2-point, 1-point, many-points losses for girls

LEFT: Katelyn Kraus shoots over three Lanesboro defenders. RIGHT: Emerson Ingvalson, after being fouled on this shot, will hit two free throws to tie the score during the second half at Mabel-Canton. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

Two defensive games slipped away in the final seconds before a third game became a runaway for the Spring Grove girls (0-7, 0-3 SEC).

Mabel-Canton scored the winning basket with five seconds remaining to defeat the visiting Lions 39-37 on Dec. 10. 

Defenses dominated the lowest scoring game (76 points) between the two neighbors since the 51 total points in a 26-25 Cougar win in 1997-98.

The series with Mabel-Canton is as close as last week's score with the Lions now leading all-time with 53 wins to the Cougars' 52.

Two nights later, again on the road, Spring Grove came up one point short at Lanesboro, 34-33. The Burros thus ended a 22-game losing streak against Spring Grove with their first series win in 11 seasons.

Considering the 67 total points, defense again prevailed in the lowest scoring game between the Lions and Burros since the 63 points in a 36-27 Spring Grove win in 2002.

On Saturday at the annual Iowa-Minnesota Border Battle in Decorah, Iowa, the Lions were no match for the Iowa Class AAA state-ranked No. 7 Cadets from Crestwood (Cresco, Iowa), 59-19. It was a historic day for Crestwood as 6-foot-3 University of Iowa commit Sharon Goodman broke the Crestwood girls' all-time (five-player) scoring record. 

With 41 points in the lane, the Cadets shot a spectacular 64% from the field (25 for 39) - the best shooting percentage of any Lion girls' opponent in the 19 seasons for which single-game statistics survive.

On the other end of the floor, it was the most frustrating offensive output for the young Lions since the 18 points scored against another much larger school, Caledonia, in 2006.

 With the availability of all previously injured and ill players, the Lion lineup was complete for the first time this season, but only at Mabel-Canton.


Mabel-Canton 39, SG 37

SG   16+21=37

M-C 19+20=39

With the score tied, Payton Danielson hit the winner - a tough turnaround shot over two defenders - with five seconds on the clock. The Mabel-Canton senior, with a 3-point basket, had also broken a tie score with three seconds on the clock for a 19-16 halftime lead.

Despite shooting a weak 52% from the foul line, the Cougars hit enough free throws to overcome being outscored from the field. Mabel-Canton netted more free throws (13 for 25) than the Lions attempted (8 for 11).

Although no Lions fouled out, two finished with four fouls, and whistles caused Spring Grove coaches to substitute several times.

The game was a low-scoring, half-court grind with only 5 fast break points. Defenses controlled play most of the night; the Lions shot only 28% from the field and the Cougars only 23%. 

Both attacks repeatedly and patiently passed the ball while deciding whether or not to launch an available 3-point shot.

After missing all of 15 previous 3-point attempts, Spring Grove nailed three straight treys down the stretch. Amelia Solum scored from afar to get the Lions back within two points (33-31).

Two possessions later, a Maggie Lile 3-ball put SG ahead 34-33 with 2:11 to play. With another trey, the freshman guard then broke a 34-34 tie for a 37-34 lead with 27 seconds on the clock.

Cougar junior Jordan Newgard, with another triple, quickly knotted the count again. It appeared the Lions would have the final shot before a questionable traveling call handed that opportunity to Mabel-Canton with 12 seconds to play.

Danielson made a great game-winning play with arguably the Cougars' toughest shot of the game. The already three-time all-conference standout finished with a 16-point, 10-rebound double double plus 6 of the Cougars' 12 steals.

Solum, the Spring Grove All-SEC guard, ably countered with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and an assist.

Jacine Johanningmeier was also close to a double double with 10 points and 8 rebounds.

The Lions scored the first four points of the game and did not lead again until six minutes into the second half.

The score was tied seven times after halftime, finally at 37-all until the final five seconds.

Mabel-Canton (4-2, 2-1 SEC) used six players, one of which, Avery Davis, missed the final 16 minutes after a serious fall to the floor.

