By Brady Ambrose
The Caledonia Argus
The Caledonia boys made a strong statement Dec. 27 as they beat previously undefeated Spring Grove by 33 points in their first game of the Rushford Holiday Tournament.
The Lions entered the game with a perfect 9-0 record and were ranked #10 in the state in the latest class 1A poll, but the Warriors would have none of it as they rolled to a 90-57 win. Caledonia improved to 7-1 overall entering Monday night’s game against La Crescent as they got 23 points from Kyle Sorenson and opened up a 44-24 halftime lead. West Spier added 12 points, Colton Lampert had 14 and Owen King tossed in 11 points. “It was a real good win for us; the guys played extremely hard,” coach Josh Diersen said. “We took good shots and contested a lot of their shots; we made them play faster than they wanted to.”
The Warriors used an 11-3 run to open the game to take control. Lampert and Sorenson then hit back-to-back buckets to push the lead to 16-3 and a trey from King gave Caledonia a 22-7 lead midway through the first half. Austin Bauer and King then each hit short jumpers for a 32-17 lead and Caledonia outscored the Lions 12-7 the rest of the half to lead by 20 points at the break.
The Warriors maintained at least a 15 point lead the rest of the game and led by as many as 23 points at 68-45 on a three-pointer from Josh Nord. Caledonia then went on a 22-12 run to end the game and get the win. Diersen added that he feels the team’s best basketball is ahead of them yet, “A lot of refs that are doing our games are saying that we play a great style of basketball; we’re getting good minutes out of everyone.” The Warriors forced 31 turnovers in the game with Bauer collecting six steals and Nord adding five more. As a team, Caledonia made 18 of 27 free throws and shot 53 percent from the floor, including 8 of 21 from the three point line.
After playing Monday night in Rushford, Caledonia will have a big matchup Thursday night at home against P-E-M in a game that will have section and seeding ramifications. Diersen and the team would like to ask that all Warrior fans wear black to the game for ‘Black out’ night. “It will be a good game,” Diersen said, “and we want everyone to show up wearing black.”
SPRING GROVE 57
Spring Grove 24 33 — 57
Caledonia 44 46 — 90
SPRING GROVE: Dylan Kampschroer 7, Gabe Solum 2, Elliott Cross 2, Chase Grinde 12, Dustin Vickerman 15, Alex Engelhardt 6, Tanner Sanness 2, Brady Schuttemeier 9, Jordan Jaster 2.
CALEDONIA: Tanner Gran 3, Seth Twite 4, Josh Nord 8, Owen King 11, Colton Lampert 14, Gavin Schroeder 5, Kyle Sorenson 23, Justin Burg 4, Austin Bauer 6, West Spier 12.