Spring Grove boys win basketball tournament

ABOVE LEFT: Katelyn Kraus hits a running shot for the Spring Grove girls during win versus Viroqua in summer-ending tournament. BELOW: Matthew Doering (right) goes after loose ball during B-team loss to La Crescent. AT RIGHT: Jacine Johanningmeier gets off a shot versus Viroqua. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

The varsity basketball boys (6-8, 2-6 league) won an eight team TriState Tournament last Saturday in Winona after closing out their La Crosse summer league schedule with a loss.

The B-team boys (5-4, 4-2 league) dropped their first two league games as their summer season ended last week.

The Lion ladies finished in second place in a season-ending four-team basketball tournament in La Crosse as their summer slate ended with a 3-5 record.

About half of the usual football receivers were not available as the summer sessions of 7-on-7 (all passing) football culminated with a four-team tournament. The Lions (5-7, 4-4 league) still managed to win one of two games against much larger schools.


The Lions scored 25 of their 43 points from the perimeter, including seven 3-point field goals against the Viroqua zone defense.

Spring Grove never trailed after Amelia Solum hit a trey for a 7-6 lead on the way to a 26-17 halftime margin. The Lions led by as many as 19 points before claiming the 10-point win.

Solum finished with 23 points while Jordian Leahy tossed in 12, Katelyn Kraus 5, Addyson McHugh 2 and Jacine Johanningmeier 1.

La Farge 32, SG 22

A nine-point, second half run propelled La Farge to a 10-point win in the championship game. After eight lead changes, the Wildcats took a 19-17 edge into halftime and led only 21-20 before separating with that nine-point spurt.

Solum led with 11 points. Johanningmeier and McHugh each added four points and Marie Petersen 3.


Facing a zone defense, Spring Grove went without a basket for the first 15 minutes of the 20-minute first half.

Westby missed a lot of early close-in shots, but the Norsemen used three straight fast breaks while jumping out to a 13-1 start and a 17-8 halftime lead. 

The Lions tossed in a couple of triples during an 8-0 run to get back within two at 18-16, but Westby would end up with the same nine-point spread they had held at halftime.

Payton Leahy led Lion scoring with 11 points with 6 from John Koch, 4 from Tysen Grinde and 3 by Reid Bjerke.


The varsity Lions threw in 13 three-point field goals while walloping the Wildcats, a Wisconsin Division 5 (smallest schools) program near Green Bay.

Spring Grove broke a 6-6 tie with a 10-point run and was never challenged thereafter. It was 29-14 at halftime before the Lions won the second half 34-12.

All 10 Lions scored, led by Caden Grinde with 19 points, Bjerke 11 and Matthew Doering 9.

SG 43, Rice Lake 36 (OT)

In the semi-finals, the Lions had hit only 3 of 9 free throws during regulation time before netting 9 of 10 charity shots in overtime to hold off a Wisconsin Division 2 (next to largest) school with an enrollment approximately eight times larger than Spring Grove. Rice Lake hit only 1 of 8 free throws all game. 

The Lions led for the first 39 and half minutes of the 40 minutes of regulation time, 18-11 at halftime and most comfortably with a 13-point margin (31-18) before the Warriors scored the next 13 points to pull even with 1:18 to play.

Right-handed Leahy drove and put in a left-handed jump hook to regain the Lion lead. But Rice Lake tossed in a trey to lead for the first time (34-33) with 25 seconds to go in regulation.

Sophomore Carson Gerard hit one of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Grinde, Leahy and Bjerke combined to sink 9 of 10 overtime free throws while the Warriors could manage only one field goal during the two-minute extra period.

Leahy and Grinde each scored 14 points with 6 from Koch, 4 from Bjerke (all in the final nine seconds), 3 by Gerard and 2 from Wyatt Murphy.

SG 37, Grand Meadow 32

Grand Meadow had coasted into the championship game with a 58-32 pulverizing of Alma-Pepin (Wis.) and a 62-39 thrashing of St. Charles.

Neither team shot well in the first half (SG 20, GM 17), but the Superlarks did not score for the first eight minutes of the second half while the Lions pulled ahead 26-17.

But Spring Grove did not add a basket in the final two minutes and 40 seconds while the Larks cut a 10-point deficit down to three (35-32) with 13 seconds to play.

GM had to foul several times to finally get Grove to the foul line. With fewer than four seconds to go, Leahy sealed it by netting both ends of the 1-and-1. Overall, the Lions hit all four free throws.

SG nailed five 3-point shots; the only Grand Meadow trey came with 13 seconds to play,

Eight Lions scored, led by Koch with 10 points.

B-TEAM BOYS : La Crosse Central (Team Five) 31, SG 19

La Crosse Central Team Five led all the way versus the cold-shooting Lions. Spring Grove scoring was balanced with six players each scoring between two and five points.

B-TEAM BOYS: La Crescent (Team five) 52, SG 35

A 14-point run in each half was too much for Spring Grove to overcome, despite 19 points from Carson Gerard.

La Crescent Team Five employed a combination of full-court pressure defenses.

A Gerard basket gave the Lions a 12-11 lead before the Lancers scored the next 14 points on the way to a 28-17 halftime bulge.

But two Gerard treys and a pair of Ty Cleven 2-pointers accounted for the first 10 points of the second half, and the Lions were back within one point, 27-28.

But La Crescent replied with three straight 3-balls and two steals and fast-break buckets to construct another 14-point splurge. There would not be another Spring Grove run.

Along with Gerard's 19, the Lions received eight points from Jacob Olerud, six from Cleven and two from Caleb Griffin.

FOOTBALL: La Crosse Central 46, SG 18

SG 38, Onalaska 28

Despite the limited lineup, Lion quarterback Chandler Bergrud completed 30 of 52 passes (58%) for four touchdowns with three interceptions. Most of the success (67%, three TDs) came while avenging an earlier loss to Onalaska.

La Crosse Central completed only one more pass than did Spring Grove, but the Red Raiders held a 7-to-1 margin in TD tosses.

John Koch caught 12 Bergrud passes for three touchdowns. Carter Bratland snared a team-high 13 passes with one TD. Mitchell Reynolds had four receptions and Hunter Holland one.

The Lions picked off a pair of Onalaska passes with one interception each for Tristan Hammel and Ty Cleven.