Germantown boys basketball
Where will the challenges come now for the Warhawks (15-0) in the regular season now that they've finished the first round of the North Shore Schedule and dispatched all their opponents on their heady nonleague schedule by double digits each time out?
Last weekend was particularly telling as the top-ranked in state and 11th-ranked in the nation (by ESPN) unit demolished seventh-ranked Homestead on Friday (see separate story) and then used a 20-0 run from midway through the third period to midway through the fourth to overpower second-ranked in Division 3 East Troy, 74-52, at the Trojans packed gym a day later.
"It was a wild atmosphere," coach Steve Showalter said. "They gave us 400 tickets to sell and we sold them immediately and the place (which seats about 1,200) was strictly standing room only . .. This was a perfect game for us. Getting us ready for a (WIAA) playoff atmosphere before a hostile crowd. I couldn't think of a better way to schedule."
Especially with a feisty opponent (11-2) that featured a 6-9, 6-9, 6-8 front line and which was not intimidated by Germantown's high-intensity ways, as the Warhawks held only a 39-36 lead at the break.
"Every time we put on a little run, they'd hit a shot," Showalter said. "We weren't frustrated but we were searching for some answers, so we made some adjustments on the press and played our halfcourt defense a little better. We made a run to get it up to 10 and then we were able to go from there."
Germantown even ran a little 1-4 offense through all-state guard Zak Showalter (28 points) and got big contributions from Zack Kumbier (12 points before he left with an ankle sprain), Josh Mongan (nine), and Dan Studer (eight).
"I was worried, because we didn't have a chance to prepare for this game until after Homestead and then we didn't have much of a chance to do so because I had to work (during the day on Saturday) and the guys wanted to rest a little," Showalter said.
Kumbier may miss two weeks with the ankle, but on the positive health front, center Luke Fischer may be back sooner than expected from his hand injury after a checkup with his doctor Friday.
Menomonee Falls boys basketball
Despite being short-handed (see column), the Indians responded well and rode J.P. Tokoto's 26 points to a surprisingly easy 66-42 win over West Allis Hale on Friday.
With the win, Falls is now 2-5 in the Greater Metro and 5-7 overall. The Indians start the second half of the GMC season this week with a visit to Brookfield East (4-3, 7-7) on Tuesday and by hosting Brookfield Central on Friday (7-0, 12-2).
The Indians led only 19-15 at the quarter against the Huskies, but then powered their way through a 21-6 second quarter to take a 40-21 lead. They never looked back.
Coach Dan Leffel was pleased with the level of contributions as Kevin Meyers had eight while recently called up from the junior varsity Jason Precia had seven. Leffel said that Devon Nauer also had a good game and Ryan Bross contributed six rebounds.
"Devon is playing really well. He's 6-4 and he's got a really long reach which helps a lot on defense and with rebounding," Leffel said. He also noted that Brandon Ramey had a good game at the point.
"We weren't distracted at all," Leffel said. "We hit shots while other guys filled roles. I thought we responded very well."
Menomonee Falls wrestling
Behind individual championships from Bill Holz at 113 pounds and Mike Schwahn at 195, the Indians recorded an impressive third in the 12-school Homestead Scramble Invitational on Friday.
"It was a very nice evening for us," Indians coach Jim McMahon said. "I was happy for our kids because they performed well in a great tournament. We got a lot of wrestling in, which was good, because for us being so young, it's all about repletion."
The Indians, who also performed well in a tough Greater Metro dual meet loss to defending league champion West Allis Central on Jan. 19, scored 175.5 points as Burlington won with 276.5 and Port Washington was second with 194.5.
McMahon was extremely pleased for the senior Schwahn, as he dominated his four-man bracket in improving to 13-14 on the season. He pinned opponents from Burlington (1:59), Port Washington (1:11) and Oconomowoc (1:04) to claim his first tournament title.
"Mike's a perfect example of a kid who stays with the program and just gives his best every time out," McMahon said. "We're very happy for him."
Holz was 5-0 on the day in improving to 27-3. In the championship bout, he scored an impressive 6-0 win over Harley Klemick of Racine Horlick, who came into the match with a 31-2 record.
