Isaac Griffin drives the baseline past Lanesboro’s Matt Eversole. Photo by S. Lee Epps
Isaac Griffin drives the baseline past Lanesboro’s Matt Eversole. Photo by S. Lee Epps

The Spring Grove Lions closed out the regular season on quite a hot streak, winning 12 in a row (14 of last 16) after two wins on their home floor last week - only the seventh and eighth home games of the season.

The Lions beat the Kingsland Knights (a future SEC foe next season) 79-61 on quite a night for the SG offense on Feb. 22.

The next night, the Lions closed out a third-straight undefeated conference campaign with a 60th consecutive SEC victory, winning the regular season finale 81-44 against Lanesboro. SG closed the regular season at 21-5 overall (13-0 SEC).

The next day for the sixth time in the last eight years, the Lions would receive a No. 2 playoff seed - this year in the 19-team Section 1A Tournament (no sub-secton this year). 

The Lions (21-5, 13-0 SEC) will open the playoffs at home on Thursday, March 1, against the winner of the play-in game between No. 15 Hayfield and No. 18 Lanesboro.

The Thursday winner will advance to a March 5 quarterfinal at Rochester against either No. 7 Schaeffer Academy or No. 10 Goodhue.

Win vs. Kingsland, 79-61

Senior night was a good night to shoot the basketball while wearing a Spring Grove Lion jersey. Adin Solum scored a career-high 24 points while Alex Folz tossed in 20 and Sam Sanness 18 as the Lions matched a season-best 61% shooting from the field.

Ethan Matzke was also in double figures with 14 points, and Noah Elton dished out a career-high 9 assists

The Lions were great from long-range, hitting 10 of 17 three-pointers (59%). Solum hit 6 of 8 triples, and Folz went 3 for 5. SG was also productive at the foul line, hitting 9 of 11 free throws (82%) with Folz going 5 for 5

Coach Wade Grinde told KFIL Radio, "I thought we really executed well offensively...and got high percentage shots. That tone continued throughout the game. "

Kingsland (14-10) shot well, too - 52% from the field, including 40% from 3-point range (8 for 20). The Knights never led but were close at 17-14 before Spring Grove raced away with a 15-to-2 run. Those 15 points were all scored by Solum (3 treys) and Sanness with 2 assists each from Elton and Kai Bjerke.

That put SG up by 16 points (32-16) on the way to a 15-point halftime lead (44-29) and a 19-point bulge early in the second half (48-29).

Kingsland wouldn’t give up, going 5 for 5 from 3-point land while scoring on 8 of 10 possessions. With the Knights back within 8 points, the Lions responded with an 11-to-3 run of their own and would lead by as many as 25 points before winning by 18.

Both teams had more assists than turnovers with SG posting 22 assists on 31 scoring plays

Despite the presence of 6-foot-8 Kingsland senior center Ian Meisner, the Lions outrebounded the Knights 25 to 13. Matzke led the Lions with 6 boards while Solum and Sanness each had 5 along with 4 from both Elton and Folz.

Meisner scored 12 points, but two guards led Kingsland in scoring with 16 points from senior Zach Bubany and 15 from junior Wyatt Pruter.

It was only the fifth meeting between the two teams (twice in sub-section) with SG having won four. But they will now play more often with the Knights joining the SEC next season

SG won the B-team game 43-34 with 15 points from Caleb Nerstad and 14 from Caden Grinde,

Kingsland won the eighth-grade game in overtime 40-36, while SG took the seventh-grade game 37-19.

SG 79, Kingsland 61



SG   44+35=79

KHS 29+32=61

all FG: SG 61% (30-49), KHS 52% (26-50)                  

2-pt FG: SG 63% (20-32), KHS 60% (18-30)               

3-pt FG: SG 59% (10-17), KHS 40% (8-20)                 

Free throws: SG  82% (9-11), KHS 20% (1-5)            

Rebounds: SG 25, KHS 13

Turnovers: SG 16, KHS 15

2nd Chance pts: SG 17, KHS 7

Fast break pts: SG 4, KHS 6

Pts. in paint: SG 44, KHS 33

Greatest Lead: SG 25, KHS 0

Fouls: SG 11, KHS 11

Individuals: * starters. In order of jersey number. P-points, R-rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots.

*Solum 24P, 5R, 2A, 1S

*Matzke 145P, 6R, 3A, 1S, 1B

*Folz 20P, 4R, 4A, 3S

Bjerke 1P, 1R, 2A, 1S

*Elton 2P, 4R, 9A, 2S

*Sanness 18P, 5R, 2A

also playing - Boyd, Grinde, Bergrud, Griffin, Murphy


Win vs. Lanesboro, 81-44

It was the 10th straight Spring Grove win against Lanesboro, but Grinde said the Burros had "improved greatly" since their earlier 82-36 home loss to the Lions.

In the rematch, the Burros shot better overall (44%) and from 3-point range. They also handled the ball better (7 fewer turnovers), avoiding another flood of Lion fast breaks.

The final scores would be very similar, but unlike the January game - when SG led by 17 points at halftime - the two-win Burros were still in the game at halftime against the 20-win Lions in the season finale.

Lanesboro (2-23, 1-12 SEC) led 6-4 after two quick 3-point baskets and continued to shoot well early, mostly from the perimeter. The Burros were within three points (30-27) just before SG added a quick five points to lead 35-27 at halftime.

The Lions opened the second half with an 18-to-2 run and were never threatened again.

After shooting 52% in the first half, the Burros dipped to 33% in the second half. After Lanesboro had hit 5 of 11 treys before halftime, the Lion defense limited the visitors to 0-for-8 success beyond the arc after the break.

