Grove girls push Knights, outrun by Lancers, Cardinals

Addyson McHugh rebounds against West Division leader Kingsland. The other Lion in the air is Jacine Johanningmeier. Photo by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

It was a challenging week for the injury-depleted girls from Spring Grove, starting with back-to-back bus rides to larger Class AA clubs, who both scored 41 first-half points and 70 total points with deep, speedy lineups. 

The Lions (5-18, 3-9 SEC) then came home to face the SEC West Division leader. That home performance was by far the most satisfying, forcing Kingsland to come from behind in the second half to clinch a share of the division championship.

La Crescent-Hokah won 70-39 on Feb. 3 and Lewiston Altura prevailed 70-43 the next night before the 56-42 home loss to Kingsland on Feb. 7

SG 39, La Crescent-Hokah 70

The La Crescent-Hokah girls well executed their half-court offense and outscored the Lions 19-0 with fast breaks. Rebounds ignited most of that transition as the Lancers had a huge 47-to-27 advantage on the glass. 

The girls in green attempted only 11 shots from 3-point range while scoring 51 of their 70 points in the lane.

La Crescent-Hokah (7-14) doubled up Spring Grove from the field 52-26 and gained another five points at the free throw line.

The clock stopped for 40 fouls and 59 free throws. While the Lions attempted 29 foul shots (13-29, 45%), the Lancers' 30 free throws (18 for 30, 60%) were the most attempted by a Spring Grove opponent this season.

Coming in shooting 29% from the field, the Lions shot only 23% against the Lancers while the home team had 39% success.

Averaging 18 turnovers per game, Spring Grove lost possession 23 times, while the home team had only 13 turnovers.

Spring Grove senior guard Amelia Solum led all scorers with 20 points, her ninth time with 20 or more points this season. She also had a team-high 8 rebounds while Katelyn Kraus grabbed 6 boards with Emerson Ingvalson and Jacine Johanningmeier each securing 5.

Both teams depend on young players, but there are no senior Lancers on a roster that consists of four juniors, one sophomore, seven freshmen and an eighth grader.

Eleven Lancers scored; sophomore Sadie Treptow dropped in 18 points. Freshman Cali Esser added 14 points and 8 rebounds while freshman Molly Bills put in 12 points and rebounded 7 times. 

Spring Grove scored first, but the home team scored the next 13 points on the way to a 41-21 halftime lead.

The Lancers snapped a three-game losing streak against Spring Grove with the series now even at 15 wins for each program.

La Crescent-Hokah won the B-team game 53-18 and also the eighth grade contest 13-12, while the Lions took the seventh grade game 19-14.


SG  21+18=39

LH 41+29=70 

Rebounds: SG 27, LH 47

Turnovers: SG 23, LH 13

All FG: SG 23% (11-47), LH 39% (24-61)

2-pt FG: SG 27% (7-26), LH 40% (20-50)

3-pt FG: SG 19% (4-21), LH 36% (4-11)

Free throws: SG 45% (13-29), LH 60% (18-30)

P-points, R-rebounds, A-assists, 

S-steals, B-blocks, * starter

*Johanningmeier 5P, 1B; Donlan 1P, 1R, 1B; *Amelia Solum 20P, 8R, 1A, 1S, 1B ; *Kraus 3P, 6R, 2A, 3B; Ingvalson 2P, 5R, 3A, 1S, 1B; Fisch 2P, 1R; *Petersen 2P, 2A, 1S; Olerud 1A; McHugh 6P, 1S, 1B; *Lile 1R, 1A, 1B ; Lydia Solum 1P


SG 43, Lewiston-Altura 70

The Lions could not keep up as much deeper Class AA Lewiston-Altura sometimes substituted five players at a time and defended in the back court until ahead by 20 points (26-6). The Lions lost possession only three times against the press but eventually had 21 turnovers to only 12 for the Cardinals.

L-A (7-14) pushed the pace at every opportunity with a 25-to-8-point advantage in fast breaks. In the half court offense, L-A scored 10 points with dribble drives, 10 points from post passes and 9 points with offensive rebounds.

The Cards also attempted four times as many free throws (SG 5 for 6, L-A 11 for 24).

