Football camp, basketball tourney complete summer seasons

ABOVE: Caleb Griffin (left), Tysen Grinde (center) and La Crescent player hit the floor while attempting to corral loose ball during championship game of B-team tournament. BELOW: Matthew Doering defends Lanesboro's Parker Storhoff during summer league B-team tournament. The Lions bounced the Burros, 31-13. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

The Spring Grove football players were competing in pads with contact for the first time last week a couple of days before some of the same players were closing out summer off-season basketball action with a second-place finish at the league B-team tournament in La Crosse.

Five Spring Grove football coaches and 17 high school players were at the team camp at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D on July 22 and 23.


There were six teams at camp - Spring Grove and Grand Meadow plus four from South Dakota. The Lions won all three preliminary three-team challenge rounds (one including Grand Meadow), but ultimately finished second to Grand Meadow in the three-team championship round.

Coach Zach Hauser was most encouraged by the 24-hour progress of the defense. The Lions return only three defensive starters, but only one was available on the first day with one ill and another on the injured list.

"They struggled right away," said Hauser but had made significant progress by the time competition began on the second day.

On the offensive side of the ball, Hauser was happy with the passing attack. "Receivers looked good."

Formal practices begin on Aug. 12 in preparation for the annual preseason scrimmages at Grand Meadow and the season opener on Thursday, Aug. 29 at Truman versus Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman. The home opener is Sept. 6 versus LeRoy-Ostrander.


Seven of the B-team boys (one sophomore, four freshmen, two eighth graders) advanced to the championship game of the league tournament by winning their four-team pool with convincing victories over De Soto (Wis.) and Lanesboro. In the title contest, the fewer-than-usual seven Lions then fell to a seemingly older and physically stronger team from Class AA La Crescent.

SG 39, De Soto 20

The Lions buried three of their total seven 3-point baskets while storming out to a 9-0 lead. They forced several turnovers while limiting the Pirates to only one first-half field goal en route to a 23-7 halftime score.

The Pirates appeared older and were larger than the Lions, but they lacked a ball-handler to initiate their offense.

Caleb Griffin led Lion scoring with 12 points; Jacob Olerud and Tysen Grinde each added eight points while Hunter Holland put in seven.

SG 31, Lanesboro 13

Against another zone defense, the Lions did not shoot as well from the perimeter as they just had versus De Soto. But for the second time this night, the Spring Grove defense limited the opponent to only one field goal before halftime. 

After winning the first half 13-3, Spring Grove outscored the Burros 18-10 after intermission. The Lions had defeated Lanesboro 50-17 earlier in league play.

Griffin again led scoring with 11 points with Holland putting in nine.

La Crescent 41, SG 28

A seemingly older and taller La Crescent squad used a 10-point run in the first half and a 6-point spurt in the second half to outscore Spring Grove by 13 points in the championship game.

The Lions led 12-9 before that first Lancer run helped La Crescent enjoy a 22-17 halftime lead. 

The Grove guys then trailed by 12 points before getting back within eight at 36-28. But when the Lions were forced to foul, the Lancers sank 5 of 8 late free throws to push the margin back to double digits.

Grinde spearheaded the Spring Grove attack with 19 points.

The B-boys finished the summer season with a 7-5 record (4-2 league).