Boys fall to hot-shooting Vikings, Trojans - blast Wolverines

LEFT: Kyle Hagen shoots from the baseline over Rushford-Peterson’s Justin Ruberg. CENTER: Hunter Holland is simultaneously fouled by two Glenville-Emmons players. Despite the double-mugging, the Lion freshman was awarded only two free throws; he sank both in a 69-20 Spring Grove win Friday night. RIGHT: Wyatt Murphy scores against Glenville-Emmons. Photos by S. Lee Epps

It was a week of lows and highs, best and worst, two non-conference losses and an SEC win for the Spring Grove boys. 

First Decorah and then Rushford-Peterson both shot 52% from the field, the best of any Spring Grove opponents to date. As in most high school games, shooting that well results in victory as it did in Decorah (54-33) on Jan. 6 and in Rushford (56-44) on Jan. 9.

At home on Jan. 10, the Lion defense and offense dominated one-win Glenville-Emmons 69-20

After shooting a season-worst 24% for a season-low 33 points against Decorah, the Lions shot close to their season average of 38% at R-P and then a season-best 48% while matching a season-high 69 points against G-E. 

The Grove guys ended the week at 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the SEC.

Decorah 54, SG 33

The Lion defense did not keep Viking dribblers out of the lane, while the Decorah "D" led to Spring Grove shooting mostly from 3-point land.

The Lions never led, down 30-24 at halftime and trailing by nine (38-29) after three quarters before it became a rout while being outscored 16-4 in the fourth quarter (Iowa plays quarters).

It did not help that two starting guards were home ill, but Spring Grove shot a season-low 24% from the field. Decorah shot 52% and had twice as many baskets (22) as did Spring Grove (11).

The 33 points were the fewest this season for the Lions who attempted 28 shots beyond the 3-point arc and only 23 closer in. That shot section also did not help the Lions get to the free throw line (4 for 8).

While Spring Grove was unable to penetrate the Decorah man-to-man defense, the Vikings scored 38 of their 54 points in the lane. Decorah used the dribble to take the ball inside for 22 points and passed inside for 4 points.

The Vikings were eager to fast break and scored 10 points with transition layups but also threw the ball away four times during fast breaks. It was the second straight game that Spring Grove did not score in transition.

Lion junior guard Caden Grinde had 12 points, 3 steals, 3 rebounds and 4 assists with only 1 turnover.

In the illness-depleted lineup, sophomore Reid Bjerke and eighth grader Elijah Solum drew starting assignments, each scoring 6 points. Bjerke also had 2 assists and a team-high 4 rebounds.

For Decorah (6-3), Logan Halverson had 9 points and 16 rebounds. Six different Vikings scored between four and 10 points.

The Lions handled the ball reasonably well (12 turnovers) but with all the 3-point shots, did not shoot well enough and came up with only 5 offensive rebounds on 35 missed shots.

It was the first win in the series for Decorah with Spring Grove having won the previous four meetings.

The Lion B-teamboys (5-1) lost for the first time this season, 42-26. The junior high boys were playing at Caledonia where the Grove eighth graders (5-1) defeated the Warriors 32-27 and the Lion seventh graders (4-2) lost a close one, 42-40.


SG    8+16+5+ 4 =33

Dec 16+14+8+16=54 

Rebounds: SG 18, Dec 32 

Turnovers: SG 12, Dec 14 

All FG: SG 24%, Dec 52%

2-pt FG: SG 22%, Dec 62%

3-pt FG: SG 25%, Dec 31% 

3-pt FG: SG 7-28, Dec 4-13 

Free throws: SG 50%, Dec 60%

Free throws: SG 4-8, Dec 6-10 

P-points, R-rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocks, * starter

*Bjerke 6P, 4R, 2A; Michels 3P; *Grinde, C. 12P, 3R, 4A, 3S; Grinde, T. 1A; Holland 1P, 2R; *Koch 5P, 3R, 2S; Gerard no stats; *Hagen 2R; Murphy 2R, 2B; *Solum 6P, 2R, 1A; Leahy out ill; Nerstad out ill


Rushford-Peterson 56, SG 44

The Trojans scored on eight of nine possessions during a 14-to-1 run to extend a two-point halftime lead into a 46-31 spread. Spring Grove never got within single digits again.

