The young Spring Grove boys took a strong stride toward the SEC division title by avenging their lone league loss while dealing a second SEC defeat to visiting Randolph, 67-54. Three nights later, Caden Grinde scored his 1,000th career point while the Lions completed a season sweep of Mabel-Canton, 60-24.
The week closed with Spring Grove (8-1, 8-1 SEC East) holding a one-game lead in the loss column ahead of Randolph (6-3, 5-2 SEC East) and a two-game lead over third-place Lanesboro (5-4, 5-3 SEC). The Lions play their next two games versus the Burros.
The B-team Lions (5-3) managed only 17 points against Randolph (39-17) and then limited Mabel-Canton to 17 points (55-17.) The eighth grade Lions defeated both the Rockets and the Cougars, while the seventh graders dropped both games.
at Spring Grove 67, Randolph 54
A 22-2 scoring run, featuring fast breaks and 3-point baskets, propelled the Lions to a 36-16 halftime lead. The only Rocket rally came during the final four minutes when they trimmed an 18-point deficit down to 11 before the final 13-point verdict. All eight Randolph 3-pointers came in the second half when the visitors more than doubled their first-half output. Randolph handled the ball better and shot better after halftime when five different Rockets threw in 3-pointers. But they could not slow down the Spring Grove attack enough to make a serious challenge.
The Grove guys handled all five defenses that Randolph threw at them. The defense, which had dealt the Lions a previous loss at Randolph, was not a factor this time around and was plundered during the Lions’ game-changing, scoring streak.
Caden Grinde put in 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocked shots. Tysen Grinde tossed in 17 points. When Randolph went to a double-teaming defense aimed at both Grinde brothers, freshman Elijah Solum sliced and diced that defense with dribble drives on the way to 14 points. Carson Gerard was the fourth Lion in double figures with 13 points along with 6 rebounds.
Spring Grove, compared to the losing effort at Randolph, showed marked improvement in converting steals and defensive rebounds into 16 fast-break points. That contributed to the Lions shooting a good 56% from the field.
Spring Grove was fine from afar with 5-for-9 success (also 56%) beyond the 3-point arc. But trey attempts were few, since the Lions were able to penetrate with the dribble and get to the free throw line for 21 attempts (14 for 21, 67%).
“We were very pleased with the growth of our young team over the two-week period of playing Randolph,” said coach Wade Grinde. “Playing four freshman and three sophomores and only one junior and one senior, each week, we are seeing good things. Everyone played a key role in the win versus an older more physical team in Randolph.”
The Rockets never led while suffering through a cold-shooting, turnover-plagued first half, but they did get to the foul line, where they scored 10 (10 for 12) of their 16 first-half points.
Spring Grove ball-handling was also shaky at the start with three turnovers during the first six possessions. But unlike Randolph, the Lions improved – with only three more turnovers during the final 28 first-half possessions. They struggled out of the second-half gate with four turnovers during five trips before changing course again with only four turnovers during their final 24 possessions.
The Rockets had scored 52 points in their previous five-point, home win against the Lions, but 54 would not be nearly enough in the rematch at Spring Grove.
This was the final conference clash with the Rockets, who are leaving the SEC next school year. The Lions lead the series 8 wins to 3, including a Spring Grove victory against 26-win Randolph in the 2019 section championship game.
VARSITY: SG 67, Randolph 54
all FG: SG 56% (24-43), Ran 34% (16-47)
2-pt. FG: SG 56% (19-34), Ran 44% (8-18)
3-pt. FG: SG 56% (5-9), Ran 28% (8-29)
Free throws: SG 67% (14-21), Ran 82% (14-17); Rebounds: SG19, Ran 25 ; Turnovers: SG 14, Ran 21; 2nd Chance points: SG 3, Ran 8; Fast break points: SG 16, Ran 5; Points in paint: SG 42, Ran 30; Greatest lead: SG 22, Ran 0;’ Fouls: SG 16, Ran 21; Fouled out: SG – Hunter Holland
SG INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. * starter. *Caden Grinde 19P, 7R, 7A, 4S, 3B; *Tysen Grinde 17P, 4R, 1A, 2S; *Hunter Holland 4P, 1R, 2S; Jacob Olerud – no stats; *Carson Gerard 13P, 6R, 1A, 2S, 1B; Jaxon Strinmoen 1R, 1A; *Elijah Solum 14P, 1A, 4S
Spring Grove 60, at Mabel-Canton 24
Caden Grinde scored 24 points, matching the Mabel-Canton team total. His 1,000th point came on a first-half dunk. Spring Grove was never in trouble, scoring the game’s first eight points, tripling the Cougars by halftime (33-11) and more than doubling them (27-13) in the second stanza.
