Spring Grove boys take division title
Aric Elton hits 2,000 mark
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:06 AM
It was a busy week for the boys from Spring Grove. The Lions hosted Houston on Monday, Feb. 13; when the home crowd witnessed Aric Elton score an historic 2,000th point.
Shawn Buckland drives past Hope Lutheran defender. Later in the week, the Lion boys clinched their second straight East Division championship.
SGH/Jon and Makena Speltz
The next night, the team took on Hope Lutheran. Thursday was a road date at Fillmore Central. Finally, on Friday the 17th, the Lions traveled to Schaeffer Academy.
Spring Grove vs. Houston
Elton scored his 2,000th career point as league-leading Spring Grove dealt a near-knockout blow to the title hopes of Houston, 86-56. The Hurricanes slipped from second place into third.
Elton scored his historic basket with a baseline drive and reverse lay-up midway through the second half. He finished with an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double in addition to four assists and two blocked shots.
He was only on the court for approximately two thirds of the game as the Lions blew by the Hurricanes with an 18-2 first-half run. Houston led only once at 7-6, but it was a Spring Grove 46-23 double-up lead at halftime.
Blaine Storlie buried 7 three-point field goals while scoring a career-high 29 points. Jake Kraus invigorated the home crowd with a couple of soaring scoring drives on the way to 19 points along with 6 assists and only 2 turnovers.
Eli Gleason had eight assists with only one turnover. Sam Ellingson passed out 3 assists with no turnovers. Josh Olerud hit 5 of 6 from the field to score 12 points.
With 3 steals, Olerud shared the theft honors with Elton, Storlie and Brandon Schuttemeier.
In addition to witnessing Elton's history-making performance, a large enthusiastic crowd was entertained with a three-point shooting show as the teams combined for 51 trey attempts and 19 long-range baskets.
Houston tossed in seven threes (7 for 23, 35 percent) including three-in-a-row by Troy Sires. He finished with five triples to lead the 'Canes with 19 points.
The Lions were even better from beyond the arc with their second-most attempts (28) of the season and a season-high 12 going into the net (43%). Those dozen three-balls were the most in 84 games, including two each from both Olerud (2 for 2) and Elton, plus one from Kraus.
Spring Grove collected a season-high 44 rebounds to 39 for Houston. In addition to Elton's dozen, there were six rebounds from Brandon Schuttemeier and five each from Olerud, Gleason, Kraus and Storlie.
Houston had three players in double figures including 12 points from Hans Lundberg and 10 from Josh Vix. Vix also had a team-high 10 rebounds with Lundberg collecting 8.
The Lion B-team came from behind in the second half for an exciting 53-51 win. With wins from the eighth-grade and seventh-grade squads, all four Spring Grove teams completed season sweeps of the Hurricanes.
SG vs. Hope Lutheran
The boys achieved a 20-win season and at least a share of the division title with a 92-32 thrashing of last-place Hope. It is the Lions' second straight regular-season title and the program's fifth 20-win campaign in over six decades of record keeping.
Storlie went 6-of-10 from beyond the arc while scoring a career-best 29 points for the second time in two nights. Olerud hit 5-of-6 shots while scoring 12 points.
Another dozen points came from Kraus, who was the game's rebound leader with seven. The Lions owned the boards 36 to 19, receiving five caroms each from Storlie and Olerud along with 4 apiece from Kyle Sylling and Elton.
Spring Grove had its second-best turnover total of the season with only eight lost possessions while nine Lions contributed to 22 assists and the season's second best assist-to-turnover ratio.
Gleason had five assists and Sylling two, neither with a turnover. Elton and Storlie each passed out four assists with only one turnover. Olerud had a 2-to-1 ratio. Eight Lions had steals led by Elton with a game-high five thefts and Storlie with three.
Hope (5-15, 4-13 SEC) had a fighting chance against the Lions' full-court press only when all-conference 6-0 sophomore point guard Jason Klug was in the game.
But the three-year starter had two fouls during the first minute and 19 seconds and then went to the sideline with three fouls after only six minutes of play.
Klug finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals before fouling out with 4:49 remaining. Sophomore guard Caleb Forst added 10 points for the visitors.
Spring Grove shot 50 percent from the field including a strong 44 percent from three-point range (8 for 18). The Lions hit 12-of-15 from the line while Hope was 5 for 5 - all by Klug.
Spring Grove got 9 points from Elton, 8 from Ellingson, 7 from Brady Schuttemeier, 6 from Brandon Schuttemeier, 5 from Sylling, and 4 from Gleason. The Lions scored the first 23 points of the first half and the first 21 points of the second half. The final score was nearly the same as the Lions' 94-36 win back in early January.
SG at Fillmore Central
As the final half minute ran off the clock at Preston, Lion fans gave a standing to ovation to the Spring Grove boys who had turned a one-point halftime deficit into a convincing 19-point victory, 76-57.
Although not a conference game, the outcome will definitely figure into the seeding for the sub-section tournament.
