Chase Grinde defends against Lanesboro’s Erik Peterson
Chase Grinde defends against Lanesboro’s Erik Peterson
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The Spring Grove boys completed their SEC schedule last week. Their 29-game conference-winning streak came to an end in the Southeast Conference showdown at Lanesboro, but the Lions bounced back with two lopsided wins to claim at least a share of their third consecutive SEC West Division championship.

Spring Grove at Lanesboro

The Lions led by a point at halftime, but wound up losing their Monday rematch with Lanesboro 79-68.

Spring Grove shot well and had a huge 37-to-23 rebound advantage. Both teams hit 49% from the field, but Spring Grove was hitting mostly two-point baskets while the Burros were sinking threes.

Lanesboro finished with 15 treys and a good chance to win a share of the East Division championship. They have one more SEC game to play.

Burro starters completed an amazing 31 possessions in the second half with only one turnover. Averaging 14 lost possessions per game, Lanesboro had only 10 turnovers on the night, two of which came in the fading moments with reserves on the floor.

No one expected reserves to be playing at the end after the two teams went down to the wire in the Lions' 67-62 win over Lanesboro in early January. Spring Grove was up 33-32 at the half despite three Lions having missed significant playing time in foul trouble.

LHS opened the second period with three straight treys, igniting a 13-0 run. The Burros maintained single-digit margins most of the second half, and the Lions would get no closer than four points. Lanesboro held their greatest lead at 14 points with a minute left.

At one point, Spring Grove hit 9 of 10 shots but was still down by nine points because the Burros continued to cash in three-balls.

Both teams came into the game shooting a good 36% from three-point land. But in this game, LHS attempted twice as many treys as the Lions and shot a much better 42% (15 for 36) than Spring Grove's 22% (4 for 18). The Burros launched 36 attempts from beyond the arc, some from way beyond, and shot 27 times closer in. LHS outscored SG 50 to 16 from the perimeter.

Erik Peterson was the most sensational sniper hitting 9 of 13 treys while scoring 29 points. At one juncture in the second half, he netted five threes in a row. The 5-foot, 8-inch senior guard successfully negotiated the Lions' full-court pressure defense and also had 4 assists.

Junior sharpshooters Kole Ruud and Luke Rogers each hit 3 treys while scoring 25 points and 15 points, respectively. Ruud had 6 assists and Rogers 3.

Another guard, Garrett Boggs, scored 6 points with 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Season rebounding leader, 6-2 senior Isaac Freese, took only two shots but hit them both for 4 points. He led LHS with 9 rebounds.

The Burro victory came without injured Daulton Gartner, usually the first player off the bench for LHS.

After playing a zone defense back in January, the Burros went to a man-to-man in the rematch. That resulted in the Lions attempting fewer perimeter shots. Spring Grove found success dribbling into the man defense, which yielded 30 points.

Spring Grove earned more free throws but did not take full advantage, hitting 8 of 15 while LHS went 2 for 4.

Blaine Storlie and Brady Schuttemeier led Lion scoring, rebounding and ball handling. Schuttemeier missed some first-half action in foul trouble but still had a second straight double-double hitting 6 of 8 shots from the field for 13 points, a game-high 10 rebounds and 3 assists with only 1 turnover.

Storlie put in 21 points along with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Josh Olerud also had more assists (2) than turnovers (1) but sat out much of the first half in foul trouble and was limited to 5 points.

The Lions did not foul a lot, but three players were whistled early on. Brandon Schuttemeier got his second foul just 75 seconds into the game. The senior came back to hit 3 of 4 shots for 6 points. Dustin Vickerman added 9 points while Alex Engelhardt scored 7, Chase Grinde 5 and Elliott Cross 2.

The Burro win snapped the Lions' four-game winning streak in a series that is amazingly close (SG holds a 47 to 46 edge since 1948). Each team has one league loss (to each other).

It is the 10th straight season in which either SG or LHS has won or shared an SEC boys basketball championship. SG now has eight titles while the Burros will earn a co-championship - their third - with a win in their SEC finale this week. The Lions versus Burros season split figures heavily into the upcoming sub-section seeding.

The Lion B-team (15-4) completed a season sweep of the Burros 39-31.

Spring Grove at Houston

On Thursday, Engelhardt scored 31 points and collected 9 rebounds as SG hammered Houston, 92-52. The freshman guard and senior Storlie engineered a first-half run that separated Spring Grove from what had been a close game for the first eight minutes. That 13-point run featured Engelhardt canning 6 points, 3 steals and 2 assists. Storlie added 5 points and 2 assists.

Moments later, the Lions blew the game wide open with a 12-2 run with scoring from Engelhardt and Olerud.

Brady Schuttemeier scored 9 points, and with a game-high 11 rebounds, led SG to a 37 to 25 backboard margin.

Engelhardt did more than score and rebound, passing out 4 assists with only one turnover in addition to 3 steals. His career-high 31 points was aided by balanced scoring by three others who also finished in double figures - Olerud 17, Storlie 13 and Vickerman with 11.

