Reid Bjerke attacks on fast break during eighth grade win against Mabel-Canton. Photo by S. Lee Epps
Reid Bjerke attacks on fast break during eighth grade win against Mabel-Canton. Photo by S. Lee Epps
The Spring Grove boys basketball team split two games last week while losing a third to the weather. The game at Waukon, Iowa, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22, was postponed to a week later to Jan. 29. Spring Grove then picked up a home win on Thursday, Jan. 25, against Mabel-Canton in SEC play, 73-54, sweeping the Cougars in the process.

The week wrapped up on Saturday with a road trip to the Border Battle in Stevens Point, Wis. and a 61-48 loss to Stevens Point Pacelli. The Lions are 9-5 overall (4-0 SEC).

Win vs. M-C, 73-54

The Lions made it two in a row over the Mabel-Canton boys as Alex Folz matched career highs with 30 points and 10 rebounds, along with a team-best 6 steals. It was the second 19-point win this season for Spring Grove over the Cougars. However Mabel-Canton (5-10, 2-6 SEC) made the Lions work longer for the win than they did in the first game.

Spring Grove pulled away in the first half of the December game, but last week, after four lead changes in the first half, the Lions led only 39-31 at halftime.

The Cougars were back within four points early in the second half before the Lion boys took off on an 18-5 run. Spring Grove scored on 10 of 14 possessions to open up a 19-point cushion (61-42).

The biggest scoring difference came at the free throw line. In a 19-point decision, Spring Grove held a 17-point advantage in free throw scoring. The Lions hit 21 of 31 attempts (68%) while allowing the Cougars only 9 attempts all night, hitting 4 (44%).

Neither team shot especially well from downtown (3-pointers - SG 24%, M-C 22%), but Mabel-Canton attempted 10 more threes and hit 6 while Spring Grove dropped in 4 treys.

The Cougars scored 11 put-back points while benefitting from 15 offensive rebounds but also committed 21 turnovers. The Lions had a slim 32-to-31 overall rebounding edge but also committed more turnovers than they’d like (19).

In addition to the 10 boards from Folz, Sam Sanness pulled down 9 rebounds and finished close to a double-double with 12 points.

Four Lions scored in double figures with Ethan Matzke adding 12 points and Adin Solum 10. Solum was the only Lion who finished with more assists (5) than turnovers.

For Mabel Canton, Blake Henry had a game-high 11 rebounds along with 9 points, just missing a double-double of his own. Ryan Kuhn led Cougar scoring with 13 points while Drew Wyffels added 12 points, finishing with more assists (5) than turnovers.

All four Lion teams completed season sweeps with the B-team (5-3) winning 46-32. The Lion eighth-graders (4-4) won 35-13, and seventh-graders (6-2) won 50-17.

SG 73, Mabel-Canton 54

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

Boyd 2R, 1A

Grinde 3P, 1A

*Solum 10P, 4R, 5A, 1S, 1B

*Matzke 12P, 5R, 1A, 4S, 1B

*Folz 30P, 10R, 3A, 6S

Bjerke 1A, 1B

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

*Sanness 12P, 9R, 1S, 2B



SG 39+34=73

MC 31+23=54

all FG: SG 48% (24-50), MC 33% (22-66)

2-pt FG: SG 61% (20-33), MC 41% (16-39)

3-pt FG: SG 24% (4-17), MC 22% (6-27)

Free throws: SG 68% (21-31), MC 44% (4-9)

Rebounds: SG 32, MC 31

Fouls: SG 16, MC 27

2nd Chance pts: SG 12, MC 21

Fast break pts: SG 15, MC 12

Pts. in paint: SG 38, MC 30

Greatest Lead: SG 19, MC 1

Lead Changes: 4


Loss to Pacelli, 61-48

In the Breakdown Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle, the 9-4 Lions took on the 11-4 Cardinals from Stevens Point Pacelli. There were seven games on the Saturday schedule featuring Minnesota versus Wisconsin matchups.

Spring Grove rebounded well enough to win the game. However, they didn’t shoot or handle the ball well enough to beat the Cardinals.

It was a back-and-forth battle for most of the first half with 10 lead changes before the Cardinals closed the half on a 9-2 run for a 33-27 lead at the break.

A 22-6 Pacelli run made it a 20-point margin halfway through the second half. The Cardinals (12-4) never added another basket, but Spring Grove only added two field goals over the final 9 minutes.

