Takoda Boyd defends at Glenville-Emmons against Christian Nelson. Photo by S. Lee Epps
Takoda Boyd defends at Glenville-Emmons against Christian Nelson. Photo by S. Lee Epps
The Spring Grove boys basketball earned at least a share of an eighth straight SEC East Division championship during the same week that Alex Folz scored his 1,000th varsity point.

The Lions swept the three games they played last week in what turned out to be an interesting fashion. The Lions picked up an 85-37 SEC road win at Glenville-Emmons on Monday, Feb. 5. A Thursday night home matchup against Randolph was expected to be a barn-burner as each team was on top of its respective division, but Spring Grove came away with a convincing 59-25 win that started with the Lion defense.

In a dramatic finish, the boys picked up a surprisingly tight win at Schaeffer Academy on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 10, by an 85-79 score, after Spring Grove had won the first matchup by 31 points. The Lions closed the week at 16-5 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the Southeast Conference.

Win at G-E, 85-37

Spring Grove took the suspense out of this one early, jumping out to a fast lead with a lot of points coming from up and down the Lion roster. How much offense? For the first time in nine seasons, six different Lions scored in double figures.

Ethan Matzke hit four 3-point baskets on the way to an 18-point, 11-rebound, double-double. Sam Sanness put in 14 points from the post and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Folz was the straw stirring the drink, scoring 15 points while passing out 7 assists with only one turnover.

Noah Elton also shared the ball well as he contributed 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists with no turnovers. Adin Solum and Kai Bjerke (career-high) each added 11 points.

The Lions overwhelmed the one-win Wolverines (1-17, 0-9 SEC) from the opening tip, scoring the first nine points and led 22-2 after scoring on 10 of their first 13 possessions. SG led by 30 (46-16) at halftime and was up by 52 (biggest lead of the game) toward the end.

The Lions torched the nets, shooting a hot 64% from the field, their second-best accuracy of the season. With six different Lions in double figures, it should be no surprise that they shared the ball well. Spring Grove passed out 21 assists with only 9 turnovers. The Lions outscored the Wolverines on fast breaks 15-0 and had more than twice as many rebounds (35) as G-E (16).

Senior forward Logan Studier led the Wolverines with 12 points and Dawson Dahlum added 11.

It was the Lions' 12th-straight win in a series they lead 28-4.

The B-team won 68-11 as Payton Leahy scored 17 points and Chandler Bergrud 16.

SG 85, G-E 37

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

Boyd 4P, 1A, 2S

Grinde 2P, 1A

*Solum 11P, 1R, 3A, 2S

*Matzke 18P, 11R, 1A, 2S

*Folz 15P, 5R, 7A, 4S, 1B

Bjerke 11P, 1R, 2A

*Elton 10P, 7R, 5A, 2S

Murphy 1R

*Sanness 14P, 9R, 1A, 2S, 1B

also playing - Leahy, Bergrud, Hagen



SG 46+39=85

GE 16_21=37

all FG: SG 64% (35-61), GE 36% (16-45)

2-pt FG: SG 64% (27-42), GE 39% (12-31)

3-pt FG: SG 42% (8-19), GE 29% (4-14)

Free throws: SG 64% (7-11), GE 100% (1-1)

Rebounds: SG 35, GE 16

Turnovers: SG 9, GE 21

2nd Chance pts: SG 16, GE 8

Fast break pts: SG 15, GE 0

Pts. in paint: SG 56, GE 18

Greatest Lead: SG 52


Win vs. Randolph, 59-25

Spring Grove picked up its fifth win in the six-game series between the teams during a record-setting night for Folz, who scored his 1,000th career point in the second half, giving the Lions a 50-20 lead.

The showdown between division leaders turned quickly into a surprising "showcase" 34-point blowout for Spring Grove.

The Lions got off to another very fast start and buried Randolph (16-5, 7-2 SEC West) with an explosive 19-1 start. The Lions scored on their first eight possessions, including 3 three-pointers, and led 35-12 at halftime.

