Josh Olerud floats toward the basket in last week’s 96-49 win against Schaeffer Academy.
Josh Olerud floats toward

the basket in last week’s 96-49 win against Schaeffer Academy.

On Feb. 6 the Spring Grove Lions made a short trip to Mabel-Canton where the Cougars gave them an enthusiastic greeting. The next night, they were back at the friendly confines hosting Schaeffer Academy. Friday the 10th found the team back on the road for a match with LeRoy-Ostrander.

Spring Grove at Mabel-Canton

The Lions defeated the Cougars, 65-46, in a hard-fought match up. The first half was close; with Spring Grove taking a 30-26 lead into the locker room after five lead changes.

Mabel-Canton came out ready to play with bodies flying, diving and exerting every effort in the traditional rivalry.

The Lions' defense dictated the tempo. Trapping perimeter pressure helped neutralize the Cougars' advantage near the basket.

Inside, post defender Eli Gleason, giving up six inches in height, along with backside help from other mostly out-sized Lions surrounded the league's most celebrated center Steve Smith.

Only seven passes made it into Smith, who took advantage of those few opportunities, hitting 9 of 13 shots from the field and netting his only free throw to score 19 points. The 6-3 All-SEC standout also grabbed a game-high 8 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.

On the other end of floor, the Cougar defense also faced a challenge in the form of Spring Grove's all-time leading scorer Aric Elton, who hit 12 of 19 shots while pouring in 31 points.

The 5-11 All-SEC guard rebounded 7 times and was also a force on defense with a game-high 5 steals and two blocked shots.

There was also outstanding point guard play, including rebounding. All-SEC Blaine Storlie added 14 points for Spring Grove along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists with only one turnover.

Cougar playmaker Jacoby Bigalk, while exerting sustained effort all night against Lion defensive traps, scored 7 points and came away with 6 rebounds.

Gleason, when not guarding the post on defense, was at his customary perimeter position on offense where the 5-9 guard passed out a game-high 5 assists and scored 7 points

Spring Grove out-rebounded M-C 26 to 21 with four boards each from Sam Ellingson (4 points) and Jake Kraus (5 points). Lion scoring also included 4 points from Josh Olerud.

It was the second exciting B-team game of the season between the two schools with Spring Grove (9-4) again coming out on top, this time 51-46.

SG vs. Schaeffer Academy

The Lions from Spring Grove beat the Schaeffer Academy Lions, 96-49.

Spring Grove played with a season-low seven turnovers and matched a season high 57% shooting from the field despite a season-low 13% from three-point land (1 for 8). They went inside for 86 points, with 31 points from dribble penetration, outscoring Schaeffer in transition 33-8.

Schaeffer Academy had five starters at 6-2 or taller, but shorter Spring Grove dominated the glass with 39 rebounds to 25 for SA.

The SG Lions converted 22 offensive rebounds into 18 points. All 12 SG Lions played. Eleven scored, and 11 rebounded. Five scored in double figures.

Hitting 11 of 12 shots, Elton had game-highs with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Point guard Storlie sparkled with 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists with only one turnover. Kraus added 12 points while Olerud put in 11 and Brandon Schuttemeier 10.

Kraus also had four assists with only one turnover while Schuttemeier grabbed 7 rebounds. Ellingson added 7 points along with 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

Gleason (3 points) with 5 assists and no turnovers was among five Spring Grove players with more assists than lost possessions, including Kyle Sylling (2 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists).

Spring Grove's scoring completed with 2 points from both Shawn Buckland and Alex Engelhardt.

Spring Grove's defense had 18 steals among 27 Schaeffer turnovers including two thefts from eighth-grader Brady Schuttemeier.

Schaeffer was in whistle trouble throughout, having two players foul out. Most significant was season-leading scorer Jordan Whitcomb sitting out 14 minutes of the first half after being whistled for two early fouls. The 6-6 junior finished with 6 points - well below his 16.6 point average.

Junior guard Nathan Hanson led the visitors with 19 points. Schaeffer has no seniors on the roster.

Spring Grove, leading 60-31 at the half, was up 94-49 going into a delay offense for the final four minutes.

Spring Grove also won the B-team game 68-39.

SG at LeRoy-Ostrander

With a winning margin of 93-43, the Lions remained the only boys' team undefeated in Southeast Conference play (14-0, 18-2 overall) while the Cardinals were the only SEC team without a league victory (0-14, 1-20 overall).

The final score was very similar to the 90-42 Lion win when the teams played at Spring Grove in mid-January.

The Lions abandoned the full-court defense with a 49-16 lead with five minutes left in the first half. Spring Grove led 63-19 at halftime, then scored the first 17 points of second half.

Eleven different Lions scored in the first half. Spring Grove exhibited too much speed, quickness and superior ball handling for L-O to cope with.

The Lions outscored the Cards 26-8 with fast breaks. The Cardinals' 38 turnovers matched the season-high for Spring Grove opponents this season. It was the Lions' fifth straight game with more assists (19) than turnovers (15).

Spring Grove sank 32 free throws, the most in the 13 seasons for which single-game statistics exist. The Lions' 45 charity-stripe attempts matched those in a win over Caledonia in the 2006 season.

Eleven of the 12 Lions who played scored at the line. Three Cards fouled out, and two more finished with four fouls each.

Both teams shot well from three-point range with Spring Grove at 38 percent (5 for 13) and L-O at 35 percent (6 for 17).

Gleason passed out 8 assists with only one turnover while Storlie had six assists with no lost possessions. Storlie with 7 steals and Gleason with 5 were also the theft leaders. Storlie, with 15 points, was one of three Lions scoring in double figures. Elton had a game-high 27 points. Kraus had 18 points.

All dozen Lions scored including Brady Schuttemeier (7 points), Buckland (5), Olerud (5), Engelhardt (4), Gleason (3), Brandon Schuttemeier (3), Derek Johnson (2), Ellingson (2) and Sylling (2).

Nine Cardinals scored led by Tom Mackey with 9 points.

Ten Lions were credited with rebounds as Spring Grove out-rebounded L-O 30 to 24.

The Cards' 6-4 Zack Miller was the individual leader with 9 rebounds. For Spring Grove, Elton and first-time starter Brandon Schuttemeier each collected six.

Spring Grove has won 22 straight versus L-O. There was no B-team game.

Up Next: On Feb. 13, the Lions hosted the Houston Hurricanes. The next night, they were scheduled for a Valentine's boys/girls double header at home versus Hope Lutheran.

Thursday, Feb. 16 is a make-up date at Fillmore-Central. Friday the 17th is an away game at Schaeffer Academy.

Finally, on Tuesday the 21st, the Lions will close their regular season hosting the Lanesboro Burros.

Southeast Conference 2012

BOYS Basketball conf. season

East Division W L W L

Spring Grove* 14 - 0 18 - 2

Lanesboro 13 - 2 14 - 7

Houston 12 - 2 16 - 5

Mabel-Canton 9 - 6 11 -11

Hope Lutheran 4 -12 5 -14

West Division

Lyle/Pacelli 6 - 7 9 -11

Glenville-Emmons* 5 - 8 12 - 8

Grand Meadow 4 -10 8 -13

Schaeffer Academy 4 -10 5 -12

LeRoy-Ostrander 0 -14 1 -20

* defending champions