Boys subdue Lanesboro, cannot catch Crestwood

LEFT: Caleb Nerstad, shown shooting over Lanesboro's John Prestemon, scored 21 points as the Lions improved to 3-0. RIGHT: Kyle Hagen works along the baseline against Crestwood last Saturday at Decorah. Photos by S. Lee Epps

The Spring Grove boys turned back visiting Lanesboro 55-41on Friday, the 13th before a 51-36noon Saturday setback against Crestwood (Cresco, Iowa) at the annual Iowa-Minnesota Border Battle at Decorah, Iowa,

The win versus the Burros was the 77th consecutive conference victory for the Lions (3-1, 3-0 SEC), who left the gym as one of only three teams undefeated in league play. And they face both of the other two - Randolph and Schaeffer Academy - in SEC showdowns in Rochester this week, 

This week and next

Spring Grove played at East Division co-leader Schaeffer on Tuesday of this week before facing West Division leading Randolph this Saturday at the Southeast Conference Showcase where all SEC squads, boys and girls, will highlight a 12-game schedule in both gymnasiums at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Lion boys play at 4 p.m. after the Spring Grove girls face Randolph at 2 p.m. One paid admissions is good for all games from 9 a.m. through 8 p.m.


SG 55, Lanesboro 41

SG 29+26=55

LHS 21+20=41

Caleb Nerstad scored a career-high 21 points and passed out twice as many assists (4) as turnovers for the Lions who led all game after scoring the first five points. But they did not shelve the stubborn Burros until also scoring the last six points.

Spring Grove scored eight straight on the way to a 22-10 advantage, but the Burro freshman point guard John Prestemon nailed two quick 3-pointers to cut the margin down to five (24-19).

But that would be the closest that Lanesboro (2-3, 1-3 SEC) would come to a scoring run. The Burros had to work so long and so hard against a Lion defense that a quick comeback was unlikely.

The Lions led 29-21 at halftime before leading most of the second half by double-digit margins. But once again, Lanesboro inched back - down by only eight (49-41) with under two minutes to play. Despite two late turnovers, the Lions put the game away by scoring the final six points with a couple of free throws and a couple of fast breaks against full-court pressure.

Both teams missed more free throws than they hit with SG going 11-26 (42%) and LHS at 40% (6 for 15).

But the Burros were effective from 3-point land (5 for 16, 31%), while the Lions were a cold 14% (2 for 14). But Spring Grove countered with 59% from the field and outshot Lanesboro overall, 46% to 33%.

The Lions scored 41 of their 55 points in the lane while allowing Lanesboro inside for only 17 points.

Spring Grove won by 14 points with a 12-point margin in fast breaks (20 to 8).

After Prestemon hit 4 of 5 treys in the first half, Spring Grove limited him to only one unsuccessful 3-point attempt in the second half.

Prestemon finished with 17 points while long-range sharpshooter Sawyer Johnson was limited to only one triple. But Johnson sank some challenging 2-point shots on the way to 13 points.

The LHS defense focused on slowing Grinde. His scoring was limited, but the All-SEC Lion guard contributed in all categories with 11-points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 assists.

Payton Leahy (6 rebounds) added 8 points, Kyle Hagen 7 and Reid Bjerke 6.

Grinde and Nerstad were two of four Lions with more assists than turnovers, including Hagen (3 assists) and Bjerke (1). The team had 16 assists with only 12 turnovers while taking advantage of 20 Burro lost possessions.

The Lion B-team(3-0) bounced the Burros, 55-31. Lanesboro won the eighth grade game 42-17, while the Lion seventh graders won 40-16.

The previous day, the Grove eighth graders had edged Caledonia 33-31in overtime. The seventh graders fell to the Warriors 24-37.


