SUMMER SPORTS: Little Leaguers win three; boys take two tight games
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:15 AM
Isaac Griffin steps on the bag as Hokah third baseman goes to the ground for the baseball during
previous Pee Wee baseball action.
In the postseason summer league tournament at Viterbo University, the varsity girls (10-6) had repeat results in rematches with Viroqua (Wis.) and La Crescent on July 16. An opening round win over the Blackhawks sent the Lions into the winners' bracket where they were promptly eliminated by the Lancers.
SG 24, Viroqua 14
The Lions never trailed but never led by much, ahead only 14-12 before a game-closing 10-2 run. Buoyed by two late fast breaks, SG hit 5 of its final 12 shots but shot only 28 percent from the field overall. Viroqua went only 1 for 12 toward the end and finished with 19 percent shooting for the game.
Both offenses struggled with ball handling and shooting in a game dominated by defense.
Neither defense yielded many free throws, and foul-line shooting was disappointing with the Lions going 2 for 7 and the Blackhawks 1 for 7. SG had defeated Viroqua 31-27 back in the first week of league play.
La Crescent 25, SG 16
The Lions could not score for the final seven minutes as the Lancers tallied the final nine points in a nine-point decision. Again neither team shot well, but La Crescent's 26 percent was nearly twice that of SG (13.5 percent).
It did not help that the taller Lancers blocked seven Lion shots while also forging a 32 to 21 rebound advantage.
It was uphill all the way for SG as the Lancers scored the first eight points of the game and the first seven after halftime. The Lions were back within one point (10-9) by the break.
All seven second-half SG points came while erasing a 16-9 deficit. A Lauren Arneson steal started a fast break, which Kelsey Hermanson capped with a traditional three-point play, and the score was tied at 16-all with 7:08 to play. But the Lions missed their final six shots finishing with only 5 field goals.
La Crescent cashed in 2 of 4 free throws and then put the game away with back-to-back rebound baskets. .
The Lions hit 4 of 11 free throws; La Crescent went 6 for 12.
Previously in league play against SG, the Lancers had prevailed 36-35 in overtime.
BOYS VARSITY BASKETBALL
Filling a late vacancy, the varsity boys played two games on July 16. The Lions (9-5 summer, 6-1 league) took two exciting white-knucklers, playing much better in the late overtime thriller versus Prairie du Chien (Wis.) than they had in an early game against La Crosse (Wis.) Central freshmen.
SG 36, Central (#3) 35
Defending with a man defense, the Lions built a 20-10 halftime lead. But the Red Raiders rallied against a SG zone in the second half.
Central took its first lead 35-34 with about 1:20 remaining. Fourteen seconds later, a driving basket by Alex Engelhardt put the Lions back on top.
Engelhardt rebounded a Central miss with 17 seconds to play. SG then blew a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity, but Engelhardt rebounded.
However, Central would have one more chance, coming up with a steal with 0:07 to go. A Red Raider attempt bounded away at the buzzer.
Central Team 3 was a young (freshmen) but very talented squad.
SG 48, Prairie du Chien 43 (OT)
The Lions played from behind for most of regulation time, but never trailed during overtime. Rebounds were critical including overtime as Dustin Vickerman grabbed 2 key defensive boards while Brady Schuttemeier was a force on the offensive glass.
After Chase Grinde opened OT scoring with a driving bucket, Schuttemeier broke another tie score with a rebound basket.
Engelhardt made it 46-43 with the front end of a 1-and-1. The bonus free throw bounded off, but Schuttemeier controlled the rebound with a tip out to a teammate with 23 seconds to play. The Blackhawks had to foul again, and Grinde drilled both ends of another 1-and-1 to close the scoring with 17 seconds on the OT clock.
In the first half, SG had been down by four points, rallied to lead by 5 and then was behind by 5 at halftime (20-15).
Prospects were dim with a late 10-point deficit before Grinde scored 8 of a 10-point run to tie it at 37 with 3:16 to play in regulation.
After Prairie regained the lead, Schuttemeier tied it again with a rebound bucket. After a Blackhawk turnover, Vickerman penetrated and passed underneath to Schuttemeier for a 41-39 lead.
PdC would force overtime with a steal and fast break basket with a half-minute remaining.
SG was out-shot from the field 35% to 45%. But with a 15-5 advantage in offensive rebounds, the Lions attempted the most shots from the field and the foul line.
Outscored from the field 41-39, SG won by 5 points with a 7-point edge at the foul line. SG allowed PdC only two trips to the charity stripe. The Lions hit three times as many free throws (9 for 13) as the Hawks attempted (2 for 3).
The Blackhawks were quality players that handled defensive pressure well, often making the Lions pay for defensive missteps. On defense, PdC was a rare rival to blank up-tempo SG in transition, outscoring the Lions 10-0 with fast breaks.
BOYS B-TEAM BASKETBALL
Westby (#4) 34, SG 24
The Vikings pulled away in the second half after a slim 15-13 lead at halftime. The young B-boys slipped to 2-4 in league play.
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS BASKETBALL
Tomah (#4) 58, SG 35
Tomah (Wis.) had a decided height advantage at every position. Each team attempted almost the same number of shots from the field (SG 43, Tomah 44) and the foul line (SG 8 for 12, Tomah 9 for 12). But Tomah shot a much better 52 percent from the field, using defensive rebounding and speed to outscore SG 17-1 with fast break lay-ups.