The Lions had more than twice as many rebounds (31 to 15) and about half as many turnovers (13 to 27). Spring Grove’s only statistical stumble came at the foul line, hitting only 7 of 15 free throws (47%).
As in the team’s previous meeting, the Lion trapping defense controlled the pace, coming away with 20 steals. But the Cougars did commit nine fewer turnovers in this rematch.
For SG, Gerard hit 6 of 10 shots while scoring 12 points along with 6 rebounds,4 steals and 2 assists. Caden Grinde and Tysen Grinde (8 points) each had 8 rebounds and 4 thefts. Solum (3 for 5 treys) added 9 points, 5 assists and 5 steals.
For Mabel-Canton, Gavin Johnson scored 6 points and Cayden Tollefsrud 5 plus 4 points each from Jordan Larson and Jaymeson Tollefsrud.
With this 36-point win and the previous 26-point triumph, the Lions have now won 23 straight games in the series they now lead 85-39.
VARSITY: SG 60, MC 24
all FG: SG 44% (24-55), MC 32% (10-31)
2-pt. FG: SG 51% (19-37), MC 36% (8-22)
3-pt. FG: SG 28% (5-18), MC 22% (2-9)
Free throws: SG 47% (7-15), MC 50% (2-4); Rebounds: SG 31, MC 15; Turnovers: SG 13, MC 27; 2nd Chance points: SG 15, MC 0; Fast break points: SG 11, MC 6; Points in paint: SG 36, MC 18; Greatest lead: SG 41, MC 0; Fouls: SG 9, MC 12
SG INDIVIDUALS: Caleb Griffin 1R, 2S; Isaac Nerstad 1S; *Caden Grinde 24P, 8R, 3A, 4S; *Tysen Grinde 8P, 8R, 1A, 4S; *Hunter Holland2P, 1R, 3A, 1B; Tristan Hammel – no stats; Jacob Olerud 3P, 2R, 1A; *Carson Gerard 12P, 6R, 2A, 4S, 3B; Ethan Crouch – no stats; Jaxon Strinmoen 2P, 2R; *Elijah Solum 9P, 3R, 5A, 5S
B-TEAM: at Spring Grove 17, Randolph 39
This B-team rematch bore little resemblance to the Rockets’ 47-44 overtime victory at Randolph. Spring Grove, unable to crack the Randolph defense, was forced to depend on 3-point shots, attempting 26 shots beyond the arc and only 18 closer in. And on their home floor, the Lions did not shoot well from afar (3 for 26, 12%). Inside, where the Rockets had a distinct height advantage, Spring Grove hit only 4 of 17 shots (24%) and went only 16% overall. Meanwhile, the Rockets put up only nine trey attempts while dissecting the Spring Grove defense for 26 points and outscoring SG, 7-0, with fast breaks.
Isaac Nerstad led Spring Grove scoring with 10 of the Lions’ 17 points. Jacob Olerud rebounded 6 times, and Ethan Crouch grabbed 5 caroms. The B-boys did acquit themselves well beneath the backboards with 23 rebounds to 22 for the taller Rockets. There were 14 turnovers for each team.
After a defense-dominated first half, Randolph led only 10-8. After halftime, the Rockets discovered some offense; Spring Grove did not. Prowling around the perimeter, the Lions rarely got to the free throw line, where they went 0 for 3.
The undefeated Grove eighth graders edged Randolph, 23-20, but the Rockets dominated the seventh grade game, 42-11.
B-TEAM: SG 17, Randolph 39
SG 8 + 9 = 17
all FG: SG 16% (7-43), Ran 43% (15-35)
2-pt. FG: SG 24% (4-17), Ran 50% (13-26)
3-pt. FG: SG 12% (3-26), Ran 22% (2-9)
Free throws: SG 0% (0-3), Ran 64% (7-11); Rebounds: SG 23, Ran 22; Turnovers: SG 14, Ran 14; Fast break points: SG 0, Ran 7; Greatest lead: SG 2, Ran 22; Fouls: SG 7, Ran 11
B-TEAM INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. * starter. *Caleb Griffin2P, 3R, 1A, 3S; Jonah Udstuen 1R; *Isaac Nerstad 10P, 3R; Josh Newgaard 2R, 1S; Tristan Hammel – no stats; Logan Brumm 1R, 1B; *Jacob Olerud 3P, 6R, 4A; Isaac Gengler – no stats; *Ethan Crouch 2P, 5R, 1A, 3S, 2B; *Jaxon Strinmoen 2R, 1S, 2B
B-TEAM: Spring Grove 55, at Mabel-Canton 17
Spring Grove (5-3) scored the game’s first 21 points and led by 28 at halftime (37-9). With eight turnovers before attempting a shot, the Cougars felt frustration from the start. The Lions shot better from 3-point land (9 for 20, 45%) than they did closer in (36%).