Solum scored 19 points and shared the team rebounding honors with Marie Petersen, each with 8 boards. Addyson McHugh added 8 points and 4 rebounds.

The Lions were more competitive beneath the backboards with 37 rebounds to 44 for the home team.

L-A started five seniors. Ten Cardinals scored, led by 12 points apiece from 5-foot-10 senior guard Myia Ruzek and 6-0 senior center Makenna Sommer.

The Cards won all four games, taking the B-team game 51-34, the eighth grade game 30-20 and the seventh grade game 22-17.


SG 15+28=43

LA 41+29=70  

Rebounds: SG 37, LA 44

Turnovers: SG 21, LA 12 

All FG: SG 26% (17-66), LA 40% (27-67)

2-pt FG: SG 32% (13-41), LA 43% (22-51

3-pt FG: SG 16% (4-25), LA 31% (5-16)

Free throws: SG 83% (5-6), LA 46% (11-24) 

*Johanningmeier 2P, 3R, 1A; Donlan 1R; *Amelia Solum 19P, 8R, 3A, 2S, 1B; *Kraus 2P, 6R, 1A, 1S; Ingvalson 2P, 3R, 1S; *Petersen 3P, 8R, 2A; Olerud 2P, 1R; McHugh 8P, 4R, 1B; *Lile 3P, 1R, 1S; Lydia Solum 2P, 2R, 1B


SG 42, Kingsland 56

Undefeated in conference play, Kingsland came in seeking to nail down at least a share of a second straight division crown. With fast breaks, the championship was achieved, but the 14-win Knights trailed five-win Spring Grove almost all of the first half, and Kingsland was ahead by only five points with about four and a half minutes to play. But a late 12-point run gave the visitors their greatest lead of 17 points.

The Lions' greatest lead of seven points (15-8) came as Kingsland was struggling to get shots to fall. But the Knights finally found their shooting touch and were back within one point at halftime (22-21).

The visitors grabbed the lead for good by scoring the first 10 points of the second half (KHS 31, SG 22). The lead went down to four, back up to 12 and then back down to five (42-37) before Kingsland finally put the game out of reach in the final four minutes.

After shooting 28% the first half, the Knights were twice as successful with 56% in the second half. KHS went 0 for 12 from 3-point land prior to halftime before going 3 for 9 after the break.

While the Lions scored 22 points in the first half and 20 in the second half, the Knights went 21 and 35.

Junior guard Samantha Wernimont (averaging 9.6 points per game) scored all of her game-high 19 points in the second half.

Thousand-point junior scorer Ellie Buchholtz (averaging 19,9 points) finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Inside, 6-foot center Merredith Farlinger (4 points) blocked 5 shots and rebounded 13 times.

For Spring Grove, Johanningmeier shared game-high rebounding honors with 13 boards while Solum hit 8 of 11 free throws on the way to 18 points plus 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Lions shot better from 3-point range (5 for 21, KHS 3 for 21), but Kingsland - with 20 fast-break points - shot much better closer to the basket (58%) and outshot SG overall, 41% to 22%.

Free throws were of little consequence with SG hitting 11 of 20 and Kingsland 9 of 17. Both teams had 16 turnovers.

The Knights' 43-to-32 rebounding margin came entirely from Lion missed shots and led to most of those fast breaks.

The Kingsland girls preferred a fast pace with quick shots and a full-court press. The Lions handled the defensive pressure well. And  therefore, it would have been a half-court game, except for the fast breaks that fueled much of the Knights' second-half scoring surge.

While SG slipped to 5-18 (3-9 SEC), Kingsland improved to 15-9 (11-0 SEC) with this fifth straight win in the series, which the Knights now lead six wins to three.

It was a four-win night for Kingsland, which won the B-team game 43-19, the eighth grade game 31-7 and the seventh grade game 41-14.


