It was a good week for Spring Grove b-ball teams. Each won both of their games.
Boys Upend State-Ranked Loyola
The Spring Grove boys (3-0, 5-1) defeated Class A #9 Mankato Loyola, 61-54, at Byron for the Southern Minnesota Hoops Fest, sponsored by Breakdown. That came a day and half after swamping Southland, 57-33, in an SEC road game. Junior Elijah Solum singed Southland with 26 points before netting 23 against the Crusaders. The swarming, long-armed Lion defense limited the Rebels to a season-low 33 points while forcing 25 turnovers – almost twice the number of Southland’s 13 field goals. Southland (3-2, 3-4) shot a strong 42%, but with all the turnovers, did not shoot often enough. Meanwhile, half of the SG baskets came from three-point land where the Lions shot a season-best 46% while sinking a season-high 11 treys. SG led by 25 at halftime and by as many as 40 in the second half. Solum (26 points) hit 10 of 13 shots, including four three-balls. Tysen Grinde had 10 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Caleb Griffin added 8 points. In the marquee matchup with Loyola, there were eight lead changes while the hot-shooting Crusaders threw in 11 treys and outshot SG overall, 49% to 42%. But the Lions, with only six turnovers to Loyola’s 15, got off more shots. SG outscored Loyola by three points from the field and four points from the free throw line. The Lions broke a 43-43 tie with a 10-3 run and then hit 7 of 10 free throws when the Crusaders were forced to foul. Solum scored 23 points. Grinde added 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists with no turnovers. Jacob Olerud (11 points) and Jaxon Strinmoen (8 pts, 8 rebs) helped. Loyola (8-3) had previously lost only to AA and AAA squads. Partly due to weather, Spring Grove has not yet played a home game.
Girls Extend Winning Streak to Three
The Spring Grove girls – with a young playing rotation – extended their winning streak to three games. They evened their record at 5-5 (3-3 SEC) with a 58-45 victory at Lyle/Pacelli and a 47-36 home win over Southland. SG led both games at halftime by eight points. In both contests, the teams shot similar percentages, but the Lions prevailed by shooting more often due to more offensive rebounds and fewer turnovers. Versus winless L/P, SG had six more offensive rebounds and 10 fewer turnovers. Against the Rebels, it was nine more O-boards and nine fewer turnovers. Another key was taking the ball into the lane where they outscored the Athletics by 12 points in a 13-point win and the Rebels by 14 points during an 11-point victory. At L/P, sophomore Emerson Ingvalson and freshman Siri Konkel each scored 14 points. Senior Addyson McHugh added 10 points and freshman Kylie Hammel 9 points with 9 rebounds. Lydia Solum rebounded seven times. The L/P girls hit their first five shots to lead 10-0, but the Lions scored the next 18 points, led 26-18 at halftime, and by as many as 21 in the second half. Versus Southland, Hammel led with 16 points. McHugh tossed in 8 points with 5 rebounds and 7 steals. Konkel directed the attack with 5 assists plus 6 points. Eighth grader Brinley Middendorf seized 7 rebounds. There were three scoring surges. The Lions took the lead with an early 9-point run and led 24-16 at halftime. A 10-point run early in the second half created a 34-19 cushion. A late 10-point scoring streak by Southland (2-2, 3-6) would not be enough.