Nicki Ellingson rebounds against Heather Boyum of Lanesboro
Nicki Ellingson rebounds against Heather Boyum of Lanesboro
Playing Lanesboro on the first night of a three home games in three days endurance trial, the Spring Grove girls broke one scoring record and matched another. Point production was again high the next night against Schaeffer Academy, but a record in scoring futility followed the next afternoon against state-ranked Goodhue.

SG vs. Lanesboro, 91-31

The Lions put on a sharp-shooting display on Thursday, Jan. 10, defeating Lanesboro by 60 points. Spring Grove hit 68% during the first half while scoring a record 67 points before the break. The Lions finished with a program record 60% on the night.

Despite scoring only six points in the final nine minutes of mercy-rule running time, the Lions still matched a program record 91 points.

Spring Grove shot well from everywhere - including 55% from three-point range (6 for 11) and 71% from the foul line (15 for 21), both season-highs.

The Burros shot only 25% from the field and missed most of their free throws (10 for 25, 40%). They got off to a rocky start by committing 23 of their 26 turnovers in the first half.

The Lions were already up 30-11 when they hit 12 of their next 13 shots, including a pair of treys from Randi Mehus.

Mehus hit 7 of 8 shots for a career-high 19 points, and passed out 7 assists with only 1 turnover. Addison Cross put in another 19 points along with a career-best 7 assists and only 2 turnovers.

Julianna Sand put in a career-high 15 points, hitting 6 of 8 shots and both free throws. Nicki Ellingson, the fourth Lion in double figures, hit 6 of 7 shots while scoring 14 points. The junior center had 3 assists with no turnovers.

Samantha Bratland added 8 points and Aly Folz 6 while Nikki Hansen and Jordan Anderson put in 4 points apiece. The record-tying 91st point came with a Kailee Bjerke rebound basket.

Spring Grove doubled up the Burros on the backboards, 40 rebounds to 20. Ellingson pulled down 8 along with 6 from Bratland and 4 each from Hansen and Bjerke. All 13 Lions were credited with rebounds.

LHS sophomore center Olivia Haug came down with a game-high 9 rebounds and scored 7 points. Kaia Hongerholt led LHS scoring with 10 points.

Spring Grove also won the B-team game 35-19.

SG vs. Schaeffer, 87-46

The Lions made good use of their opportunities on Friday, defeating Schaeffer Academy, 87-46.

Spring Grove scored 44 points with fast breaks, 26 of those coming while shredding Schaeffer's full-court press. The Spring Grove press forced 9 turnovers, while the opposition only netted one. Overall, Spring Grove converted 17 steals into 14 fast break points.

Bratland came off the bench for a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double, both career highs as well as game highs. Cross put in 16 points to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Mehus scored 13 points along with 4 assists (one turnover), 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Ellingson added 11 points to go with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Folz posted 5 points, 6 rebounds, a career-high 3 assists (with no turnovers) and 2 steals.

Hansen tallied 2 points with 2 assists and sparked the defense with 3 steals and 2 blocked shots.

Sand added 8 points, Bjerke 4, Kelsey Hermanson 4 and Anderson 1.

Seven Spring Grove girls had more assists than turnovers. Spring Grove recorded only 9 giveaways while passing for 22 assists for a second game in a row.

Spring Grove shot a hot 48% from the field (the second-best percentage of the season) and made more free throws (19 for 32, 59%) than Schaeffer attempted (11 for 18, 61%). The visitors had 27 turnovers and shot only 27% from the field.

Schaeffer (4-10, 1-7 SEC) was most effective on the backboards, where Spring Grove finished with a slim 41-38 rebounding advantage. Eleven SG Lions were credited with rebounds.

Three visiting Lions each scored 9 points including Melanie Murray who also had 11 rebounds.

Spring Grove raced off to a 16-2 start, was up 49-28 at halftime and was ahead 78-40 when the mercy-rule clock begun to run for the final nine minutes. The 87-point total is the ninth highest in the girls record book.

