Nikki Hansen (left) surveys passing opportunity as teammate Randi Mehus posts up against Schaeffer’s Rachel Boegel. The Parents Night win completed a third straight undefeated conference season for Spring Grove.SGH/Jon and Makena Speltz
Nikki Hansen (left) surveys passing opportunity as teammate Randi Mehus posts up against Schaeffer’s Rachel Boegel.

The Parents Night win completed a third straight undefeated conference season for Spring Grove.

SGH/Jon and Makena Speltz
The Lions obliterated two opponents last week as they ended their regular-season schedule without a second glance and prepared for post-season play.

The Hope Lutheran Patriots came to Spring Grove on Valentine's Day, playing the Lions twice on the road this year since their home court in Winona was unavailable for the second match-up.

Three days later, Schaeffer Academy visited the Lion's den in the last regular season game of the year for both teams. Neither visitor was able to slow down the momentum of the high-scoring Lions.

SG vs. Hope Lutheran

The Lady Lions made quick work of the Patriots, 72-20, in a near repeat of the 74-24 thrashing they handed Hope in early January.

Spring Grove smothered the Athletics, grabbing 37 turnovers while only giving up nine. That resulted in a 70 to 37 margin in shots on basket. It was the fourth time this season that the stingy Lions have kept their giveaways in single digits.

In fact, five Lions had more assists than turnovers including no-turnover play from Randi Mehus (three assists) and Addison Cross (two assists). Richell Mehus had a game-high seven assists with only three turnovers. Taylor Elton passed out four assists, and Nikki Hansen two, each with only one lost possession.

Speedy Spring Grove out-scored the visitors 38-0 in transition points.

Richell Mehus, who outscored the entire Hope Lutheran team, had a double-double by halftime and finished with 28 points and a career-high 14 steals. With 556 points this season, the senior guard also broke her own Spring Grove girls single-season scoring record by seven points.

Elton added 14 points while no Patriots scored in double figures.

Despite Patriot sophomore all-conference point guard Dakota Ellinghuysen collecting a game-high 11 rebounds, the Lions won the backboard battle 36 to 27. Michaela Neuzil led Spring Grove with 8 rebounds while Cross rebounded a career-high 7 times and Richell Mehus 6.

Both teams were accurate at the foul line (SG 8 for 10, HL 2 for 3), but neither was effective with 3-point attempts (SG 2 for 16, HL 0 for 9).

Also scoring for Spring Grove were Hansen (8 points), Neuzil (6), Nicole Ellingson (6), Cross (4), Heidi Buxengard (2), Aly Folz (2) and Randi Mehus (2).

Hope Lutheran does not field a B-team.

SG vs. Schaeffer Academy

Spring Grove won 72-14, completing a third straight undefeated conference campaign and extending their conference-winning streak to 54 games.

Elton scored a career-high 25 points, and Richell Mehus surpassed 500 career assists. Elton shot 9 for 12 from the field including 4 of 6 from three-point land; she also lifted 6 steals and had 3 assists with only one turnover.

Richell Mehus poured in 20 points and passed out 6 assists with only one turnover. Cross (7 points) had 2 assists with no turnovers; Hansen (3 points) had 2 assists with only one turnover. Ellingson scored 6 points with 4 each from Neuzil and Randi Mehus. Buxengard added 2 points and Julianna Sand one.

Spring Grove, with 20 steals, held Schaeffer (6-16, 4-14 SEC) to a season-low 14 points. Half a dozen Grove girls had steals including Elton's half dozen and 4 from Neuzil plus 3 each from Cross and Richell Mehus.

Schaeffer Academy suffered through 32 turnovers while attempting only 23 shots from the field, sinking only 28%. Schaeffer was also cold from the foul line, hitting only 4 of 13 free throws. Spring Grove was 11 for 18.

Eleven of 12 Spring Grove Lions were credited with rebounds as they out-rebounded SA 31-20. Neuzil, Ellingson, Folz and Richell Mehus each had 4 rebounds with three boards apiece from Elton and Lauren Arneson. Cheyenne Moen and Samantha Bratland were out of uniform with injuries.

Spring Grove's B-team won 45-15 to finish the season at 15-3.

Up Next: The state-ranked no. 5 Spring Grove girls, having won three of the last four sub-section titles, start the playoffs this week with their third straight top sub-section seed.

The Lions open at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 hosting one of four quarterfinal games against the winner of the game between no. 8 Mabel-Canton and no. 9 Hope Lutheran.

Friday's winner advances to a Tuesday, Feb. 28 semi-final at Mayo Civic Center Auditorium in Rochester. The opponent for that 6 p.m. tip-off will be the quarterfinal winner between no. 4 Lanesboro and no. 5 Houston.

Southeast Conference

End of Season conf. season


Spring Grove * 18 - 0 23 - 3

Lanesboro 12 - 6 13 -14

Hope Lutheran 7 -11 9 -12

Houston 7 -11 10 -15

Mabel-Canton 4 -14 5 -20

* division champion


LeRoy-Ostrander * 15 - 3 19 - 7

Lyle/Pacelli 14 - 4 17 - 7

Grand Meadow 9 - 9 12 -13

Schaeffer Academy 4 -14 6 -16

Glenville-Emmons 0 -18 1 -23