Showcase championship game goes into overtime

Takoda Boyd (#3, center) has only one hand free to contest for possession during Class A Showcase championship game versus Springfield. Photo by S. Lee Epps


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The Spring Grove High School basketball boys (7-3) drew some statewide attention at the annual Breakdown Summer Showcase in Hopkins on Sunday, June 24, where they went to overtime in the championship game of an eight-team, Class A invitational tournament, featuring some of the best teams in the state.

Before that journey north against larger albeit still small-school competition, the Lions - for the second straight week of Tuesday night, summer league play - took on a much larger school, this week Class AAAA Rochester Mayo with an enrollment more than 14 times that of Class A Spring Grove.

There was also stiff competition for the varsity girls in their weekly summer league double header in La Crosse. There was no 7-on-7 football appearance for SG last week with many of the boys playing basketball at Hopkins.


>>Rochester Mayo 63, Spring Grove 54

There was no fear from afar as both teams hit a dozen 3-point field goals. SG had far less success closer in with only half as many 2-point baskets. Mayo also had more treys (12) than deuces (9). 

Neither team missed a free throw with Mayo 9 for 9 and Alex Folz hitting all six SG charity shots. Folz scored 21 points with Ethan Matzke tossing in 20 points.

With six of their first eight baskets coming from 3-point range, the Spartans jumped ahead 24-10.

SG closed both halves on scoring runs. Down by 18, the Lions had a 10-2 run to trail at halftime 37-27. Mayo opened the second half with a 13-3 run to lead by 20. The Spartans were still up 20 late in the game before SG scored the final 11 points (3 treys) to get back within single digits for the first time since an 18-10 deficit. 



>>SG 54, Mayer Lutheran 45

Mayer Lutheran (Mayer, enrollment 185) returned only one starter from last year's 29-4 team that finished third in the state tournament.

Spring Grove (enrollment 101) led all the way after breaking a 7-7 tie with a 14-point run that included two successive 3-pointers by Folz. The Crusaders trimmed a 16-point deficit down to 10 at halftime (27-17).

Mayer Lutheran did not challenge the lead until a trey made it 43-40 with 3:55 to play. But Folz buried a pair of 3-balls and hit Caden Grinde with a press-breaking assist to send SG back up 51-40. The Lions had an 8-to-3 advantage in 3-pointers, seven from Folz (25 points). Noah Elton added 10 points and Matzke 8. Matzke missed the last nine minutes after a scorebook mistake forced him out on fouls.

SG made more free throws (8 for 15) than the Crusaders attempted (5 for 7).


>>SG 76, BOLD 57

Folz netted another seven treys on the way to 30 points as the Lions coasted through a convincing semi-final win. Four scored in double figures with Matzke putting in 15 points along with 13 from Elton and 11 from Grinde.

BOLD (Bird Island, Olivia, Danube - enrollment 187) returned six of its top eight players from a 22-7 season and had just whipped Mahnomen-Waubun 71-54 in the opening round. 

SG never trailed but led only 32-28 before closing the first half with a 10-3 run. 

The Lions opened the second half with a 20-7 run as the 11-point halftime lead ballooned to a 24-point spread midway through the second half.

SG had 11 triples to six for BOLD and sank 8 of 12 free throws. The Warriors were 5 of 8 at the line.


>>Springfield 64, SG 56 (OT)

In the championship game, the Lions led during most of regulation time before being outscored 8-0 in overtime.

Springfield (enrollment 158) returns six of the eight-player rotation that had defeated Spring Grove by 23 points early last school season on the way to a 28-2 record.

After trading early nine-point runs, the score was tied at 13-all and remained close until the eighth tie score 56-56 at the end of regulation time. SG nursed narrow leads almost all game until the Tigers moved ahead with 5:48 to play - their first lead since 2-0.

A three-point, buzzer-beating basket by Folz had sent SG into halftime with a 29-26 edge. The Lions had the final shot again in regulation but could not connect.

The Lions did not score in the two-minute extra period, while Springfield tallied on two dribble drives and a fast break from a steal.

Springfield had reached the finals with wins over two 2018 state tournament teams - 66-54 against Cass Lake-Bena and a 57-40 decision versus defending state runner-up North Woods.

In last summer's Class A Showcase, SG had fallen to the eventual champion in the opening round and then took the next two games to finish fifth.


>>B-Team boys 36, West Salem (Team Two) 32

In summer league play, the B-boys shot well early and led 14-2 before it became frigid-shooting frustration for both teams.

West Salem scored the final eight points of the first half to trail 17-16 and then took the lead with the first field goal after the break. 

The last of four lead changes came with a baseline floater from Payton Leahy with 6:22 to play. Kyle Hagen scored six of the Lions' last seven points.

Caden Grinde scored 10 points while Hagen finished with 8, Caleb Nerstad 7, Isaac Griffin 6 and Leahy 5.



The varsity girls (0-4) battled to the end against quality competition in Tuesday night league play at Viterbo.

>>Melrose-Mindoro 33, SG 13

Last year's Wisconsin state-ranked powerhouse employed a full court press to take a quick 10-0 lead. The Lions could get next to nothing inside, thwarted by a tall, athletic defender. 

It was almost halftime before the first SG field goal.

Down 18-3 at the break, the Lions were outscored only 15-10 in the second half.


>>Holmen 39, SG 33

The Lions led early 6-2 but trailed 21-12 at halftime and by as many as 13 points (30-17) in the second stanza.

But SG nibbled away at the deficit, and with a Sydnie Kampschroer trey, was down only 34-30 with 1:45 to play. But even after a subsequent Mariah Edgington triple, the Lions could get no closer than four points before falling by six.

With a height disadvantage at every position, SG scored four of its seven second half baskets from 3-point range.