Eli Gleason gets off jump shot over Lanesboro’s Braden Hanson in first-place Spring Grove’s convincing 85-54  dismantling of the second-place Burros.

Gleason gets off jump shot over Lanesboro’s Braden Hanson

in first-place Spring Grove’s convincing 85-54

dismantling of the

second-place Burros.
It was Parents' Night/ Fan Appreciation Night last Tuesday in Spring Grove. Both parents and fans were not only honored, but got to witness some stellar play from the boys, who bested Lanesboro in the Lions' regular season finale.

Spring Grove came into the game ranked no. 10 in state Class A polls, having already clinched a second straight SEC East Division Championship.

With Tuesday's win, they completed a perfect 18-0 league campaign and closed their regular season out at 23-2 overall. That's the second-best season mark in program history (topped only by 23-0 in 2006).

The largest home crowd of the year saw the Lions take on the second-place Burros, defeating Lanesboro by the greatest margin since another 31-point romp in 2002.

Lanesboro lived up to its three-point sharpshooting reputation, but Spring Grove beat them at their own game on Tuesday, when the two teams combined for 21 three-point field goals on the night.

The Lions put some defensive pressure on the Burro outside game, limiting Lanesboro to 29 long-range attempts. The visitors scored on 38 percent (11 for 29) of their tries from beyond the arc, but Spring Grove countered with its best three-ball shooting of the season, hitting 10 of 17 for an even better 59 percent.

Blaine Storlie sank 7 of 10 trey attempts for a career-high 31 points. Aric Elton was 2 for 3 beyond the arc on the way to 30 points - most likely the only time two Spring Grove players have each scored 30 points or more in the same game.

While both teams scored frequently from afar, only Spring Grove was able to score often inside as well, outpointing the Burros 53-17 in the lane. The Lions dribbled inside the Lanesboro zone defense for 19 points and passed the ball inside for 11 points.

In Spring Grove's Jan. 10 win at Lanesboro (79-71), fast break points were even at 8-8. But in this rematch, the Lions held a dominating 20-2 advantage in transition.

Spring Grove again out-rebounded the Burros, this time 31 to 22. Elton had a game-high 7 boards with 6 each from Storlie and Brandon Schuttemeier. Jake Kraus rebounded 4 times and passed around a game-best 6 assists.

Storlie and Josh Olerud each had a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio, while Eli Gleason passed out 4 assists. Elton and Storlie were also the Lion steal leaders with 3 thefts each.

Lion scoring included Gleason and Olerud each adding 6 points with 3 points from eighth grader Alex Engelhardt and two points apiece from Derek Johnson, Sam Ellingson, Kyle Sylling and eighth grader Brady Schuttemeier. Brandon Schuttemeier scored one point.

The Lions limited Lanesboro all-time scoring leader Braden Hanson to only 6 points. Sophomore sharpshooter Kole Ruud hit all four of his three-point attempts to lead Burro scoring with 15 points. Ruud and Luke Rogers each had 5 rebounds.

The Burros never led. In the first period, the Lions were up 15-13 before running off 12 straight points, pulling away 27-13. Spring Grove wasn't missing much at that point, hitting 12 of 17 shots while only giving up one turnover.

Down 46-27 at halftime, the Burros hit eight of their first 10 shots of the second half including four triples. Amazingly, even that wasn't enough to cut the margin as the Lions hit nine of their first 11 (including four treys).

Spring Grove's B-team won 44-38 to finish season at 13-5. The Lion eighth-grade team and undefeated seventh graders also completed season sweeps of Lanesboro.

Up Next: No. 2 Spring Grove begins post-season play versus the winner of the #10 Grand Meadow/ #7 LeRoy Ostrander play-in game. The Lions will host that game on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m.

The next step for them would be facing the victor of the #3 Fillmore Central/ #6 Mabel-Canton game. That match is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 at Mayo Civic Auditorium.

After that, step three would be the sub-section championship against the winner of the other bracket, which includes no. 1 Rushford-Peterson on Saturday, March 10 at Mayo Civic Arena.

Southeast Conference 2012

end of regular season

BOYS Basketball conf. season

East Division W L W L

Spring Grove* 18 - 0 23 - 2

Lanesboro 15 - 3 16 - 9

Houston 15 - 3 19 - 6

Mabel-Canton 11 - 7 13 -13

Hope Lutheran 4 -14 5 -16

* clinched division championship

West Division

Glenville-Emmons* 10 - 8 17 - 9

Lyle/Pacelli 8 -10 11-13

Schaeffer Academy 5 -13 6 -15

Grand Meadow 4 -14 8 -17

LeRoy-Ostrander 0 -18 2 -24