The win extended Spring Grove's conference winning streak to 62 games.

The Spring Grove B-team improved to 10-3 with a 59-14 win.

SG vs. Goodhue, 39-58

In the two previous nights, Spring Grove had scored program-record 67 and 49 first-half points, but it was grim going on Saturday against Goodhue as the Lions managed only 9 points, surely their bleakest first half of the modern era.

The quality of the opposition was clearly high with the Wildcats ranked no. 2 in the state, and it was the Lions' third game in three days.

The first half was a mid-afternoon nightmare. The Lions did not score for the first eight minutes and 38 seconds, during which they missed their first 11 shots and committed 10 turnovers. Spring Grove would not get an offensive rebound or attempt a free throw in the first half.

The Lions hit 4 of their last 11 shots of the half, but the turnover total continued to mount with 21 of their 27 total turnovers coming before halftime. The Lions' 8-to-27 assist-to-turnover ratio was their weakest of the season.

Goodhue had not shot well either in the first period, but led 26-9 at intermission.

Any lingering Lion hopes were crushed quickly in the second half as Wildcat junior Emilee Roschen hit four consecutive three-point buckets. That put Goodhue up 37-12.

Both teams shot better after the break, but the Wildcats were the best, hitting half of their second-half shots and leading by as many as 34 points before the Lions made up some ground late with reserves from both teams on the court.

The Lion transition defense was too often plundered, outscored 20-5 in fast breaks. For the game, Spring Grove shot 29% from the field and Goodhue 39%. Both teams shot well from the foul line, Spring Grove 7 for 10 and Goodhue 9 for 13.

While the Wildcats frequently executed their offense efficiently, they won with defense on the floor and on the backboards. Goodhue anticipated and reacted quickly to Lion dribbles and passes. Spring Grove scored only 13 points in the paint.

The visitors had no one taller than 5-foot 9 inches but allowed Spring Grove only 4 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded the Lions 37 to 30 overall.

GHS junior Mikayla Miller led all scorers with 22 points and all rebounders with 11. She dished out 4 assists, had several steals and was not whistled for a foul.

Roschen's four treys accounted for all of her 12 points. Mikayla Tipke, another junior, scored only 2 points but had a strong floor game with 5 assists.

The Lions' best individual statistic was the 10-rebound performance by Ellingson. Mehus collected 6 rebounds and Bratland 5.

Spring Grove (8-6) had no one scoring in double figures. Cross led with 9 points with 8 each from Bratland and Sand. Hansen scored 5 points and Mehus 4 with 2 points apiece from Elizabeth Johnson and Bjerke, plus one point from Ellingson.

Class A Goodhue improved to 13-1 with the lone loss by eight points to state-ranked no. 3 Class AAA Red Wing. The Wildcats also own a win over Class A Minneota, ranked at no. 5.

Spring Grove is the defending Section 1A champion with Goodhue having won the three previous titles. The Wildcats have won three of the four games played against the Lions.

There was no B-team game.

Up Next: Just prior to the Herald going to press on Jan. 14, Spring Grove held off La Crescent 69-63. The girls (9-6) played at Hope Lutheran the following night (at Wabasha Rec. Center).

On Friday the 18th, Lyle/Pacelli visits Spring Grove in the second showdown between the top two teams in the SEC. Glenville-Emmons visits on Jan. 22.

Southeast Conference 2013

GIRLS Basketball conf. season


Spring Grove * 8 - 0 9 - 6

Hope Lutheran 5 - 3 11 - 3

Mabel-Canton 4 - 3 8 - 4

Houston 2 - 5 3 - 8

Lanesboro 2 - 6 3 - 10


Lyle/Pacelli 6 - 1 11- 1

Grand Meadow 6 - 2 7 - 6

LeRoy-Ostrander * 4 - 4 5 - 8

Schaeffer Academy 1 - 7 4 -10

Glenville-Emmons 0 - 7 1 - 9

* defending division champion