Rebounds: SG 33, LHS 28

Turnovers: SG 12, LHS 20

All FG: SG 46%, LHS 33%

2-pt FG: SG 59%, LHS 35%

3-pt FG: SG 14% (2-14), LHS 31% (5-16) 

Free throws: SG 42% (11-26), LHS 40% (6-15)

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

*Leahy8P, 6R, 3A, 2S; *Nerstad21P, 3R, 4A, 1S; Bjerke6P, 1R, 1A, 1S; *C. Grinde11P, 9R, 5A, 5S; Koch4R, 1S; *Hagen7P, 3R, 3A, 2S; *Murphy2P, 7R, 1S, 3B


Crestwood 51, SG 36

SG     8+14+  5+ 9 =36

CHS 14+16+10+11=51

Both teams came in with only one starter returning from last year's conference championship season. But the Cadets (3-2) were more effective getting the ball close to the basket with both the pass and/or the dribble. Crestwood won by 16 points while outscoring the Lions by 17 points (39 to 22) in the lane.

The only shortcoming for the Iowans was 20% shooting from 3-point range. But Spring Grove was also chilly from afar (21%, 4 for 19).

The Cadets allowed Spring Grove only two trips to the foul line. The Lions hit 2 of 4 free throws. Crestwood went 9 for 13 (69%).

Nine Lions scored with Grinde putting in a team-high 8 points.

John Koch, with 8 rebounds, collected a third of the Lions' 24 caroms.

For Crestwood, Kade Munkel scored 14 points and Reid Wiley 13.

Spring Grove led 8-6 before the Cadets separated with an 8-point run and were up 30-22 at halftime.  Unable to score more than four points in a row, the Lions would trail by double digits the entire second half.

Crestwood, in Iowa Class AA, has about four and half times the enrollment of Spring Grove.

Rebounds: SG 24, CHS 27

Turnovers: SG 20, CHS 16

All FG: SG 34%, CHS 45%

2-pt FG: SG 44%, CHS 53%

3-pt FG: SG 21% (4-19), CHS 20% (2-10)

Free throws: SG 50% (2-4), CHS 69% (9-13) 

*Leahy6P, 1S ; *Nerstad5P, 5R, 1A, 1S; Bjerke2P, 2R, 2S; *Caden Grinde8P, 2A, 2S, 1B; Tysen Grinde1A; Holland 1R; Koch4P, 8R, 2A, 1S, 1B; Gerard1P, 1R; *Hagen4P, 6R, 2S; *Murphy2P, 1R, 1S; Solum4P, 1A, 2S


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


Schaeffer Academy…3-0 (6-1 season)

Spring Grove…………..3-0 (3-1 season)

Houston…………………2-2 (4-3 season)

Lanesboro……………...1-3 (2-3 season)

Mabel-Canton…………0-3 (1-4 season)


Randolph……………….3-0 (4-2 season)

Grand Meadow……….3-1 (4-1 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...2-2 (3-2 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………2-2 (2-3 season)

Kingsland…………….…1-3 (2-3 season)

Glenville-Emmons…..0-4 (1-5 season)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2020

>>>3-1 (3-0 SEC)

*conference games --home games bold; 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

Tues. 12-17 at Schaeffer Academy*

Sat. 12-21 # vs. Randolph* at Rochester 4 P.M.

Fri. 12-27 vs. Dover-Eyota at Rushford 5 P.M.

Sat. 12-28 vs. Nevis at Rushford 1 P.M.

Fri. 01-03 at Lyle/Pacelli* (at Austin)

Tues. 01-07 at Decorah 7:30 P.M.

Thur. 01-09 at Rushford-Peterson 7:30 P.M.

Fri. 01-10 Glenville-Emmons*

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 3-0

W vs. Mabel- Canton 39-35

W at Houston 67-12

W vs. Lanesboro 55-31


>>8th Grade Boys 3-1

W vs. Mabel-Canton 35-21

W at Houston 27-17

W vs. Caledonia 33-31 (OT)

L vs. Lanesboro17-42


>>7th Grade Boys 3-1

W vs. Mabel-Canton 26-6

W at Houston 37-18

L vs. Caledonia 24-37

W vs. Lanesboro 40-16