SG shot 50% overall, including a strong 41% with threes (7 for 17). Once again, the Lions took good care of the basketball and closed with more assists (16) than turnovers (14).

It was really the Lion defense that dominated the game, holding the 16-win Rockets to a season-low 25 points, which is the fewest points scored against the Lions this season.

The Lions came away with only seven steals but limited Randolph to 21% shooting from the field, the worst accuracy of any SG opponent this season (in 20 games).

Two Lions had double doubles as Sanness finished with 18-points and 10-rebounds while Matzke put in 11 points and grabbed 10 boards.

Folz finished with 13 points and 8 assists, with only 1 turnover. Solum (5 points) had 8 boards as SG controlled the glass and outrebounded Randolph 34 to 24.

The Lions extended their conference winning streak to 56 games against the last team to defeat SG in league play.

In the B-team game, Caden Grinde (17 points) and Leahy (13) combined to equal all the Rockets as SG won 60-30.

SG 59, Randolph 25


Boyd 2P, 1R

*Solum 5P, 8R, 1A

*Matzke 11P, 10R, 3A, 2S

*Folz 13P, 1R, 8A, 2S

Bjerke 3P, 1R, 2A, 2S

*Elton 7P, 3R, 2A, 1S

*Sanness 18P, 10R

also playing - Leahy, Grinde, Hagen



SG 35+24=59

Ran 12+13=25

all FG: SG 50% (25-50), Ran 21% (10-47)

2-pt FG: SG 55% (18-33), Ran 28% (8-29)

3-pt FG: SG 41% (7-17), Ran 11% (2-18)

Free throws: SG 25% (2-8), Ran 33% (3-9)

Rebounds: SG 34, Ran 24

Turnovers: SG 14, Ran 19

Fast break pts: SG 9, Ran 4

Pts. in paint: SG 36, Ran 15

Greatest Lead: SG 34, Ran 0

Fouls: SG 9, Ran 8


Win at Schaeffer, 85-79

The Spring Grove boys had to work a lot harder the second time around with Schaeffer Academy. Just nine days after shredding Schaeffer by 31 points at home, Spring Grove barely escaped an upset in the high-scoring rematch at Rochester. With the last-seconds win over second-place Schaeffer (16-7, 7-3 SEC), Spring Grove (16-5, 10-0 SEC) clinched at least a tie for the East Division championship.

To say it was a back-and-forth game doesn’t do it justice. After an amazing 14 lead changes, the score was tied for the seventh time with 1:14 to play when Folz drove through four Schaeffer defenders for a dazzling scooping left-handed lay-up (his off hand). Just 34 seconds later (40 seconds remaining), Folz broke the eighth tie of the game with a 3-point basket.

After Spring Grove hit 1 of 2 free throws, a Schaeffer trey from Cole Bothun made it a one-point game (80-79) with 13 seconds remaining.

With just 5 seconds left to play and Schaeffer down two points, Bothun was pushing the ball down the floor for a last-second shot, but Elton took the ball away, was fouled, and sank 2 free throws to make it a 4-point SG lead with only 4 seconds left. Schaeffer had only 10 turnovers all game, but two of the biggest came in the final four seconds

Although they were outscored by five points from the field, the Lions won by sinking 15 of 19 free throws (79%), including a clutch 12 of 14 in the second half. Folz and Elton combined to hit 6 of 8 foul shots in the final 19 seconds. Spring Grove limited Schaeffer to only 8 free throws (4 for 8) all afternoon.

After shooting only 22% at Spring Grove, Schaeffer picked up the offensive pace and shot 47% at home in the rematch, including 38% from 3-point land and scored a season-high 79 points.

The home team was hot from the outside as Schaeffer's 13 treys were the most scored against the Lions this season. Six different SA Lions contributed to that 3-point total, including 5 triples by Bothun, who led all scorers with 25 points along with 7 assists.