SG   22+20=42 

KHS 21+35=56  

Rebounds: SG 32, KHS 43

Turnovers: SG 16, KHS 16

All FG: SG 22% (13-59), KHS 41% (22-54)

2-pt FG: SG 21% (8-38), KHS 58% (19-33)

3-pt FG: SG 24% (5-21), KHS 14% (3-21)

Free throws: SG 55% (11-20), KHS 53 (9-17)

*Johanningmeier 2P, 13R, 2S, 2B; *Amelia Solum 18P, 6R, 4A, 2S; *Kraus 2R, 1A, 3S; Ingvalson 7P, 3R, 2A; *Petersen 5P, 2R, 1A; *McHugh 8P, 2R, 2S, 1B; *Lile 2P, 4R, 1A 


This week and next

The final week of the regular season found the Lions at Lansing versus Kee High on Tuesday of this week before the Friday, Feb. 14 home rematch with Lanesboro and the Saturday afternoon closer with Class AA Cannon Falls. The girls tip off at approximately 5 p.m. following the 3 p.m. boys game with Cannon Falls.

The 17-team Section 1A Tournament begins with one Feb. 18 play-in game. The Lions expect to open in the first round on Thursday, Feb. 20, followed by the quarterfinals (final eight) on Monday, Feb. 24, in Rochester.


SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE Girls Basketball 2020 (through Feb. 8 games)


Houston..………………11-0 (18-5 season) clinched championship

Mabel-Canton…………7-6 (10-13 season)

Lanesboro……………...5-7 (8-15 season)

Schaeffer Academy…3-9 (6-18 season)

Spring Grove………..3-9 (5-18 season)


Kingsland…………….11-0 (15-9 season) clinched share of championship

Grand Meadow…….10-2 (15-8 season)

Randolph……………….7-6 (10-14 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………3-9 (5-18 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...0-12 (0-23 season)


Spring Grove Varsity Girls 2020  (through Feb. 8 games)

5 wins, 18 losses (3-9 SEC)

*conference games -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                         

L vs. Crestwood 19-59

W vs. Schaeffer Academy*45-39

L at Grand Meadow (non-conf.) 34-60

L vs. Randolph* 44-49

W vs. Klawock, Alaska75-45

L at Southland 41-60

L vs. Lyle/Pacelli* 41-43 (OT)

L vs. Fillmore Central 39-53

L at Houston* 54-69

W vs. Rushford-Peterson 59-35

L vs. Mabel-Canton* 41-53

W at LeRoy-Ostrander*49-34

L vs. Grand Meadow* 22-60

W at Schaeffer Academy*56-47

L at La Crescent-Hokah 39-70

L at Lewiston-Altura 43-70.

L vs. Kingsland*42-56

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

Fri. 02-14 Lanesboro*

Sat. 02-15 #Cannon Falls 5 P.M.


Spring Grove B-Team Girls 2020

>>>2 wins, 17 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

L at Grand Meadow 14-47

L at Southland 26-53

L vs. Lyle/Pacelli 15-41

L vs. Fillmore Central 8-64

L at Houston 12-40

L vs. Rushford-Peterson 17-29

L vs. Mabel-Canton 19-29

W at LeRoy-Ostrander 17-16

L vs. Grand Meadow 13-38

L at Schaeffer Academy 9-33

L at La Crescent-Hokah 18-53

L at Lewiston-Altura 34-51

L vs. Kingsland 19-43


Spring Grove 8th Grade Girls 2020

3 wins, 11 losses

L at Caledonia

L vs. Houston 13-19

L at Mabel-Canton 14-18

L at Lanesboro 12-19

L at Grand Meadow 16-17 OT

L vs. Fillmore Central 13-28

L at Houston 10-27

L vs. Rushford-Peterson 8-36

W vs. Mabel-Canton 21-19

W at LeRoy-Ostrander 38-12

W at Schaeffer Academy 16-8

L at La Crescent-Hokah 12-13

L at Lewiston-Altura 20-30

L vs. Kingsland 7-31


Spring Grove 7th Grade Girls 2020

>>>3 wins, 8 losses

L at Caledonia

W vs. Houston 20-18

L at Mabel-Canton 12-14

L at Lanesboro 8-18 

L vs. Fillmore Central 10-24

W vs. Houston 21-19

L vs. Rushford-Peterson 12-21

W vs. Mabel-Canton 21-16

L at La Crescent-Hokah 19-24

L at Lewiston-Altura 17-22

L vs. Kingsland 14-41