Boys post 25-point blowouts at L/P, Cannon Falls

LEFT: Noah Elton scores on a fast break during road win at Lyle/Pacelli. CENTER: Takoda Boyd moves the ball past defenders last Friday at Lyle/Pacelli. RIGHT: Wyatt Murphy defeats double team to score against Cannon Falls. Photos by S. Lee Epps
By : 
S, Lee Epps

The state-ranked No. 12 Spring Grove boys posted back-to-back 25-point road wins last week by very similar scores. It was a 65-40 conference conquest of Lyle/Pacelli on Jan. 4 at Lyle. Less then 24 hours later, the bus was back on the road to Class AA Cannon Falls for a boys-girls non-conference varsity double header. The Lion boys improved to 7-1 (6-0 SEC) after a 67-42 blitzing of the Bombers.

SG 65, Lyle/Pacelli 40

Spring Grove did shoot slightly below its season average, but shot more often than any other game so far this season - due to 18 offensive rebounds, 16 steals and only 10 turnovers.

After winning the B-team game, Lyle/Pacelli sent out five varsity starters, all of whom were young enough to play B-team - four sophomores and an eighth grader. A senior, two juniors and another sophomore came off the bench.

That talented but young L/P lineup was not able to handle the defensive intensity of the senior-dominated Lion defense, which came up with 16 steals while forcing 27 turnovers.

SG head coach Wade Grinde acknowledged that effective defense while saying the Lions could improve play on the offensive end of the floor.

There was balance in the attack with four players scoring in double figures, topped by 19 points from Alex Folz. The senior point guard also logged 7 rebounds, 3 steals and a stellar 6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. 

Sophomore Caden Grinde had a strong stat line with 11-points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 blocked shots and a career-high 6 assists - twice as many assists as turnovers.

Despite sitting out 10 minutes of the first half in foul trouble, Ethan Matzke finished with 11 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.

Noah Elton added 10 points, and Takoda Boyd came in to add 8 points, 4 boards and 3 assists with only a single turnover.

The Athletics (4-7, 3-4 SEC) scored first but were quickly left behind as the Lions hit their first three 3-point shots and converted five early steals into six fast break points.

SG led by as many as 20 points in the first half, was up 19 at halftime (37-18) and extended the margin to 27 points before winning by 25.

Sophomore Jed Nelson had a 12-point, 10-rebound double double for the Athletics. Sophomore Zach Bollingberg scored 14 points.

L/P competed reasonably well on the glass, where the Lions held an overall 39-33 rebounding margin - but with three times as many offensive rebounds (18) as the home team (6).

The Athletics own only one win in the 35-game series versus Spring Grove with the Lions having taken the first 17 games and now also the last 17. Prior to the current sharing agreement, Spring Grove had an 8-5 record versus the Lyle Lions. 

In the B-team game, the Athletics hit some late free throws to salt away a previously very close contest, 51-40. The Lion B-boys (4-2) hit only 9 of 22 free throws in the loss, while L/P went 11 for 17 at the line.


SG 65, Lyle/Pacelli 40

>>SG 37+28=65

<<L/P 18+22=40

all FG: SG 35% (25-71), L/P 38% (17-45)

2-pt FG: SG 38% (18-47), L/P 44% (14-32)

3-pt FG: SG 29% (7-24), L/P 23% (3-13)

Free throws: SG 50% (8-16), L/P 50% (3-6)

Rebounds: SG 39, L/P 33

Turnovers: SG 10, L/P 27

Fast break pts.: SG 19, L/P 13

Pts. in paint: SG 343, L/P 28

Fouls: SG 12, L/P 15

INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R-rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. * starter

Takoda Boyd 8P, 4R, 3A, 1S; 

*Caden Grinde 11P, 7R, 6A, 5S, 2B; 

*Ethan Matzke 11P, 8R, 1S; 

*Alex Folz 19P, 7R, 6A, 3S; 

*Kai Bjerke 2P, 4R, 3A, 1S; 

*Noah Elton 10P, 2R, 1A, 3S, 1B; 

Kyle Hagen 4R, 1S, 1B;

Wyatt Murphy 4P, 3R, 1S; 

playing briefly - Payton Leahy, Isaac Griffin, Reid Griffin


SG 67, Cannon Falls 42

Both teams hit 52% of their 2-point shots and sank 11 free throws, but the Lions were far better from 3-point land, where they drained 8 of 19 (42%) and the home team went only 1 for 16 (6%).

Spring Grove hit six straight shots while separating with an early 17-to-4 run for a 19-7 lead. The Lions put the game away with a 14-point run in the second half.