Vickerman also had a career best with 7 rebounds, and Storlie was stellar while matching a career high 9 assists and only one turnover. Grinde contributed 7 points and Cross 4.

The usual seven-man rotation was reduced to six as illness prevented Brandon Schuttemeier from making the trip.

The Hurricanes finished with the same 52-point total that SG had at halftime. The Lions extended their lead with a 19-5 start in the second period.

Both teams shot about the same percentage from the field (SG 47%, Houston 46%). But that Lion total included a sterling 46% accuracy from three-point land (11 for 24). Engelhardt poured in 6 of 8 three-point attempts while Storlie netted 3 treys with one each from Vickerman and Grinde.

Houston, with 27 turnovers, did not get to shoot as often. The Lions were efficient with 21 assists while losing possession only 11 times.

Both squads also shot about the same percentage from the foul line, but again SG shot more often (15 of 24, 63%) than did the 'Canes (7 for 11, 64%).

Senior forward Josh Hongerholt led Houston with 23 points, most coming from the low post. Sam Ross pulled down 8 rebounds.

It was the Lions' 23rd straight win in a series they lead 83 to 53 since 1950. Houston heads into the final week of the regular season with only one win (1-22, 1-15 SEC).

The Lion B-team improved to 16-4 with a 40-33 victory over the Hurricanes.

SG versus Hope Lutheran

It was Senior Night on Friday, and senior class member Olerud led Spring Grove in scoring, rebounding and steals as the Lions defeated the Patriots 72-44. The win clinched a share of a third-straight conference title for SG.

Spring Grove improved to 19-5 while closing the conference campaign at 17-1. If Lanesboro (17-5, 16-1 SEC) completes a season sweep of Lye/Pacelli this week, the Burros and Lions will share the championship of the SEC East. Grand Meadow (14-9, 12-4 SEC) has nailed down a share of the West Division title.

Averaging 43% on the season, SG hit 35% at home versus the Patriots, the Lions second lowest shooting percentage in 24 games. SG hit 11 of 19 free throws (58%), only the third time SG checked in below 60% at the foul line. Three-point accuracy was a bit below Lion average but still good at 31% (9 for 29).

When shots are not falling, teams can still win with defense and rebounding. Hope out-shot SG 38% to 35%, but the Patriots did not shoot enough due to 30 turnovers, 18 of which were Spring Grove steals. The Lions dominated the glass, 42 rebounds to 29.

Olerud put in 24 points, rebounded 9 times and with 4 steals, shared the theft honor with teammate Storlie. With 3 treys, Storlie was also in double figures with 13 points. He was one of three Lions with 7 rebounds, joined by Brandon Schuttemeier and Brady Schuttemeier. Grinde brought away 6 boards.

There was balance in Lion scoring with 9 points apiece from Vickerman and Engelhardt (2 treys). Grinde added 8 points, Brady Schuttemeier 7 and Brandon Schuttemeier 3. The last field goal came from eighth grader Jordan Jaster who recorded his first varsity points and a rebound.

Vickerman had 3 steals and the best assist-to-turnover ratio with 5 assists, 2 turnovers. Engelhardt was also on the plus side with 2 assists, 1 turnover. Tanner Sanness had one assist with no turnovers.

The Lions never trailed after scoring the first nine points. Taking advantage of Patriot turnovers, SG upped the margin to 15 midway through the first half. Then Lion turnovers helped Hope get back within 10 points at halftime (31-21).

The Patriots closed the gap to 6 points (36-30) before Spring Grove rattled off 11 straight points in what would become a 29-8 run.

On offense, only three Patriots usually touched the ball and scored all of the points. Two-time All-SEC junior point guard Jason Klug scored 18 points to go with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocked shots.

Senior Brady Meyer had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks while sophomore Andrew Fratzke added another 13 points along with 5 boards and 2 blocks.

Spring Grove has won all 14 games played against the Patriots including a short-handed 87-56 decision a month ago at Winona. Hope, in a battle for third place, left at 9-15 overall, 5-13 in the SEC.

Lack of players prevents Hope Lutheran from fielding a B-team.

Up Next: On Friday, Feb. 22, the Lions (19-5, 17-1 SEC) travel to Winona Cotter for a non-conference showdown at approximately 7 p.m.

Spring Grove's regular season wraps up the following night, when the Lions host the Defenders of Rochester Area Home School at approximately 6:30 p.m. Post-season play starts the following week.



Southeast Conference 2013

BOYS Basketball conf. season

EAST DIVISION W L W L

Spring Grove* 17 - 1 19 - 5

Lanesboro 16 - 1 17 - 5

Mabel-Canton 5 - 12 5 - 19

Hope Lutheran 5 - 13 9 - 15

Houston 2 - 15 2 - 22

*clinched share of Div. Championship

WEST DIVISION

Grand Meadow** 13 - 4 15 - 9

Lyle/Pacelli 11 - 6 13 - 11

Schaeffer Academy 10 - 7 13 - 10

Glenville-Emmons 4 - 13 5 -19

LeRoy-Ostrander 3 - 14 4 -20

**clinched Division Championship