Ethan Matzke takes possession from Houston’s James Hongerholt. The Lion junior closed with week with 14 points against the Hurricanes, having started the week with a 25-point, 9-rebound night at Waukon. Photo by Craig Moorhead/Caledonia Argus
Ethan Matzke takes possession from Houston’s James Hongerholt. The Lion junior closed with week with 14 points against the Hurricanes, having started the week with a 25-point, 9-rebound night at Waukon. Photo by Craig Moorhead/Caledonia Argus
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The Spring Grove boys basketball team kicked off a grueling week of four games in five days, starting with a non-conference road win at Waukon, Iowa, 75-64, on Monday, Jan. 29. It was back to conference play the next night at Austin, pulling out a conference win over Lyle/Pacelli in the final minute of the game, 61-57.

In two SEC contests, the Spring Grove defense clamped down at home against Schaeffer Academy on Thursday for a 68-37 win and again during Friday’s 58-31 win at Houston. The Spring Grove boys closed the week 13-5 overall (7-0 SEC).

Win at Waukon, 75-64

A late first-half run would be the difference in the ballgame when Spring Grove took control as Waukon went scoreless through 11 straight possessions going into halftime. The Lions broke a 21-21 tie by scoring the next 14 points.

Ethan Matzke carried the load offensively, hitting 10 of 12 shots to lead all scorers with 25 points while grabbing a Lion-high 9 rebounds.

Adin Solum scored a career-high 18 points while Alex Folz added 10 points and 9 assists. Noah Elton (6 points) passed out 5 assists with only 2 turnovers.

Abe Schwartz led the Indians with 23 points while Michael Sweeny finished with 19.

Up 33-21 at the break, the Lions would lead by 17 (51-34) before the Indians fought back to get within six points with under four minutes to play. Spring Grove put the brakes on the offensive tempo, going to a delay offense for the final three minutes, hitting 6 of 9 free throws while increasing the lead to the final 11-point spread.

With the rebound and turnover statistics relatively close, the Lions won by shooting better than the home team, 49% to 38%. The Indians showed little patience and often settled for quick 3-point attempts but hit only 6 of 28 (21%) from outside the arc. Waukon (10-6) was four points better at the free throw line (14 for 17) than SG (10 for 16), but the Indians had six-fewer field goals.

It was the fourth straight Lion victory versus Waukon (Class AA Iowa), but the Indians still lead all time 8 wins to 6.

Spring Grove dominated the B-team game 53-27.

SG 75, Waukon 64

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

Boyd 8P, 1R, 1S

Grinde 4P, 2R, 2A, 2S, 1B

*Solum 18P, 2R, 2A, 2S

*Matzke 25P, 9R, 1A, 1S

*Folz 10P, 6R, 9A, 2S, 1B

Bjerke 3R, 1A, 1S

*Elton 6P, 3R, 5A, 1S

*Sanness 4P, 4R, 1A

TEAM TOTALS:

SCORE by QUARTERS

SG 16+17+23+19=75

Wau 14+7+22+21=64

all FG: SG 49% (28-57), Wau 38% (22-58)

2-pt FG: SG 61% (19-31), Wau 53% (16-30)

3-pt FG: SG 35% (9-26), Wau 21% (6-28)

Free throws: SG 63% (10-16), Wau 82% (14-17)

Rebounds: SG 30, Wau 26

Turnovers: SG 17, Wau 17

2nd Chance pts: SG 8, Wau 16

Fast break pts: SG 11, Wau 13

Pts. in paint: SG 40, Wau 42

Greatest Lead: SG 17, Wau 1

Lead Changes: 2

Fouls: SG 21, Wau 24

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Win at Lyle/Pacelli 61-57

All streaks must come to an end at some point. Spring Grove’s 51-game conference winning streak was in serious jeopardy with the Lions trailing up until the final 45 seconds when Solum went up for 4 offensive rebounds.

The senior guard scored with one O-board to put SG ahead (58-57) for the first time in the second half.

With L/P forced to foul in the final 19 seconds, Spring Grove twice missed the back end of a 1-and-1 opportunity. But Solum came up big, rebounding both misses. When the Lions again hit the first and missed the second free throw, Spring Grove led by four points with 6 seconds to play

The game was a nail-biter all the way with neither team leading by more than seven points. Interestingly, there were only two lead changes all game. The Lions nursed slim leads until L/P edged ahead for the first time just 26 seconds before halftime.

Down 34-31 at the break, the Lions never caught up until the final 45 seconds. The Athletics did not score during most of the final four minutes, beset with 4 late turnovers and 2 missed shots.

It was hard for Lyle/Pacelli to key on a specific Lion as SG displayed scoring balance with six players between 8 and 14 points. Elton scored 14 points with 5 assists and no turnovers. His late back-to-back baskets got the Lions back to within one point before a Solum rebound finally put SG ahead again.

