SEC streak ends at 77 in low-scoring loss to other Lions

LEFT: Caden Grinde drives to the basket in early first-place showdown at Schaeffer Academy. RIGHT: Reid Bjerke launches jump shot over two Schaeffer defenders. Photo credit Aimee Murphy
S. Lee Epps

The extraordinary 77-game conference winning streak came to an end for the Spring Grove boys with a 50-38 loss at Schaeffer Academy on Dec. 17. 

The Schaeffer Lions defeated Grove for the first time in the 20-game series and remained atop the East Division standings at 4-0 (7-1 overall) while shoving Spring Grove (3-2 overall, 3-1 SEC) down into second place.

Prior to this setback, Spring Grove had won 143 of the 145 previous conference games dating back to the 2011.

Both teams were in SEC action on Dec. 21, but the Herald had already gone to press due to an early holiday deadline.

Scoring and shooting woes continued for the Grove guys, especially from 3-point range. Most of the trey attempts came with the boys trailing in the second half, and the 2-for-16 (13%) result would not compare favorably with the big city Lions sinking 7 of 18 (39%) beyond the arc.

Both teams shot a strong 50% closer to the basket; SG outscored Schaeffer 29-23 in the paint, but the home team out-gunned Grove 23 points to 9 from the perimeter.

Defensively, Spring Grove held the Schaeffer boys to 10 points below their scoring average. But the SG guys suffered through their greatest rebounding deficit to date (19 to 29).

Spring Grove led only once at 14-13 with John Koch's second consecutive rebound basket. But two quick 3-pointers put the home team back in front for good.

With 10 of their 13 turnovers coming in the first half, the Grove boys went into intermission with only 16 points and trailing by seven (23-16). 

Both teams would increase scoring in the second half, but Schaeffer would add another five points to its margin. 

The SG boys hit four of their first seven shots in the second half, but Schaeffer sank five of the first six and led 37-27. Spring Grove would trail by as many as 13 points and get no closer than seven points.

Caden Grinde, the Lions' leading scorer for the season, sat out in foul trouble the last half of the first half. But he came back to score all of his team-high 12 points in the second half along with 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocked shots and 3 assists with only 1 turnover.

Koch added 11 points plus a team-best 7 rebounds. Kyle Hagen and Reid Bjerke each added 5 points.

Three Schaeffer Lions scored in double figures with 6-foot-3 senior Nick Sanger tossing in 19 points, sophomore 6-6 Luke Kottom 15 points and 6-1 senior Isaiah Lahr 10. Kottom posted a double double with a game-high 13 rebounds. Lahr had at least 7 assists.

Spring Grove won the B-teamgame 42-38after eighth grader Eli Solum erased a three-point deficit by scoring with five straight shots (three 3-pointers) with five consecutive assists from freshman Hunter Holland early in the second half. Solum scored 15 of his game-high 17 points after halftime.

The Spring Grove eighth graders (4-1) and the seventh graders (4-1) won both junior high games.


SG 16+22=38  

SA 23+27=50

Rebounds: SG 19, SA 29 

Turnovers: SG 13, SA 14 

All FG: SG 36% (15-42), SA 45% (17-38)

2-pt FG: SG 50% (13-26), SA 50% (10-20)

3-pt FG: SG 13% (2-16), SA 39% (7-18) 

Free throws: SG 46% (6-13), SA 45% (9-20)

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

*Leahy3P, 1R, 1A, 1S; *Nerstad2P, 1S; Bjerke5P, 1R; *Grinde12P, 5R, 3A, 1S, 2B; Koch11P, 7R, 1B; *Hagen5P, 3R, 1A, 1S; *Murphy2R; Solum2A, 1S

This week and next

After having met SEC West Division leader Randolph (5-2, 4-0 SEC) on Dec. 21, the boys will play holiday weekend games at Rushford. Class AA Dover-Eyota is the match-up at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, followed quickly with a Saturday tip off at 1 p.m. versus Nevis from the far north.

The calendar year begins with a Friday, Jan. 3 game at Austin versus Lyle/Pacelli.


SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE Boys Basketball 2020 (through Dec. 19 games)


Schaeffer Academy…4-0 (7-1 season)

Spring Grove………...3-1 (3-2 season)

Houston…………………3-2 (5-3 season)

Lanesboro……………...1-3 (3-3 season)

Mabel-Canton…………0-4 (1-5 season)


Randolph……………….5-0 (6-2 season)

Grand Meadow……….4-1 (6-1 season)

Lyle/Pacelli……………3-2 (3-3 season)

LeRoy-Ostrander.…...2-3 (3-4 season)

Kingsland…………….…1-4 (2-5 season)

Glenville-Emmons…..0-6 (1-7 season)


Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2020

>>>3-2 (3-1 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

L at Schaeffer Academy*38-50

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 4-0

W vs. Mabel- Canton 39-35

W at Houston 67-12

W vs. Lanesboro 55-31

W at Schaeffer Academy 42-38


>>8th Grade Boys 4-1

W vs. Mabel-Canton 35-21

W at Houston 27-17

W vs. Caledonia 33-31 (OT)

L vs. Lanesboro17-42

W at Schaeffer Academy


>>7th Grade Boys 4-1

W vs. Mabel-Canton 26-6

W at Houston 37-18

L vs. Caledonia 24-37

W vs. Lanesboro 40-16

W at Schaeffer Academy