It was the fewest points in a win for the Spring Grove boys in a dozen years. Most of the Lions’ 44 points were the career-high 25 by sophomore Elijah Solum. The 44-33 victory came over Class AA Dover-Eyota on the second day of the Dec. 27-28 Rushford-Peterson Christmas Basketball Invite. A day before, a brief second-half ball-handling collapse had meant defeat versus host Rushford-Peterson, 53-41. Then a 10-to-2 second-half run led to the win over D-E. In both non-conference games, Carson Gerard led Lion rebounding with 8 boards against R-P and 10 versus D-E.
Both were defense-dominated, low-scoring, half-court games with few fast breaks. The Lion defense forced mostly 3-point attempts. The Trojans shot well-enough from afar to win (35%); the Eagles did not (26%). Lion defensive rebounding was critical, limiting the Trojans to only four offensive rebounds and the Eagles to only five offensive boards.
It was the Trojans’ seventh consecutive victory in the series they now lead 47 wins to 10. The Lions have now won both games ever played against Class AA Dover-Eyota, both holiday decisions at Rushford.
The Lions closed the calendar year with a 5-2 record, still atop the SEC East Division standings at 3-0 in conference play. Rushford-Peterson improved to 5-2 with the win over SG and then a 73-45 flogging of Randolph. The Eagles (1-7) had dropped all six games against Class AA competition before ripping Class A Randolph, 82-64, and then falling to Spring Grove.
In addition to the four boys and four girls varsity games, there was the same slate for B-teams. The Lion B-boys (3-2) also fell to Rushford-Peterson (59-31) before defeating D-E (51-44).
SG 41, Rushford-Peterson 53
The Trojans led 37-35 before storming away with a 14-2 second-half run, during which the Lions self-destructed with five turnovers over seven possessions. Meanwhile, Rushford-Peterson was sinking 6 of 8 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Grove guys came in averaging an acceptable 12 turnovers a game, but they lost possession 11 times in the first half at R-P. They improved with only six turnovers after halftime, but the ill-fated flurry of five proved fatal.
Overall, the Trojans attempted more shots from trey territory (23) than from inside the arc (19) and shot a healthy 35%. It was a rare game in which the team with the most points in the paint did not prevail on the scoreboard. It was a half-court game versus zone defenses, and the Lions were more successful getting the ball inside. They outscored the Trojans 32-15 in the lane and shot a good 38% beyond the arc (3 for 8), but R-P won with a 24-to-9-point advantage from 3-point land.
Fouls and free throws were at a minimum, but two Lions faced early foul trouble. However, Grove led for most of the first half (by as many as seven points) before a 10-to-3 run sent R-P into halftime with a 24-21 lead. The second half began with a Tysen Grinde 3-ball for the tie, but Grove would not regain the lead. The teams then traded baskets until the Trojans’ game-deciding run.
Grinde scored 17 points and Solum 15 to account for 32 of the Lions’ 41 points. Trojan senior Malachi Bunke, with four treys, led all scorers with 19 points while senior Justin Ruberg added 15 points along with a game-high 9 rebounds.
R-P led the B-team game only 26-22 at halftime before outshooting SG, 57% to 25%, in the second half. No Lions score in double figures during the 59-31 loss.
SG 44, Dover-Eyota 34
The Eagles, against the Spring Grove zone, were forced to depended too greatly on 3-point shots and could not hit enough of them (5 of 19). The game was tied six times and saw six lead changes, all in the first half. It was 19-19 at halftime before Grove opened the second half with a 10-to-2 run. Even though the Lions shot a season-low 23% from 3-point land, they hit two of three treys to ignite that game-changing run.
After rebounding their first miss of the second half, the Eagles could not rebound any of their final 10 misses. Gerard’s 10 boards helped the Lions win the backboard battle, 28 rebounds to 17.
Solum scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half. His last six points came during four trips to the foul line. For the game, Solum hit more free throws (9 for 12) than the Eagles attempted (5 for 8). The defense was highlighted by five Grinde steals.
Brady Meyers, who had scored 29 of the Eagles’ 82 points versus Randolph on the same court the previous day, was limited to 8 points and D-E to only 33 against Spring Grove.
The B-team game was also tied at halftime (27-27) and also decided with an early second-half, Spring Grove scoring run (9 to 1). Jacob Olerud, playing only in the first half, led Lion scoring with 12 points during the 51-44 win. Zach Brumm passed out 5 assists with no turnovers.