Holding double-digit leads most of the afternoon, including a 36-24 halftime spread, the Lions saw the margin cut to nine (39-30) early in the second half. But out of a time out, SG scored on six straight possessions to push the lead to 53-30.

Five different Lions scored during that 14-point spree, which featured a pair of fast break baskets and a pair of 3-balls.

Matzke scored a game-high 21 points and pulled down a team-best 6 rebounds. Elton added 13 points while drilling 3 of 4 beyond the 3-point arc.

Folz added 8 points and passed out 9 assists. Grinde (7 points), Matzke and Kyle Hagen also had more assists than turnovers as the team posted 18 assists with only 13 lost possessions.

Grinde lifted 5 of the 14 Lion steals while the team forced 24 Bomber turnovers.

The home team's strength came beneath the backboards with a 31-to-22 rebounding advantage.

Both squads were effective at the foul line where SG hit 11 of 13 free throws (85%) and Cannon Falls 11 of 14 (79%). The Bombers slipped to 7-5.

It was the first official meeting between the two teams, but the Lions had defeated Cannon Falls by seven points in a 2018 summer tournament.

There was no B-team game.


SG 67, Cannon Falls 42

>>SG 36+31=67

>>CF 24+18=42

all FG: SG 48% (24-50), CF 35% (15-43)

2-pt FG: SG 52% (16-31), CF 52% (14-27)

3-pt FG: SG 42% (8-19), CF 6% (1-16)

Free throws: SG 85% (11-13), CF 79% (11-14)

Rebounds: SG 22, CF 31

Turnovers: SG 13, CF 24

Fast break pts.: SG 13, CF 12

Pts. in paint: SG 41, CF 29

Fouls: SG 16, CF 12


Takoda Boyd 8P, 1R; 

*Caden Grinde 7P, 3R, 3A, 5S;

 *Ethan Matzke 21P, 6R, 3A, 3S; 

*Alex Folz 8P, 4R, 9A, 2S; 

*Kai Bjerke 5P, 1A, 1S; 

Isaac Griffin 1R; 

*Noah Elton 13P, 4R, 1A, 1S; 

Kyle Hagen 3P, 3R, 1A; 

Wyatt Murphy 2P; 

Playing briefly - Payton Leahy, Reid Bjerke


This week and next

The boys played at Class AA La Crescent-Hokah (7-3) on Tuesday of this week before coming home against Lanesboro on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Next week begins with two home games - against Decorah on Monday Jan. 14 and the rematch versus Kingsland on Jan. 15.

A game has just been added with Class AA Stewartville visiting SG on Friday, Jan. 18.


Southeast Conference Boys(updated since print edition through Jan. 6 scores)


Spring Grove 6-0 SEC (7-1 season)

Kingsland 4-2 (7-5)

Mabel-Canton 2-2 (5-5)

Lanesboro 1-4 (4-8)

Houston 1-5 (3-6)


Randolph 5-1 SEC (9-1 season)

Grand Meadow 4-2 (9-3)

LeRoy-Ostrander 3-2 (6-4)

Lyle/Pacelli 3-4 (4-8)

Schaeffer Academy 2-4 (6-7)

Glenville-Emmons 0-5 (0-8)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 

7-1 (6-0 SEC) approximately 7:15 unless noted -* SEC games  

W vs. Glenville-Emmons* 69-35

W vs. Houston* 53-37

L vs. Charles City 56-58

W at Kingsland*62-59

W at Mabel-Canton*51-38

W vs. Randolph*66-45

W at Lyle/Pacelli* 65-40

W at Cannon Falls 67-42

01-08 at La Crescent-Hokah

01-10 Lanesboro*

01-14 Decorah

01-15 Kingsland*

01-24 at Houston*

01-26 vs. LeRoy-Ostrander 1 p.m. (at Target Center, Minneapolis)

01-28 Waukon

01-29 at Grand Meadow*

02-01 Mabel-Canton*


02-08at Mayer Lutheran 7:30 p.m.

02-09at Christ’s Household of Faith (St. Paul 1 p.m.)

02-12Schaeffer Academy

02-14at Fillmore Central (Preston) 7:30

02-19Grand Meadow (non-conf.)

02-22at Lanesboro*


B-team Boys 4-2

W vs. Glenville-Emmons    47-10

W vs. Houston               67-21

W at Kingsland               43-40

W at Mabel-Canton         49-20

L vs. Randolph               30-51

 L at Lyle/Pacelli                         40-51      

8th Grade Boys 3-0

W vs. Caledonia            62-22

W vs. Houston               65 - 4

W at Kingsland               50 – 9

7th Grade Boys 3-0

W vs. Caledonia             49-30

W at Kingsland               50 - 9

W at Kingsland               44 - 8