The Lions had only 5 turnovers and the Trojans only 7, the fewest total lost possessions in the 16 years for which records survive. Spring Grove's 10-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio was the best so far this season.

But Rushford-Peterson shot too well, especially the 65% in the second half after leading 26-24 at halftime.

It was a tough defensive, half-court game that saw only two fast-break baskets (both by SG).

Both teams attempted 10 free throws and 12 three-point shots. R-P hit two more free throws, two more treys and two more 2-point shots. The Lions attempted five more 2-point shots, but were out-shot overall, 52% to 38%.

John Koch had 12 points and 8 rebounds for the Lions while Grinde had another 12 points along with 3 rebounds and 3 assists (only 1 turnover.)

Caleb Nerstad came off the illness list for 6 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Solum added another 6 points with 5 from Bjerke and 3 from Kyle Hagen.

There are only two seniors on the R-P roster, neither in the primary playing rotation against SG. Seeing significant action for the Trojans were 3 juniors, 3 sophomores and a freshman.

It was a very balanced Trojan attack. Sophomore Justin Ruberg had a game-high 15 points and at least 5 assists. Junior Ben Wieser put in 13 points plus 8 rebounds while junior Luke O'Hare added 11 points and freshman Grady Hengel 10.

The teams came in with similar records - SG 5-5 and R-P 5-6. The Trojans got back to .500 while the Lions slipped below .500 for the first time.

The B-teamgame saw eight lead changes before R-P scored nine of the last 11 points to win 37-34. Elijah Solum played only the first half and scored 15 points. Freshman Tysen Grinde had 6 steals.

A tall and accomplished Trojan team won the eighth grade game, 40-18. Nathan Crouch hit two late free throws to lift the Lion seventh graders to a 34-33victory.


SG 24+20=44 

RP 26+30=56 

Rebounds: SG 20, RP 25 

Turnovers: SG 5, RP 7 

All FG: SG 38% (18-47), RP 52% (22-42)

2-pt FG: SG 40% (14-35), RP 53% (16-30)

3-pt FG: SG 33% (4-12), RP 50% (6-12)

Free throws: SG 40% (4-10), RP 60% (6-10)

*Nerstad 6P, 1R, 3A, 2S; *Bjerke 5P, 2R, 1A, 1B; *Grinde 12P, 3R, 3A, 1S, 1B; *Koch 12P, 8R, 1A, 1S; *Hagen 3P, 1A, 2S; Murphy 3R; Solum 6P, 2R; Leahy out ill


SG 69, Glenville-Emmons 20

For the second straight night, Spring Grove had only single-digit turnovers and a season-best assist-to-turnover ratio (17-to-8). 

Seven Lions contributed to a season-high 22 steals, which led to 22 fast-break points. 

Each team was a weak 4 for 19 (21%) from 3-point land, but the Lions lived in the lane. Burying a season-high 62% of their 2-point shots, the boys scored 55 of their 69 points in the lane.

While Grove was shooting a season-best 48% from the field overall, the Lion zone defense limited the Wolverines to 18%, the lowest of any opponent thus far this season. With 29 turnovers, G-E attempted only 35 shots from the field.

Spring Grove was whistled for only six fouls (season best), and the visitors went to the free throw line only twice (4 for 4).

Koch had a 15-point, 11-rebound double double while Caden Grinde had a double double with 10 points plus career-highs with 10 assists and 8 steals. 

Hagen scored a career-best 14 points along with 3 steals and 2 assists (no turnovers). Nerstad added 9 points and 4 steals while Solum netted another 9 points.

Sophomore Carson Gerard (3 points) collected a career-best 8 rebounds.

Senior Dillon Jacobson led G-E (1-11, 0-9 SEC) with 9 points (3 treys).

The Lions scored the game's first 10 points and after scoring on 11 of their first 13 possessions, led 21-5 on the way to a 39-11 halftime flogging.

It was the Spring Grove's 15th straight win in a series the Lions now lead 30 wins to 4. 

All 11 players scored, 10 rebounded and 10 had steals as the Lion B-team (6-2) led by 28 points at halftime en route to a 58-23 win. There were no junior high games. 