But, Spring Grove also shot better in the rematch (53%) and sank 8 treys, 7 coming in the second half.

Spring Grove spread the offense around their lineup again as four Lions scored in double figures, and two more had 9 points. Folz finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds while Elton scored 17 points while grabbing a game-high 9 boards.

Sanness poured in 16 points while Matzke had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Solum and Takoda Boyd (3 for 4 treys) each added 9 points.

Spring Grove shared the ball and cared for it too, finishing with 23 assists with 7 each from Solum (only 1 turnover) and Elton (only 2 turnovers) along with 5 from Folz.

SG trailed by as many as 11 points (27-16) in the first half, staying alive mostly with pinpoint passes into the post, where Sanness scored 12 of his 16 points before halftime.

Spring Grove closed the first half strongly with a 13-to-2 run to lead 38-34 at the break. But Schaeffer would answer, opening the second half with a 14-to-4 run and would lead by as many as 8 points. However, Spring Grove answered right back with 7-straight points. The teams then traded the lead nine times over the next six minutes.

Spring Grove had to work hard for this one but has won all 18 games versus Schaeffer.

In the B-team game, Caleb Nerstad scored 12 points as the Lions completed a season sweep 32-27 with this game also much closer than the previous 50-29 decision. The eighth-grade game was also a season sweep with Schaeffer winning 41-23.

SG 85, SA 79


Boyd 9P, 3R, 1A, 2S

*Solum 9P, 2R, 7A

*Matzke 14, 7R, 3A, 1S

*Folz 18P, 7R, 5A, 2S

Bjerke 2P

*Elton 17P, 9R, 7A, 2S

*Sanness 16P, 4R, 1B



SG 38+47=85

SA 34+45=79

all FG: SG 53% (31-59), SA 47% (31-66)

2-pt FG: SG 68% (23-34), SA 56% (18-32)

3-pt FG: SG 32% (8-25), SA 38% (13-34)

Free throws: SG 79% (15-19), SA 50% (4-8)

Rebounds: SG 32, SA 24

Turnovers: SG 13, SA 10

Fast break pts: SG 7, SA 8

Pts. in paint: SG 52, SA 36

Greatest Lead: SG 6, SA 11

Lead Changes: 14



Spring Grove continues a busy end-of-season schedule, having kicked it off this week with a Monday, Feb. 12 win at La Crescent, 65-57, with complete coverage right here next week.

The Lions (17-5) host a makeup game with LeRoy-Ostrander on Thursday, Feb. 9, before heading the next night to Grand Meadow while looking for a season-sweep of the Superlarks (SG won their non-conference game on Jan. 4).

The Lions will be at home next week with a non-conference game against Kingsland on Monday, Feb. 19, before wrapping up the regular-season schedule on Friday, Feb. 23, at home against Lanesboro, looking for a sweep of the Burros.


Southeast Conference Boys (updated since print edition through Monday, Feb. 12 games)


Spring Grove….10-0 (17-5 all)

Schaeffer Aca…..8-3 (17-7 all

Houston…………4-7 (9-15 all)

Mabel-Canton….4-8 (8-13 all)

Lanesboro…….. 1-9 (2-19 all)


Randolph…………8-3 (17-6 all)

LeRoy-Ostrander..7-3 (16-6 all)

Grand Meadow….7-3 (11-11 all)

Lyle/Pacelli……….5-7 (11-10 all)

Glenville-Emmons.0-11 (1-19 all)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2017-2018

Updated since print edition to include Feb. 5 games

17-5 (10-0 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

W vs. Randolph*59-25

W at Schaeffer Academy*85-79

W at La Crescent 65-57


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





10-5 (9-1 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

W at Glenville-Emmons 68-11

W vs. Randolph 60-30

L at La Crescent



6-7 (4-4 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

W at Kee 41-25

L at Schaeffer Academy 23-41

L at La Crescent 38-44



9-3 (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

L at Kee 18-31

W at La Crescent 35-28