Julianna Sand, KFIL Radio’s Player of the Game for SG, shoots from the corner over Caledonia defense. Nicki Ellingson heads in to rebound.
Julianna Sand, KFIL Radio’s Player of the Game for SG, shoots from the corner over Caledonia defense. Nicki Ellingson heads in to rebound.

The Lion ladies hosted Caledonia on Dec. 27 as part of the Holiday Showcase, losing 45-60 to their Highway 44 rivals. A healthy crowd packed the stands for the neighborhood match.

The going was fast and tough as players from both squads fought for rebounds, hit the floor on steal attempts and played physical, foul-heavy basketball (especially in the first half).

Both squads had to sit several starters before the first period ended, and although no players fouled out, both teams had a number of members finish one foul away from the limit.

Field goal shooting began cold for both teams with the first 5 points scored from the charity stripe. Lion point guard Addison Cross finally broke the ice, giving Spring Grove an early 5-2 lead with a two-point bucket several minutes after play began.

The Warriors, who arrived with a 9-0 record and No. 6 state ranking in class AA, got back in the game with 9-0 and 12-2 runs. They led 32-23 at the half.

After the first period foot race, both teams settled down somewhat in the second half.

Warrior senior guard Maria Fruechte began to assert herself on the boards after sitting out a good portion of the opening period in foul trouble.

She scored the first bucket of the second half and then hit on her next field goal attempt, jump-starting the Warrior offense. Fruechte finished with 12 rebounds and 8 points on the night.

Spring Grove wasn't finding open shots in the lane, especially in the second period. The Lions resorted to quick shots on trey attempts, but only ended up hitting 5 of 28 (18%) on the night from beyond the arc.

Overall, Spring Grove hit 16 of 54 (29.6%) field goal attempts. The Warriors fared a little better at 19 of 58 (32.7%), but shot a dismal 3 of 20 from three-point range.

Rebounds were closer than the teams' respective heights. Caledonia led 45-42 in that statistic with a 15-10 edge on the offensive end. Turnovers were more costly for Spring Grove, who lost the ball more (23 to 16) than did Caledonia.

The Lions hit 8 of 17 field goal attempts during the first half. Amazingly from a statistical perspective, they were not awarded any trips to the line in the second period, as Caledonia was not tabbed for any shooting fouls later in the game.

The Warriors hit 19 of 36 free throws on the night and made 20 trips to the line in the second half. Caledonia earned 11 of its 15-point margin at the foul line.

Ten Lions scored, all in single digits. Cross led Lion scorers with 9 points. She also blocked 2 shots. Julianna Sand had 8 points and 2 steals. Samantha Bratland and Nicki Hanson recorded identical stats of 5 points, 1 steal and 1 assist each.

Randi Mehus had 4 points and 3 assists. Nicole Ellingson and Aly Folz scored 4 points each. Lauren Arneson had 2 points and 2 assists. Kailee Bjerke and Elizabeth Johnson scored 2 points apiece.

For Caledonia, senior guard Maddy Mullins led with 18 points and 4 steals. She committed no fouls in the bruising contest. Senior guard Taylor Winjum added 13 points and 2 steals.

Sand won the KFIL Player of the Game Award for SG. Mullins won the honor for Caledonia. The KFIL Game Ball Award went to Winjum.

Spring Grove (5-4) hosted Rushford-Peterson on Dec. 29. Because of an early deadline, the Herald will have complete details on that match-up next week.

On Friday, Jan. 4, the Lions return to conference games with a trip to LeRoy-Ostrander. Schaeffer Academy will visit Spring Grove on Jan. 11 and Goodhue comes calling on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Southeast Conference 2013

GIRLS Basketball conf. season


Spring Grove * 5 - 0 5 - 4

Mabel-Canton 4 - 1 5 - 2

Hope Lutheran 3 - 2 8 - 2

Lanesboro 1 - 3 2 - 5

Houston 0 - 3 1 - 3


Lyle/Pacelli 4 - 1 6 - 1

Grand Meadow 3 - 2 3 - 4

LeRoy-Ostrander * 2 - 3 3 - 7

Schaeffer Academy 1 - 4 2 - 6

Glenville-Emmons 0 - 4 1 - 5

* defending division champion