Spring Grove was trailing 43-40 early in the second half, when back-to-back three-pointers by Olerud and Elton followed by a baseline-to-baseline rebound fast break by Kraus, ignited a 15-4 Lion run.
The first half had been tight throughout with Spring Grove leading early by no more than five points and trailing by no more than six. The Lions scored four points in the final 14 seconds of the first half to cut the Falcon margin to one point at the break (35-34).
During the first-half standoff, the Lions had 11 fewer rebounds but also 11 fewer turnovers than Fillmore Central.
Spring Grove then out rebounded the Falcons in the second half by two, aided by muscular FC center Isaac Sveen sitting out in foul trouble.
The 6-4 senior would finish with 18 points and 9 rebounds. His back up, 6-3 junior Dan Gatzke, scored 10 points with another 9 boards.
While Sveen scored significantly more than his 10.7-point average, Spring Grove limited Tyler Eickhoff, the team's leading scorer (12.9 points per game), to only two points.
Giving up several inches inside, Spring Grove had difficulty stopping FC's preferred attack - passes into the post. The inside track accounted for 36 points - 26 from post passes, 10 from offensive rebounds.
On the other end, Spring Grove scored inside as well but much more often with a dribble entry (26 points) than with the pass (6 points) or a rebound (3 points).
Spring Grove's scoring advantage came with the three-ball and the free-ball. The Lions held a nine-point advantage with free throws (9 for 14) while the Falcons were scoreless (0 for 4).
After going 1 for 10 on three-point attempts in the first half, the Lions hit a blistering 6 for 10 in the second.
Gleason, (KFIL-Radio SG Player of the Game) was a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond the arc and 8 for 11 overall to lead all scorers with a season-high 21 points.
Elton had a couple of treys on the way to 20 points.
Kraus (KFIL-Radio Game Ball Award winner) and Storlie each added 9 points. Olerud scored 7, Ellingson put in 6 and Brandon Schuttemeier 4. The Lions were the better ball-handlers with only 10 turnovers to 24 for the Falcons.
The Lions were out rebounded for the first time in 15 games (27 to 36). Kraus and Elton each grabbed seven rebounds with five more from Olerud.
The day before, Spring Grove had re-entered the Class A state rankings at no. 10.
Fillmore Central won the B-team game 52-31 and also the eighth-grade game while Spring Grove took the seventh-grade game.
SG at Schaeffer Academy
The Spring Grove Lions defeated the Lions from Rochester, 79-56.
Spring Grove won with defense and ball handling, clinching their second straight SEC East Division championship. The Lions walked off the court with a two-game lead in the loss column and one game to play against second-place Lanesboro.
Schaeffer shot 57 percent from the field, the best of any Spring Grove opponent in 24 games this season. A week previous, Spring Grove had shot a season-high 57 percent on its home court in a 47-point win against SA.
The home team also won the rebound battle in each game with SA holding a 33-27 advantage in this rematch. Rebounding and shooting only determined the extent of the routs.
Turnovers doomed SA in both games. Rochester's Lions, with 32 turnovers, attempted 43 shots. Spring Grove had only 11 turnovers and took 73 shots. Twenty-one of those Schaeffer turnovers were Spring Grove steals.
Kraus had five thefts with four each from Gleason, Storlie and Elton.
The fifth and final lead change came early with four successive Spring Grove steals resulting in six straight fast-break points and a 17-13 Spring Grove edge.
The visiting Lions would be up 44-30 at halftime. Twice in the second half, Schaeffer would close to within seven points, but SG answered with 6 and 9-point runs, all scored with dribble drives.
Schaeffer was not able to defend the dribble as Spring Grove scored 34 points with dribble penetrations. Although out rebounded, Spring Grove allowed Schaeffer only three offensive rebounds and no second-chance points.
Elton led Spring Grove in points (26) and rebounds (8) and with only one turnover shared the assist honors with Kraus, each with 3. Storlie netted 16 points along with 5 rebounds. Kraus scored 12 points and rebounded 6 times. Gleason added another 12 points. Olerud had 7 points with 4 from Brandon Schuttemeier and 2 from Ellingson.
Schaeffer's 6-6 Jordan Whitcomb had a 12-point, 17-rebound double-double before fouling out late. Also fouling out was point guard Nathan Hanson after scoring 14 points. Dan Streifel added 13 points.
Spring Grove's B-team (12-5) won 43-28 following victories by both the Spring Grove eighth and seventh-grade teams.
Up next: Spring Grove hosted Lanesboro for its final regular season outing on Feb. 21. Sub-section seedings come out the following night.
Southeast Conference 2012
BOYS Basketball conf. season
East Division W L W L
Spring Grove* 17 - 0 22 - 2
Lanesboro 14 - 2 15 - 8
Houston 13 - 3 17 - 6
Mabel-Canton 11 - 6 13 -12
Hope Lutheran 4 -14 5 -16
* clinched division championship
Lyle/Pacelli 8 - 8 11-12
Glenville-Emmons 8 - 8 15 - 9
Grand Meadow 4 -12 8 -15
Schaeffer Academy 4 -13 5 -15
LeRoy-Ostrander 0 -17 1 -23