Thanks in part to passing the ball inside to Sanness in the post, the Lions shot 43% in the first half while Sanness scored all 16 of his points before halftime.

The Pacelli defense made some halftime adjustments and put the clamps on the Lion post offense, holding Spring Grove to only 27% shooting in the second half. The Cardinals outshot the Lions 48% to 35% overall.

Long-range shooting let the Lions down as they had their least success from 3-point land. Their 15% (2 for 13) from downtown was their second coldest-shooting game of the season. With 6 treys of their own (6 for 22, 27%), the Cardinals outscored Spring Grove by 14 points (24-10) from the perimeter in a 13-point win.

The Lions did a good job on the glass, allowing the Cardinals only 5 offensive rebounds while outrebounding Pacelli overall, 32-25.

Both teams would likely admit they had too many turnovers (SG 19, Pacelli 20), but 11 of the 20 Cardinal turnovers came toward the end of the second half after they’d built a 20-point lead.

Pacelli senior guard Cameron Cloud poured in 29 points while 6-foot-5 senior forward Garret Parks added 12 points and 8 rebounds.

Sanness led Lion scoring with 16 points along with pulling down 7 rebounds. Folz had 12 points while Matzke (6 points) pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds

Pacelli, with an enrollment twice that of Spring Grove, plays in Wisconsin Division 4 (next to the smallest group of schools).

It was the second appearance for Spring Grove in this event, having defeated Columbus Catholic 83-69 in the 2016 series.

SG 48, Pacelli 61


Boyd 1S

Grinde 7P, 1R, 1A, 1S

*Solum2P, 4R, 3A

*Matzke 6P, 10R, 2A, 1S

*Folz 12P, 4R, 1A, 2S

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

*Elton 3P, 3R, 2A, 3S

Hagen 2R

*Sanness 16P, 7R, 1A, 1S, 1B



SG 27+21=48

Pac 33+28=61

all FG: SG 35% (19-54), Pac 48% (20-42)

2-pt FG: SG 41% (17-41), Pac 70% (14-20)

3-pt FG: SG 15% (2-13), Pac 27% (6-22)

Free throws: SG 62% (8-13), Pac 65% (13-20)

Rebounds: SG 32, Pac 25

Turnovers: SG 19, Pac 20

Fouls: SG 17, Pac 134

2nd Chance pts: SG 8, Pac 8

Fast break pts: SG 2, Pac 9

Pts. in paint: SG 36, Pac 31

Greatest Lead: SG 3, Pac 20

Lead Changes: 10


Schedule/late score update

The Lions improved to 10-5, kicking off this week with a 75-64 win at Waukon, Iowa, on Monday, Jan. 29, - their third game in three different states. It was back on the road the next night for an SEC matchup at Lyle/Pacelli. The Lions (11-5, 5-0 SEC) survived an upset scare by taking the lead with 16 seconds to play and holding on for a 61-57 victory. Coverage of these two early week games will be in next week’s Herald.

The first-place Lions host second-place Schaeffer Academy in an SEC East showdown on Thursday, Feb. 1. One night later is the return match on the road at Houston with the Lions going for the season sweep after winning in mid-December.

After the weekend, Spring Grove plays a fifth game in eight days on the road at Glenville-Emmons on Monday, Feb. 5.


Southeast Conference Boys (update after print edition through Jan. 30 games)


Spring Grove…..5-0 (11-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca….6-1 (14-4 all

Houston………..3-6 (6-12 all)

Mabel-Canton…3-7 (6-11 all)

Lanesboro……..1-6 (1-14 all)


Randolph…………7-1 (14-4 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..6-2 (14-5 all)

Grand Meadow….6-3 (9-8 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….3-7 (8-9 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-7 (1-13 all)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2017-2018

Updated since print edition to include Jan. 30 games

11-5 (5-0 SEC) *conference game - approximately 7:15 unless noted

>>>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

Thur.....1/11.....LeRoy-Ostrander* postponed until Feb. 15

>>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. S.P. Pacelli 487-61

W at Waukon 75-64

W at Lyle/Pacelli*61-57

Thur....2/01....Schaeffer Academy*

Fri.......2/ Houston*

Mon....2/ Glenville-Emmons*


Sat......2/ Schaeffer Academy*

Mon....2/ La Crescent 7:30 pm


Fri.......2/ Grand Meadow*





6-4 (5-1 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



4-4 (3-2 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



6-2 (4-1 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