In the B-team game, Spring Grove's McKenzie Fisch hit a 3-point basket with 20 seconds remaining to give the Lions a 29-27 victory.


Rebounds: SG 34, MC 33

Turnovers: SG 21, MC 17 

All FG: SG 28%, MC 23% 

2-pt FG: SG 36%, MC 25%

3-pt FG: SG 17% (3-18), MC 21% (4-19)

Fr. Throws: SG 73% (8-11), MC 52% (13-25)

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

*Johanningmeier10P, 8R, 1A, 1B; *Amelia Solum15P, 9R, 1A, 3S; Kraus3R, 1A, 1B; *Petersen 3R, 1A; *Leahy4P, 6R, 1A; McHugh played, no stats; *Lile6P, 3R, 1A, 2S


>>Lanesboro 34, SG 33

SG   17+16=33

LHS 18+16=34

There was never more than a three-point lead for either team, and the score was tied for the seventh and last time at 31-31 with four minutes remaining.

With four late turnovers, the Lions would attempt only four shots in those final four minutes, one blocked. Meanwhile, Lanesboro got off 11 shots and shot six late free throws. But the Burros hit only one of each.

A Sophie Pieper free throw put LHS ahead 32-31, but a driving Amelia Solum basket gave the Lions a 33-32 edge with 2:49 on the clock.

But an in-bounds lay-up by Jessie Schreiber scored the winning two points with 1:30 to play - the seventh lead change of the game. 

Spring Grove closed with two turnovers and two missed shots while the Burros missed their last three shots from the field and all four free throws in the final 10 seconds.

Solum scored a game-high 17 points along with 9 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 blocked shots. Schreiber led Lanesboro with 10 points and 16 rebounds (10 offensive). Brielle Ruen added 6 points and 9 rebounds (5 offensive)

Offensive rebounds were critical for the Lanesboro ladies, who won not by shooting better (SG 27%, LHS 24%) but by shooting more often. With nine more offensive rebounds and four fewer turnovers, the Burros attempted 20 more official shots from the field.

The 3-point arc was a lost cause for both teams with the Lions hitting only 1 of 12 and the Burros 1 of 14. LHS was also 1 of 14 from the foul line, while Grove was 6 for 12.

Lanesboro improved to 3-3 (3-1 SEC).

The B-team game went to Lanesboro 53-24. The Burros also won the eighth grade game, 19-12, and the seventh grade game 18-8. The Lions play all seventh grade games with an all sixth grade lineup.

Rebounds: SG 34, LHS 43 

Turnovers: SG 19, LHS 15 

All FG: SG 27%. LHS 24% 

2-pt FG: SG 33%, LHS 26%

3-pt FG: SG 8% (1-12), LHS 7% (1-14) 

Free throws: SG 50% (6-12), LHS 7% (1-14) 

*Johanningmeier6P, 6R; *Amelia Solum17P, 9R, 6S, 3B; Kraus4R, 1A, 2S; *Petersen5R, 2A, 1S; *Leahy6P, 4R, 1A, 2S, 1B; *McHugh2P, 2R, 1B; Lydia Solum1R


>>Crestwood 59, SG 19

SG    10+ 2+ 7+ 0=33

CHS 16+11+21+11=59

When the post pass was on target, Goodman would score in a split second. The the only time the towering post player had to work for a shot was the record-breaking basket (her points 25 and 26) that came early in the fourth quarter. That allowed her to finish with 26 points on Saturday and 1,398 career points with most of the season remaining.

She was surrounded with good teammates, who shot a hot 46% from 3-point land, could finish fast breaks with a flourish and amassed 22 assists with only 12 turnovers.

The Lions led early at 3-2 with a Solum 3-ball. But there would be only one more triple (2 for 12). Grove trailed only 11-10 before Crestwood scored the last five points of the first quarter and the first 11 points of the second period for a 27-12 halftime lead.

The Cadets (7-1) then scored on their first seven possessions of the second half to ignite the rout at 43-13.

Only three Lions scored with Solum tallying 12 of the 19 points.

With about four and half times as many students as Spring Grove, Crestwood won the state championship in 2018 and made it to the state quarterfinals last season.