Matzke had 11 points and 7 rebounds while Solum (8 points) came down with a career-high 12 rebounds.

Sam Sanness contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds while Takoda Boyd came in to add 9 points and 5 boards. Fighting through illness, Folz had 9 points and 5 rebounds.

L/P exchange senior from Colombia Frederico Pulgarin had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double along with several steals.

The Athletics played much better than their record might indicate. After the near upset of the East Division-leading Lions, L/P left at 8-9 (3-7 SEC).

It was a 3-point duel with SG hitting 8 of 24 treys (33%), but L/P was better, sinking 11 of 25 (44%).

Although outscored by one point from the field, Spring Grove held a 5-point edge at the foul line in a 4-point win. The Lions hit 9 of 14 free throws (64%) while L/P went 4 for 6 (67%).

Spring Grove defeated L/P for the 16th-straight time and leads all-time 33 wins to one.

The Lion B-team (6-4, 4-1 SEC) lost for the first time to a conference rival 36-29.

SG 61, Lyle/Pacelli 57

Individuals:

Boyd 9P, 5R, 1B

Grinde 1P, 1A, 1S

*Solum 8P, 12R, 3A

*Matzke 11P, 7R, 1A, 2S

*Folz 9P, 5R, 3A, 2S

Bjerke 1A, 1S

*Elton 14P, 1R, 5A, 5S

*Sanness 9P, 6R, 1B

TEAM TOTALS:

SCORE by HALVES

SG 31+30=61

L/P 34+23=57

all FG: SG 38% (22-58), L/P 43% (21-49)

2-pt FG: SG 41% (14-34), L/P 42% (10-24)

3-pt FG: SG 33% (8-24), L/P 44% (11-25)

Free throws: SG 64% (9-14), L/P 67% (4-6)

Rebounds: SG 36, L/P 30

Turnovers: SG 13, L/P 19

2nd Chance pts: SG 20, L/P 3

Fast break pts: SG 5, L/P 6

Pts. in paint: SG 31, L/P 18

Greatest Lead: SG 7, L/P 7

Lead Changes: 2

Fouls: SG 9, L/P 17

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Win versus Schaeffer 68-37

The East Division showdown was dominated by the Spring Grove defense, which clamped down and held Schaeffer Academy to its lowest point total in 20 games this season. Spring Grove remained undefeated in league play, dealt Schaeffer a second SEC-setback, and snapped the visitor's seven-game winning streak.

Schaeffer (15-5, 6-2 SEC), was forced to attempt more 3-point shots than 2-pointers, but the visiting Lions shot only 22% overall, including only 6 of 32 (19%) beyond the arc.

Schaeffer was perfect from the foul line but was allowed only seven free throws (7 for 7), while SG netted 16 of 20 charity shots

Folz had a double-double with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Elton scored 9 points, brought down a career-best 10 rebounds, and had a career-high 7 assists.

In the post, Sanness had 22 points and 8 rebounds. No Schaeffer players scored in double digits.

Spring Grove, with 19 assists, scored 53 of its 68 points in the lane. Four local Lions had more assists than turnovers - Elton 7 assists, Solum 6, Matzke 2, Kai Bjerke 1.

SG dominated both the B-team game 50-29 and the seventh-grade game 55-21, but Schaeffer handily won the eighth-grade game 37-12.

SG 68, Schaeffer 37

Individuals:

Boyd 3P, 3R, 1S

Grinde 2P, 1A, 1S

*Solum 5P, 2R, 6A, 1S

*Matzke 5P, 5R, 2A, 3S

*Folz 17P, 12R, 1A, 4S

Bjerke 5P, 2R, 1A, 1S

*Elton 9P, 10R, 7A, 2S

*Sanness 22P, 8R, 1A, 1B

also playing - Leahy, Hagen, Murphy

TEAM TOTALS:

SCORE by HALVES

SG 41+27=68

SA 19+18=37

all FG: SG 43% (24-56), SA 22% (12-54)

2-pt FG: SG 45% (20-44), SA 27% (6-22)

3-pt FG: SG 33% (4-12), SA 19% (6-32)

Free throws: SG 80% (16-20), SA 100% (7-7)

Rebounds: SG 42, SA 24

Turnovers: SG 16, SA 20

Pts. in paint: SG 53, SA 15

2nd Chance pts: SG 14, SA 11

Fast break pts: SG 4, SA 2

Greatest Lead: SG 14, SA 1

Lead Changes: 3

Fouls: SG 13, SA 16

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Win versus Houston 58-31

For the second-straight game, Spring Grove put the pressure on defensively, holding an opponent to a season-low point total. Houston's 31 points were not only the fewest for the Hurricanes through 20 games but also the fewest of any Lion opponent this season. The 'Canes had scored 50 in an earlier loss at SG (71-50).