VARSITY vs. RUSHFORD-PETERSON
SCORE by HALVES
SG 21 + 20 = 41
RP 24 + 29 = 53
all FG: SG 43% (17-40), RP 51% (21-41)
2-pt FG: SG 44% (14-32), RP 72% (13-18)
3-pt FG: SG 38% (3-8), RP 35% (8-23)
Free throws: SG 67% (4-6), RP 75% (3-4); Rebounds: SG 23, RP 18; Turnovers: SG 17, RP 14; 2nd Chance points: SG 0, RP 2; Fast break points: SG 8, RP 5; Points in paint: SG 32, RP 15; Greatest lead: SG 7, RP 14; Fouls: SG 8, RP 6
SG INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. * starter. Caleb Griffin 3R; *Tysen Grinde 17P, 1R, 1A, 3S; *Hunter Holland 2P, 3R, 1A, 1S; Ethan Crouch no stats; Logan Brumm 1P, 1R; Jacob Olerud 2R, 1S; *Carson Gerard 4P, 8R, 2A, 3S; *Jaxon Strinmoen 2P, 5R, 1S; *Elijah Solum 15P, 1R, 2A
VARSITY vs. DOVER-EYOTA
SCORE by HALVES
SG 19 + 25 = 44
DE 19 + 15 = 34
all FG: SG 41% (15-37), DE 35% (12-34)
2-pt FG: SG 50% (12-24), DE 47% (7-15)
3-pt FG: SG 23% (3-13), DE 26% (5-19); Free throws: SG 58% (11-19), DE 63% (5-8); Rebounds: SG 28, DE 17; Turnovers: SG 14, DE 15; 2nd Chance points: SG 9, DE 6
Fast break points: SG 3, DE 3; Points in paint: SG 27, DE 17; Greatest lead: SG 10, DE 5; Fouls: SG 10, DE 19
SG INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. *starter. Caleb Griffin no stats; Isaac Nerstad no stats; *Tysen Grinde 5P, 5R, 4A, 5S; *Hunter Holland 1P, 3R, 2A; Ethan Crouch no stats; Logan Brumm 4P, 1S; Jacob Olerud no stats; *Carson Gerard 5P, 10R, 2S; *Jaxon Strinmoen 4P, 2R, 1A, 2S, 2B; *Elijah Solum 25P, 8R, 1B
B-TEAM vs RUSHFORD-PETERSON
SG 22 + 9 = 31
RP 26 + 33 = 59
all FG: SG 31% (13-42), RP 52% (23-44)
2-pt FG: SG 35% (9-26); RP 57% (17-30)
3-pt FG: SG 25% (4-16), RP 43% (6-14)
Free throws: SG 33% (1-3), RP 100% (7-7); Rebounds: SG 18, RP 29; Turnovers: SG 13, RP 12; Greatest lead: SG 0, RP 29; Fouls: SG 6, RP 9
B-TEAM INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. Caleb Eiken2R; Nathan Crouch 4P, 3R, 1A, 2S, 1B; Kohl Betcher no stats; Isaac Nerstad 5P, 3A; Ethan Crouch 3P, 5R, 1A; Troy Reinhardt1P, 2R, 1A, 1S; Josh Newgaard 4P, 4R, 1S, 1B; Zach Brumm 2P, 2A, 2S; Bryce Berns 3P, 1A; Ezra Griffin no stats; Gavin Ostern7P, 1R, 1A,1S, 1B; Shawn Crouch 2P, 1R
B-TEAM vs. DOVER-EYOTA
SG 27 + 24= 51
DE 27+ 17 = 44
all FG: SG 42% (21-52), DE 38% (18-48)
2-pt FG: SG 43% (15-35), DE 40% (14-35)
3-pt FG: SG 35% (6-17), DE 31% (4-13)
Free throws: SG 20% (3-15), DE 24% (4-17); Rebounds: SG 36, DE 30; Turnovers: SG 15, DE 17; Greatest lead: SG 12, DE 1; Fouls: SG 12, DE 17
B-TEAM INDIVIDUALS: P-points, R rebounds, A-assists, S-steals, B-blocked shots. Listed in order of jersey number. Caleb Eikennot stats; Nathan Crouch 8P, 5R, 1A, 1S; Kohl Betcher no stats; Isaac Nerstad 7P, 1R, 2A, 2S; Ethan Crouch 2P, 7R, 3A, 1S; Troy Reinhardt no stats; Josh Newgaard 5P, 1R; Zach Brumm 3P, 2R, 5A, 2S; Jacob Olerud 12P, 3R, 3S, 1B; Bryce Berns 2P, 5R, 3A, 2S; Ezra Griffin no stats; Gavin Ostern 4P, 7R, 2B; Shawn Crouch 8P, 5R 1A, 1S, 1B
Spring Grove Boys Basketball 2021-’22 (*conference game)
5-2 (3-0 SEC)
W vs. New Hampton, Iowa 45-41
W vs. Houston* 71-22
Fri. 12/10 vs. Lyle/Pacelli* postponed to Feb. 18
L at North Linn, Iowa 36-69
W at Southland*59-37
W vs. Lanesboro* 70-34
>>>Rushford-Peterson Christmas Invite
L at Rushford-Peterson 41-53
W vs. Dover-Eyota 44-33
Tues. 01/04 at Mabel-Canton*
Fri. 01/07 at Schaeffer Academy*
Mon. 01/10 Kingsland (non-conference)
Tues. 01/11 Grand Meadow*
Fri. 01/14 at Fillmore Central (Preston) 7:30 pm
Mon. 01/17 at Houston*
Tues. 01/18 at La Crescent-Hokah 7 pm
Fri. 01/21 at Martin County West (Sherburn) 7 pm
Sat. 01/22 at Madelia 1 pm
Tues. 01/25 at Kingsland*
Thur. 01.27 Waukon
Fri. 01/28 Mabel-Canton*
Thur. 02/03 Glenville-Emmons*
Fri. 02/04 at Lanesboro*
Mon. 02/07 Southland (non-conference)
Fri. 02/11 at LeRoy-Ostrander*
Mon. 02/14 St. Charles
Thur. 02/17 Schaeffer Academy*
Fri. 01/18 Lyle/Pacelli*
B-team Boys Basketball 2-1 (2-1 SEC)
W vs. Houston 45-14
L at Southland 34-51
W vs. Lanesboro 49-33
L at Rushford-Peterson 31-59
W vs. Dover-Eyota 44-33
8th Grade Boys Basketball (2-0)
W vs. Houston 27-23
W vs. Caledonia 30-20
?? vs. Lanesboro
7th Grade Boys Basketball (2-0)
W vs. Houston 44-8
W vs. Caledonia 19-16
?? vs. Lanesboro