Isaac Nerstad hit 3 of 5 from afar to lead scoring with 12 points while rebounding 5 times and passing out 4 assists with only one turnover. Jacob Olerud netted 3 of 4 from downtown while adding 11 points and 7 boards. Caleb Griffin put in 9 points while Ethan Crouch (6 points) had a game-high 8 rebounds.
This is the only scheduled B-team game with the Cougars. The eighth graders remained undefeated while Mabel-Canton took the seventh grade game.
B-TEAM: SG 55, MC 17
MC 9 + 8 = 17
all FG: SG 40% (21-53), MC 23% (8-35)
2-pt. FG: SG 36% (12-33), MC 23% (7-30)
3-pt. FG: SG 45% (9-20), MC 20% (1-5);
Free throws: SG 80% (4-5), MC 0% (0-2); Rebounds: SG 31, MC 26; Turnovers: SG 8, MC 25; Greatest lead: SG 42, MC 0; Fouls: SG 9, MC 3
B-TEAM INDIVIDUALS: *Caleb Griffin 9P, 1R, 1A, 5S, 1B; Jonah Udstuen 3P, 1R, 1A, 1B; *Isaac Nerstad 12P, 5R, 4A, 1S; Josh Newgaard2P, 1R, 1B; Tristan Hammel 1R; Logan Brumm 2P, 1R, 1A, 2S; *Jacob Olerud 11P, 7R, 3A, 1S; Isaac Gengler 5P, 1R, 1A, 3S; *Ethan Crouch6P, 8R, 2A, 1S, 3B; *Jaxon Strinmoen 5P, 5R, 6S
>>SEC EAST DIVISION
Spring Grove 8-1 SEC, 8-1 season
Randolph 5-2 SEC, 6-3 season
Lanesboro 5-3 SEC, 5-4 season
Mabel-Canton 4-5 SEC, 4-5 season
Schaeffer Academy 2-4 SEC, 2-4 season
Houston 0-9 SEC, 0-9 season
>>SEC WEST DIVISION
Southland 7-1 SEC, 8-1 season
Lyle/Pacelli 6-1 SEC, 7-1 season
Grand Meadow 2-2 SEC, 3-2 season
LeRoy-Ostrander 1-3 SEC, 1-3 season
Kingsland 1-6 SEC, 1-7 season
Glenville-Emmons 0-4 SEC, 0-4 season
Varsity Boys Basketball 2021). >>8-1 season, 8-1 SEC
W at Grand Meadow 45-41
W vs Mabel-Canton 57-31
W vs. Schaeffer Academy 67-28
W at Houston 86-35
L at Randolph 47-52
W at Schaeffer Academy 59-43
W vs. Houston 64-15
W vs. Randolph 67-54
W at Mabel-Canton 60-24
02/16 at Lanesboro
02/23 at Glenville-Emmons
03/02 at Lyle/Pacelli
B-team Boys Basketball 2021. >>5 wins, 3 losses
W at Grand Meadow 56-30
W vs. Schaeffer Academy 38-22
W at Houston 53-12
L at Randolph 44-47 (OT)
L at Schaeffer Academy 33-36
W vs. Houston 48-6
L vs. Randolph 17-39
W at Mabel-Canton 55-17
02/16 at Lanesboro
02/23 at Glenville-Emmons
03/02 at Lyle/Pacelli
8th Grade Boys Basketball 2021. >>5 wins, 0 losses
W vs. Schaeffer Academy 29-13
W at Houston 35-15
W at Schaeffer Academy 39-23
W at Mabel-Canton
W vs. Randolph 23-20
7th Grade Boys Basketball 2021 >>0 wins, 3 losses
L at Houston 24-34
L at Mabel-Canton
L vs. Randolph 11-42