Tomah took advantage of superior size inside to score 19 points following post passes in addition to a huge 34 to 13 rebounding margin.
SG (0-6) scored 15 points from the perimeter and 15 more with dribble penetration.
LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
The Lions closed their league season at 5-5, avenging previous league losses with a July 17 road win at Hokah and a July 19 home triumph over Houston. The week had begun with July 16 road rout of last-place Brownsville.
In second non-league games, SG eked out one-run wins over both Hokah and Houston to close with a 3-6 record.
SG 22, Brownsville 4
The Lions only had 4 hits to 3 for Brownsville, but SG also benefited from 19 walks, 2 hit batters and 5 Brownsville errors.
Fifteen Lion batters came to the plate in the 10-run first inning.
Nick Peterson batted 2 for 4 with a groundball home run and a double. Kai Bjerke added an RBI-double with Jordan Anderson beating out an infield hit.
Dazzling defense came with a Sam Harmon to Bjerke to Noah Elton relay for an out at home.
The game ended after three innings with the 10-run rule. Due mostly to the heat, there was no second non-league game.
SG (10)66 - 22 4 4
Bv 013 - 4 3 5
Bergrud 3K, Nerstad (2) 4K & Folz, Elton
SG 5, Hokah 0
Alex Folz pitched a one-hit shutout with 5 strikeouts and one walk.
With the bat, Folz had an infield hit and stole home for the game's first score.
In the final inning, Bjerke beat out a bunt single and scored on a Folz sacrifice fly to right field.
SG had only 3 hits including a Caleb Nerstad single.
The teams have thus split their two-game league series with the road team winning both times by shutout.
SG 110 12 - 5 3 0
Hk 000 00 - 0 1 3
SG: Folz 5K & Elton
Hk: Drye 4K & Franta
The excitement came with a 6-5 Lion win in the heat-shortened second game. SG rallied for 4 runs to take a one-run lead in the top of the final third inning.
All 3 Lion hits came in that comeback - singles from Reese Crouch and Nerstad followed by a triple from Folz.
Shaky SG fielding had allowed Hokah to score 5 runs with only one hit in the first inning.
SG 024 - 6 3 5
Hk 500 - 5 2 2
SG: Leahy 3K, Bergrud (2) 3K & Bergrud, Folz
SG 6, Houston 5
Houston scored 2 runs to tie the score in the top of the final fifth inning. But Peterson would score the winning run after walking, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch and coming home on a ground ball by Folz.
The big blow was an RBI-triple by Peterson in the third inning as SG scored 4 runs to take 4-1 lead.
Three of the 4 Lion hits came in that inning including singles from Elton and Payton Leahy. Folz had reached base in the first inning on an infield hit.
Each team had 4 hits and 3 walks, but SG came through in clutch situations stranding only one runner compared to four Hurricanes left on base.
Leahy had the defensive play of the game with a running grab in left field.
The result was a split in the two-game league series with each team winning at home.
Hou 010 22 - 5 4 4
SG 004 11 - 6 4 2
SG: Folz 8K & Elton
Hou: Fishel 7K & Hongerholt
The second non-league game was also a one-run nail-biter won by SG 7-6 when Folz stole home with one out in the bottom of the final fifth.
SG managed only 3 hits, but they all went for extra bases. Houston had 8 hits, but faltered with 5 errors.
Down 4-1, the Lions had gone ahead 5-4 with 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth. That rally began with a triple by Folz, progressed with 2 errors, a walk and a sacrifice bunt by Leahy.
Peterson had score a tying run (1-all) after a leadoff double in the first inning and later scored the tying run (5-all) after leading off the fifth with a triple. He scampered home on a wild pitch.
Then with one out, Folz walked and stole his way around the diamond for the winning run.
The defensive gem was a relay from Harmon in right field to Bjerke to Folz to Elton that saved a run as a Hurricane tried unsuccessfully to extend a triple into a home run. That play limited Houston to a one-run lead in the top of the fifth.
It was the third out between home plate and third base where Folz (catcher) and Elton (third baseman) had twice previously tagged out Houston runners.
Hou 112 02 - 6 8 3
SG 100 42 - 7 3 5
SG: Bergrud 7K & Folz
Hou: Johnson 1K & Van Gundy
PEE WEE BASEBALL
The SG older Pee Wee team dropped all three games on July 18 at the Shooky Fink Tournament in New Albin. Most disappointing was a one-run loss in the first round to Lansing, which would go on to reach the championship game.
Lansing 4, SG 3
It was a tough loss for the Lions who could not come up with a big inning despite having many runners on base. The game ended with the bases loaded with Lions. SG had also stranded three runners in the first inning and two more in the second.
La 220 0 - 4
SG 111 0 - 3
I. Griffin & Gengler
New Albin 13, SG 2
The Lions did not recover quickly following the near miss in the opening round.
SG 020 - 2
NA 175 -13
Grinde, Solberg, Gengler & Leahy
Hokah 8, SG 2
SG 200 0 - 2
Hk 224 x - 8
I. Griffin, C. Griffin (3), Solberg (4) & Grinde