69-15 and a .821 winning percentage.

Even more impressive were the conference records. Over the last three seasons, the varsity ran off 39 straight league victories before finishing 17-1 this winter with their third straight Southeast Conference crown.

There are no standings kept below the varsity level, but overall, the boys program went 48-1 against conference rivals with the B-team at 15-0, the eighth grade at 9-0 and the seventh grade 7-0.

These results are even more astounding considering that they were the program's youngest teams ever in each age group. Joining the three seniors on the varsity were three sophomores, four freshmen and an eighth grader.

Many eighth graders were summoned for significant B-team roles while all the seventh graders saw extended duty in eighth-grade games, and sixth graders bolstered the seventh-grade roster.

After one year as an assistant, Wade Grinde has completed his 18th season as head coach. Dave Konz has been the varsity assistant and B-team mentor for 17 years.

Al Lochner, also an active advisor on the varsity bench during games, has coached basketball in Spring Grove for 28 years and has been in charge of the junior high boys program for the past 17 seasons.

Chris Strinmoen, honorable mention all-conference basketball Lion in 1996, had several seasons of successfully coaching baseball and basketball elsewhere in the state before relocating his family back to Lion land where he has been junior high assistant for the past two seasons.

Gary Strinmoen has coached in the elementary grades for 19 years. Also currently working with the grade-school guys are J.C. Nerstad, Phil Griffin, Tim Bunge, Don Hagen, Nick Bjerke and Mark Udsten.

Seeing significant action below varsity level were sophomores Elliott Cross and Tanner Sanness along with freshmen Dylan Kampschroer and Gabe Solum plus eighth graders Jordan Jaster, Chase Grinde, Damon Cody, Toby Leahy, Devon Nerstad, Noah Myrah, Zach Rains, Kohl Vickerman and Brock Schuttemeier.

Seventh-grade cagers were Cullen Patterson, Adin Solum, Sam Sanness and Luke Schneider.

Sixth graders drawing junior high assignments were Noah Elton, CJ Sylling, Gabe Prahl, Alex Folz, Takoda Boyd, Corbin Moser, Kai Bjerke, Tristan Brainard, Reese Crouch and Ethan Matzke.