Rebounds: SG 12, CHS 23 

Turnovers: SG 13, CHS 12 

All FG: SG 20%, CHS 64%

2-pt FG: SG 22%, CHS 73%

3-pt FG: SG 17% (2-12), CHS 46% (6-13)

Free throws: SG 43% (3-7), CHS 75% (3-4) 

*Johanningmeier2R, 1A; *A. Solum12P, 3R, 3A, 2S; Kraus1R; Fisch1S; *Petersen1R; *Leahy2P, 3R, 1A, 3S; *Lile5P, 2R, 1A, 1S; also playing: McHugh, Olerud, Donlan, L. Solum 

This week and next

Despite being very competitive in three games thus far, the Lions remained winless after seven games (0-7, 0-3 SEC). But one Lion team broke into the win column this week when the Schaeffer Academy Lions (0-7, 0-2 SEC) played at Spring Grove on Tuesday of this week. The big-city Lions also had a close encounter with Lanesboro last week, falling in double overtime.

The Grove girls head to Grand Meadow on Thursday, Dec. 19 for a non-conference game before resuming SEC action against Randolph on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the SEC Showcase in Rochester at the Mayo Civic Center. One of 12 games on the card, the Lion ladies tip off at 2 p.m. before the Spring Grove boys play the Rockets at 4 p.m.

The girls will not play again until Monday, Dec 30 when they host Klawok, Alaska.


SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE Girls Basketball 2020 (as of Monday, Dec. 16)


Houston…………………2-0 (4-3 season)

Lanesboro……………...3-1 (3-3 season)

Mabel-Canton…………2-1 (4-4 season)

Schaeffer Academy…0-2 (0-7 season)

Spring Grove………..0-3 (0-7 season)


Kingsland…………….…3-0 (4-2 season)

Grand Meadow……….3-1 (4-2 season)

Randolph……………….1-2 (2-3 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………1-2 (2-3 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...0-3 (0-6 season)


Spring Grove Varsity Girls 2020-----0 wins, 7 losses (0-3 SEC)

*conference games --home games bold. approximately 7:15 p.m. unless noted; # girls/boys double header

L at Caledonia 24-69

L vs. Waukon 27-53

L vs. Decorah 38-47

L vs. Houston 23-81

L at Mabel-Canton*37-39

L at Lanesboro*33-34                         

Lvs. Crestwood 19-59

Tues. 12-17 Schaeffer Academy*

Thur. 12-19 at Grand Meadow (non-conf.)

Sat. 12-21 # vs. Randolph* at Rochester2 P.M.

Mon. 12-30 Klawok, Alaska(time TBD)

Thur. 01-02 at Southland 7:30 P.M.

Fri. 01-03 Lyle/Pacelli*

Tues. 01-07 Fillmore Central

Thur. 01-09 at Houston*

Thur. 01-16 Rushford-Peterson

Fri. 01-17 Grand Meadow* 

Mon. 01-20 Mabel-Canton* 

Fri. 01-24 at LeRoy-Ostrander*

Thur. 01-30 at Schaeffer Academy*

Mon.  02-03 at La Crescent-Hokah

Tues. 02-04 at Lewiston-Altura 7:30 P.M.

Fri. 02-07 Kingsland*

Tues. 02-11 at Lansing Kee 7:30 P.M.

Fri. 02-14 Lanesboro*

Sat. 02-15 #Cannon Falls 4 P.M.


Spring Grove B-Team Girls 2020

>>>1 win, 5 losses

L at Caledonia 7-45 

L vs. Waukon 17-41

L vs. Decorah 17-48

L vs. Houston 20-56

W at Mabel-Canton 29-27

L at Lanesboro 24-53


Spring Grove 8th Grade Girls 2020

0 wins, 4 losses

L at Caledonia

L vs. Houston 13-19

L at Mabel-Canton 14-18

L at Lanesboro 12-19


Spring Grove 7th Grade Girls 2020

>>>1 win, 3 losses

L at Caledonia

W vs. Houston 20-18

L at Mabel-Canton 12-14

L at Lanesboro 8-18