Earning seconds for Falls were Casey Crangle at 120 (4-1 on the day, 21-8 overall); Austin Meyers at 132 (3-2, 15-16); Bill Steinke at 170 (3-2, 24-7) and Ayoola Olapo at 182 (4-1, 21-5).
Also receiving praise were Aaron Daly, who took fourth at 106 (3-2, 22-10); Jake McMahon, who was ninth at 132, but who won his last three bouts (14-9 overall); and Jake Fuiten, who was fifth at 160 (3-2, 11-16).
"It was good to see the guys compete so well against kids their own level," McMahon said.
In the loss to West Allis Central, the highlight was a victory by Daly at 106 against an opponent who had entered the match ranked sixth in the state in his weight class.
Falls will be at the Sheboygan South Duals on Saturday.
Germantown girls basketball
The Warhawks remained on a bit of a roll, using a 21-2 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to win for the third time in four games with a 58-44 decision over Homestead on Friday.
"It was 27-27 early in the third quarter and then we got a couple of easy ones," Warhawks coach Matt Stuve said. "We were also able to use our trap a little bit more effectively, and we got them going a little faster than they wanted to. Our offense also got a little better at recognizing what was available."
With the win, Germantown improved to 3-4 in the North Shore and 3-7 overall while Homestead fell to 2-5, 2-9, respectively. The Warhawks took on West Bend East on Tuesday and are at North Shore rival Whitefish Bay (6-1, 11-1) on Friday.
The third quarter run put Stuve at ease, as Germantown got off to a sluggish start against Homestead, falling behind 12-6 at the quarter before going ahead 25-23 at the half.
"Our decision-making at the beginning just wasn't very good," Stuve said. "It took us a little while before we got into a pattern of doing the next best thing instead of just doing something."
It was 44-29 Germantown at the end of three quarters.
Courtney Mehring had 15 points to lead 10 Warhawks scorers while Paige Groth had eight and Taylor Higginbotham, Maggie Johnston and Lauren Grotjahn all had seven apiece. Mary Nennig contributed 10 rebounds to the cause.
Menomonee Falls/Germantown girls gymnastics
Even without Aerial Holt, who was out with an ankle sprain, the Indians still managed a sound fourth in the eight-team Watertown Invite on Saturday.
"Our goal is to get her (Holt) healthy for our home invitational on Saturday," Indians coach Tracy Howard said. "The girls did well and the depth is improving. We had a rough day on the uneven bars, but know we will bounce back."
Falls/Germantown hosts its own invite at Falls at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, scored 131.325 for its spot at Watertown as Waunakee won with a 135.55 mark.
The Indians best event was floor exercise with a 35.0 team score as Paige Lemley was fourth (9.025) and Lizzy Gilbert fifth (8.9) while Marissa Arnold tied for seventh (8.725). On vault, Lemley was fourth (8.85).
The local co-op's best two finishes came on beam, as Emma Brose was second (8.95) while Gilbert was third (8.925).
Uneven bars and all-around results were unavailable.
After a good start, the Warhawks struggled to a 1-4 record at the Whitnall Zielinski Duals on Saturday.
They lost a tough, very competitive, 41-34 decision to powerful Hartford and then beat Green Bay Preble/East, 49-25, but then after, coach Casey Gabrielson was disappointed with the three subsequent losses on the day.
" . . . The 'team' aspect disappeared and we started wrestling as 'individuals' against those teams," he said. "When we wrestle as 'individuals' and there is no team spirit, we get crushed and we look like we do not belong on the mat with the other teams . .. The complete opposite happens when the 'team' aspect is there . … Honestly, we (coaches) have not figured out how to bring the 'team' motivation every time with this specific group of kids.
" . . . We could enter less competitive tournaments and have better records, but that does not benefit us at the end of the year, nor does it let my guys have the easy way out. Life does not give us the easy way out, neither should our wrestling schedule."
Brandon Goesch was wrestler of the tournament for the Warhawks for the second meet in a row. He has won nine of his last 10 matches and is finding his rhythm. He was 4-1 on the day.
Germantown hosts Homestead at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
- Steven L. Tietz
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