While playing with a season-best 7 turnovers, the Lions shot a solid 49% overall, including 39% from 3-point range. Seven different Lions contributed to a total of 12 treys - their second most of the season

Folz buried 6 of 11 triples while scoring a game-high 24 points as well as passing out a game-high 8 assists with only 2 turnovers.

Matzke had a nice all-around game, adding 15 points plus 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. Solum put in 13 points along with 6 boards and 4 assists.

Elton (9 points) passed around 6 assists with only one turnover. Sanness (8 points) pulled down a game-high 8 rebounds. SG doubled up the Burros on the glass, 30 boards to 15.

Andrew Luck led Lanesboro scoring with 17 points. Point guard Carson Schwichtenberg had 13 points and 5 assists.

The Lion B-team closed with a 14-6 record (12-2 SEC), thanks to a second win over Lanesboro 44-27 with 13 points from Grinde and 10 from Chandler Bergrud.

The SG eighth-graders (6-12) led until the final minute before falling 40-37. The seventh-graders closed at 14-3 with a second setback against the Burros 33-24.

SG 81, Lanesboro 44


Leahy 3P

Boyd 4P, 4R, 1S

*Solum 13P, 6R, 4A, 2S

*Matzke 15P, 7R, 3A, 3S, 2B

*Folz 24P, 3R, 8A

Bjerke 3P, 2A, 1S

Griffin 2A

*Elton 9P, 2R, 6A, 1S

Hagen 2P

*Sanness 8P, 8R

also playing - Nerstad, Grinde



SG   35+46=81

LHS 27+17=44

all FG: SG 49% (30-61), LHS 44% (17-39)

2-pt FG: SG 60% (18-30), LHS 60% (12-20)               

3-pt FG: SG 39% (12-31), LHS 26% (5-19)                 

Free throws: SG 50% (9-18), LHS 83% (5-6)

Rebounds: SG 30, LHS 15

Turnovers: SG 7, LHS 19

2nd Chance pts: SG 25, LHS 0

Fast break pts: SG 8, LHS 0

Pts. in paint: SG 40, LHS 15

Fouls: SG 9, LHS 16


Southeast Conference Boys (end of regular season)


Spring Grove*...13-0 (21-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca…..9-4 (18-8 all

Houston…………5-8 (10-16 all)

Mabel-Canton….4-9 (8-17 all)

Lanesboro…….. 1-12 (2-23 all)


Randolph*.……..10-3 (19-7 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..9-4 (19-7 all)

Grand Meadow….8-5 (12-13 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….6-7 (14-10 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-13 (1-23 all)



Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2017-2018 (end regular season)

21-5 (13-0 SEC) *conference game

>>>Breakdown Classic at Hopkins

L vs. Springfield 63-86

W at Fillmore Central 79-56

W at Mabel-Canton* 62-43

>>Iowa/Minn. Border Battle at Luther College

L vs. New Hampton (Iowa) 57-62

W vs. Houston* 71-50

>>Holiday double headers at Rushford-Peterson

W vs. Klawock (Alaska) 94-64

W vs. Mankato Loyola 82-41

W vs. Grand Meadow (non-conf.) 61-44

W .at Decorah 55-54

L at Rushford-Peterson 57-64

>>Midwest Players Classic at La Crosse Center

L vs. La Crosse Aquinas 48-64

W at Lanesboro*82-36

W vs. Mabel-Canton* 73-54

>>Border Battle at Steven's Point, Wis.

L vs. Stevens Point Pacelli 57-61

W at Waukon 75-64

W at Lyle/Pacelli*61-57

W vs. Schaeffer Academy*68-37

W at Houston*58-31

W at Glenville-Emmons*85-37

W vs. Randolph*59-25

W at Schaeffer Academy*85-79

W at La Crescent 65-57

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander* 73-52

W at Grand Meadow*57-40

W vs. Kingsland 79-61

W vs. Lanesboro*81-44



14-6 (12-2 SEC)

L at Fillmore Central 25-27

W at Mabel-Canton 54-21

W vs. Houston 49-19

W vs. Grand Meadow 58-24

L at Decorah 40-50

L at Rushford-Peterson 37-51

W at Lanesboro 36-19

W vs. Mabel-Canton 46-32

W vs. Waukon 53-27

L at Lyle/Pacelli 29-36

W vs. Schaeffer Academy 50-29

W at Houston 44-31

W at Glenville-Emmons 68-11

W vs. Randolph 60-30

L at La Crescent 20-34

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 50-21

W vs. Grand Meadow 57-29

W vs. Kingsland 43-34

W vs. Lanesboro 44-27



6-12 (5-6 SEC)

L at Caledonia 32-56

W at Fillmore Central 34-25

W at Mabel-Canton 44-27

W vs. Houston 56-15

L vs. Grand Meadow 28-51

L at Rushford-Peterson 28-46

L at Lanesboro 26-32

W vs. Mabel-Canton 35-13

L vs. Schaeffer Academy 12-37

W at Houston 43-15

L at Kee 25-41

L at Schaeffer Academy 23-41

L at La Crescent 38-44

L vs. Caledonia 24-25

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 40-34

L at Grand Meadow 27-36

L vs. Kingsland 36-40, OT

L vs. Lanesboro 37-40



14-3 (8-2 SEC)

W at Caledonia 52-10

W at Fillmore Central 32-21

W at Mabel-Canton 49-16

W vs. Houston 41-13

W vs. Grand Meadow 51-27

L at Rushford-Peterson 38-43

L at Lanesboro 20-37

W vs. Mabel-Canton 50-17

W vs. Schaeffer Academy 55-21

W at Houston 52-21

W at Kee 31-18

W at La Crescent 35-28

W vs. Caledonia 46-18

W vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 42-14

W at Grand Meadow 41-23

W vs. Kingsland 37-19

L vs. Lanesboro 24-33