In the rematch, Houston (7-13, 3-7 SEC) scored first and led 10-5 before the game’s turning point - a 16-to-2 SG run.

The Lions led 27-15 at halftime, and the second half scoring was virtually even with the Lions up by 13 (44-31) until holding Houston scoreless for the final four minutes. Spring Grove (13-5 overall, 7-0 SEC) scored the final 14 points of the game to win by 27.

Three Lions scored in double figures with Folz putting in 18 points, Matzke 14 and Sanness 10 - the latter with a team-best 7 rebounds. For the second-straight game, Elton passed out a career-best 7 assists.

While the defense forced 29 Houston turnovers, the Lion offense shot 49% from the field and 90% from the foul line (9 for 10).

For the second-straight game, a Lion opponent did not miss a free throw but had very few opportunities. Houston's four free throws (4 for 4) were the fewest of any SG opponent this season as the Lions were whistled for a season-low 8 fouls.

Each team had 5 three-point baskets, but SG was far more effective inside, outscoring the 'Canes 35 to 16 in the lane

The Lions, who have won 52 of the last 53 games versus Houston, extended their winning streak against the Hurricanes to 34 games and extended their conference winning streak to 54 games.

The last SEC loss came at home three years ago versus Randolph.

Speaking of the Rockets, who currently lead the SEC West, they visit SG in a conference showdown this week - Thursday, Feb. 8.

It was a four-game sweep at Houston, with the Lions taking the B-team game 44-31, eighth-grade game 43-15 and also the seventh-grade game 52-21.

SG 58, Houston 31

Individuals:

Leahy 2P, 1S

Boyd 1R

Grinde 2P, 1S

*Solum 2P, 4A, 4S

*Matzke 14P, 5R, 2A, 5S, 1B

*Folz 18P, 3R, 4A, 2S, 1B

Bjerke 4P, 1S

*Elton 6P, 3R, 7A, 4S

*Sanness 10P, 7R, 2S, 1B

also playing - Hagen, Murphy

TEAM TOTALS:

SCORE by HALVES

SG 27+31=58

Hou 15+16=31

all FG: SG 49% (22-45), Hou 32% (11-34)

2-pt FG: SG 59% (17-29), Hou 27% (6-22)

3-pt FG: SG 31% (5-16), Hou 42% (5-12)

Free throws: SG 90% (9-10), Hou 100% (4-4)

Rebounds: SG 19, Hou 16

Turnovers: SG 17, Hou 29

2nd Chance pts: SG 4, Hou 3

Fast break pts: SG 9, Hou 2

Pts. in paint: SG 35, Hou 16

Greatest Lead: SG 27, Hou 5

Lead Changes: 1

Fouls: SG 8, Hou 12

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Schedule

The Lions (14-5, 8-0 SEC) kicked off another busy week with an 85-37 conference road win at Glenville-Emmons on Monday, Feb. 5, after the print edition went to press. The Lions host that big SEC matchup with West Division-leading Randolph on Thursday, Feb. 8. Spring Grove will head to Rochester for a rematch with Schaeffer Academy on Saturday, Feb. 10, with an approximate 1:45 p.m. tip off. After a one-day breather, the following week starts on Monday, Feb. 12, with a non-conference game at Class AA La Crescent.

Southeast Conference Boys (through Monday, Feb. 5 games)

>>EAST DIVISION

Spring Grove…..8-0 (14-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca….7-2 (16-5 all

Mabel-Canton…4-7 (7-12 all)

Houston………..3-7 (7-15 all)

Lanesboro……..1-8 (1-16 all)

>>WEST DIVISION

Randolph…………7-1 (16-4 all)

Grand Meadow….7-3 (10-10 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..6-3 (15-6 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….4-7 (9-9 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-9 (1-17 all)

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Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2017-2018

Updated since print edition to include Feb. 5 games

14-5 (8-0 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

W vs. Schaeffer Academy*68-37

W at Houston*58-31

W at Glenville-Emmons*85-37

Thur....2/08....Randolph*

Sat......2/10.....at Schaeffer Academy*

Mon....2/12....at La Crescent 7:30 pm

Thur....2/15....LeRoy-Ostrander*

Fri.......2/16....at Grand Meadow*

Mon....2/19....Kingsland

Fri.......2/23....Lanesboro*

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B-TEAM BASKETBALL

8-4 (7-1 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

W vs. Schaeffer Academy 50-29

W at Houston 44-31

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EIGHTH GRADE BASKETBALL

5-5 (4-3 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

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SEVENTH GRADE BASKETBALL

8-2 (6-1 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

W vs. Schaeffer Academy 55-21

W at Houston 52-21