Boys basketball: Spring Grove gets some revenge, defeats Hayfield in Section 1A play this year

No. 2 seed Spring Grove received 20 points from Tysen Grinde to defeat No. 3 Hayfield 57-46 in Section 1AA boys basketball.

Packs embrace.jpg
Hayfield boys basketball coach Chris Pack embraces his son, senior Ethan, at the end of a Section 1A semifinal tournament game on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Mayo Civic Center. No. 3 seed Hayfield, the two-time defending Class A state champions, was eliminated by No. 2 Spring Grove 57-46.
Guy N. Limbeck / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — This a game that Spring Grove really wanted.

A year ago the Lions were knocked out of the Section 1A boys basketball tournament with a loss to Hayfield in the semifinal round. Hayfield went on to win its second straight Class A state championship.

Spring Grove got a measure of revenge on Saturday as the No. 2 seed defeated No. 3 Hayfield 57-46 in the semifinals.

"This is a game we had circled on the calendar all year," Spring Grove senior Tysen Grinde said.

Grinde led the charge with 20 points and the Lions used their length to play stellar defense to eliminate Hayfield, which had won the last two Class A state championships.


“We have a ton of respect for Hayfield,” Spring Grove coach Wade Grinde said. “We knew it would be difficult to beat them and we knew we would have to take it from them. They weren’t going to give it up.”

Spring Grove was able to shut down the Hayfield off in the first half as the Lions led 26-14 at the break. The Lions' athletic and rangy defenders gave the Vikings (23-6) fits all game long.

“In the first half I thought we were a little too stagnant offensively,” Hayfield coach Chris Pack said. “We just didn’t attack as well as we needed to. I thought we did a great job in the second half, we just built ourselves too big of a deficit.”

Hayfield did get within six points in the second half. The lead was just seven when Tysen Grinde pulled a rebound away from Vikings senior Isaac Matti with just over two minutes to play and put the ball in the basket.

"The person I ripped it from when I got my own rebound was Isaac Matti and he’s one of my best friends so I kind of had to show him a little bit,” Tysen Grinde said with a grin. “I was just really emotional at the moment."

The 6-3 Grinde and 6-foot-5 junior forward Jaxon Strinmoen provided some tough defense for the Lions, as did 6-1 junior Elijah Solum.

“We have the right personnel to put a lot of pressure on the basketball out on the top,” Wade Grinde said. “When you put that much pressure on, it just makes everyone behind it even better.”

The Lions were in no mood to see their season end. Most of the basketball players were members of the Spring Grove football team that suffered a heart-breaking last second loss in the Nine-Man state championship game last fall.


“These kids have played in a state football championships so have pride, they’ve been on the big stage before,” Wade Grinde said. “And they play basketball like they play football, they play furious defense, they fly around and they use their athleticism.”

Guard Caleb Griffin and Strinmoen both added 11 points for the Lions. Grinde had four 3-pointers, three in the first half.

Hayfield 6-foot-4 junior Zander Jacobson had a big game on the inside with 22 points and 16 rebounds while senior guard Isaac Matti, a career 2,000-point scorer, had 18 points. But two other Hayfield players, including double-digit scorer Ethan Pack, combined for just six points.

“They did an excellent job defensively,” coach Pack said. “You have to be able to get some open shots and knock them down and we just weren’t able to.”

Spring Grove (28-1) will face No. 1 Goodhue (25-3) in the section title game on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mayo Civic Arena.

Hayfield sees its season end as its bid for a third straight state title falls short. Matti and Pack are seniors who started on both championship teams while Jacobson was a starter a year ago.

“I’ve been coaching these guys since they were in first grade,” coach Pack said. “They’ve obviously left their mark on the program. But it’s hard because we haven’t had to go through this for the last two years. They’ve accomplished more than almost every high school kid ever gets to do.”

Spring Grove 57, Hayfield 46
No. 3 HAYFIELD (46)
Zander Jacobson 22 P, 16 R; Isaac Matti 18 P, 5 R, 4 3-PT; Trent Jellum 2 P; Ethan Pack 4 P, 4 R, 1 3-PT.
Caleb Griffin 11 P, 2 3-PT; Tysen Grinde 20 P, 4 R, 4 3-PT; Ethan Crouch 5 P, 1 3-PT; Jacob Olerud 5 P, 6 R, 1 3-PT; Jaxon Strinmoen 11 P, 4 R, 1 3-PT; Elijah Solum 5 P.
Halftime: SG 26, HAY 14.
Free throws: HAY 3-6, SG 12-16.
Three-point goals: HAY 5, SG 9. Field goals: HAY 17-40, SG 18-42. Rebounds: HAY 30, SG 21.


Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or
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