SG 39+30=69

GE 11+ 9 = 20 

Rebounds: SG 34, GE 20

Turnovers: SG 8, GE 29

All FG: SG 48% (28-58), GE 18% (6-33) 

2-pt FG: SG 62% (24-39), GE 14% (2-14)

3-pt FG: SG 21% (4-19), GE 21% (4-19) 

Free throws: SG 56% (9-16), GE 100% (4-4)

*Nerstad 9P, 2R, 2A, 4S; *Bjerke 2P, 1R, 1A; Michels played, no stats; *Grinde, C. 10P, 4R, 10A, 8S, 1B; Grinde, T. 1R; Holland 2P, 1R; *Koch 15P, 11R, 2S, 2B; Flatin 1S; Gerard 3P, 8R, 1A, 2S; *Hagen 14P, 3R, 2A, 3S; Murphy 5P, 1R, 1A, 1B; Solum 9P, 2R, 2S; Leahy out ill

This week and next

The Lions hosted the conference rematch with Houston on Tuesday of this week. Third-place Spring Grove edged the second-place Hurricanes in overtime back in early December.

The boys travel to Grand Meadow on Friday, Dec. 17 with the game being aired by 103.1 FM KFIL, and the 103.1 KFIL App.

Next week, the Lions play at Waukon on Monday, Jan. 20 before the Jan. 21 trip to Mabel-Canton. The Spring Grove boys host LeRoy-Ostrander on Friday, Jan. 24 (girls are at L-O same night). 


SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE Boys Basketball 2020 (through Jan. 11 games)


Schaeffer Academy…7-1 (12-2 season)

Houston…………………6-2 (8-5 season)

Spring Grove………..4-3 (6-6 season)

Lanesboro……………...2-7 (5-8 season)

Mabel-Canton…………1-8 (2-11 season)


Randolph……………….7-1 (9-5 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………7-2 (10-3 season)

Grand Meadow……….6-2 (10-4 season)

Kingsland…………….…3-5 (5-8 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...3-6 (5-8 season)

Glenville-Emmons…..0-9 (1-11 season)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2020

>>>6-6 (4-3 SEC)

*conference games - approximately 7:15 p.m. unless noted

W vs. Mabel-Canton* 64-25.

W at Houston*63-58 (OT)

W vs.  Lanesboro*55-41                               

L vs. Crestwood 36-51

L at Schaeffer Academy*38-50

L vs. Randolph* 40-54

W vs. Dover-Eyota at Rushford 69-62

W vs. Nevis at Rushford 54-49

L at Lyle/Pacelli* 60-67

L at Decorah 33-54

L at Rushford-Peterson 44-56

W vs. Glenville-Emmons* 59-20

Tues 01-14 Houston*

Fri. 01-17 at Grand Meadow*

Mon. 01-20 at Waukon 7:30 P.M

Tues. 01-21 at Mabel-Canton*

Fri.  01-24 LeRoy-Ostrander*

Mon. 01-27 Lansing Kee

Fri.  01-31 Schaeffer Academy*                  

Sat. 02-01 vs. Stratford 10 A.M. *(Wisconsin/Minnesota Border Battle at La Crosse)

Mon. 02-03 Fillmore Central

Tues. 02-04 at Lanesboro*

Fri. 02-07 at Kingsland*

Sat. 02-15 #Cannon Falls 6 P.M.

Mon. 02-17 La Crescent-Hokah


>>>B-team Boys 6-2

W vs. Mabel- Canton 39-35

W at Houston 67-12

W vs. Lanesboro 55-31

W at Schaeffer Academy 42-38

W at Lyle/Pacelli 44-38

 L at Decorah 26-42

L at Rushford-Peterson 44-56

W vs. Glenville-Emmons 58-23


>>8th Grade Boys 5-2

W vs. Mabel-Canton 35-21

W at Houston 27-17

W vs. Caledonia 33-31 (OT)

L vs. Lanesboro17-42

W at Schaeffer Academy

W at Caledonia 32-27

L at Rushford-Peterson 18-40


>>7th Grade Boys 5-2

W vs. Mabel-Canton 26-6

W at Houston 37-18

L vs. Caledonia 24-37

W vs. Lanesboro 40-16

W at Schaeffer Academy

L at Caledonia 40-42

W at Rushford-Peterson 34-33