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Showalter breaks Germantown career scoring record

Breaks Averkamp's mark just three seasons later

Dec. 19, 2011

Zak and Jake Showalter made sure their mother Jill had a wonderful birthday Friday outside of the basketball court.

"Oh yeah, we took care of that," laughed Zak.

But on the court, the pair made it an even nicer day as Zak scored 18 points and Jake scored 16 to lead the way in the Germantown boys basketball team's 79-35 rout of North Shore rival Cedarburg.

However, what made it really perfect, was that on a 3-pointer toward the end of the first quarter, Zak passed old friend and former teammate Ben Averkamp as the Warhawks' all-time leading scorer. It came at the end of a superlative seven-point play by Zak that included a layup, an intentional foul, two free throws and the record-setting 3-pointer.

"Everyone was asking about it," Zak said, "because they knew I was fairly close, but I just really didn't expect it to come up this quickly. Ben even mentioned that I was probably going to get it this year when we talked over the summer. It crossed my mind briefly at the start of the season, but it's still amazing that it's happened so quick."

Zak ended Friday's game with 1,162 career points as Averkamp's final numbers were 1,156. Zak added 30 more on Saturday in a win over Menomonee Falls (see separate story), so he entered this week at 1,192.

In the mind of Zak and Jake's father, Steve, who also happens to be their coach, it marked an amazingly quick progression from the time he sat on the kitchen floor with the then 9-month-old Zak, who had just started to sit up at the time, and Steve began rolling tennis balls toward him.

"And he'd watch the ball come toward him and it would bounce off his belly (and I would eventually pick it up)," Steve said. "After a time, you could start to see his eyes follow the ball and a few days after that, he started trying to grab it."

Much like Zak covets every rebound and loose ball right now.

"I was still playing a lot of ball back then and so friends would bring over little basketballs and things like that," Steve added. "Both boys always had a ball in their cribs."

And, oh yes, according to Steve, both Zak's and Jake's first word was "ball" (lots of laughs follow).

The curious thing about the whole situation is that it was 49 years before Averkamp broke Germantown legend Dick Strack's old career scoring record in the 2008-09 season but it took Zak just three seasons to erase Averkamp's mark.

"Those things are meant to last a long, long time," Steve Showalter said, "but then in this instance, all of a sudden, it's gone. You get a streak of a few really good players in a row and it can happen that way."

Another serendipitous thing about the whole issue is that the whole Averkamp basketball story is not close to being over yet.

Father Rob Averkamp noted on Saturday, that the boys-girls doubleheader represented the family's second and third tilts of the day. Earlier in the afternoon, they observed Ben have a smashing 21-point and 10-rebound game as Loyola (Chicago) recorded its third win of the season over Chicago State.

Just a week before that, the 6-9 Ben recorded his career best with 31 against Toledo.

Driving up from Chicago, the Averkamp family got to Mequon in time, to see senior daughter Ellie contribute well in the Warhawks girls 55-46 loss to border rival Menomonee Falls, and after that, they observed sophomore son Jon have a blast as the Germantown boys rolled over Falls, 99-62.

If they were upset that Zak broke Ben's record, they didn't indicate it.

Zak knows the importance of what he has done and respects the process of how it was achieved.

"It's nice," he said, "and it's a product of all the hard work that I've put in and that we as a team have put in. What we've all done together (as a team). It's a long journey, and it's been a serious blast."

Germantown is 7-0 so far this season and Zak, a four-year letter-winner, has been part of teams that have recorded a combined 70-12 mark over the years.

He's grateful to have been a teammate to Averkamp and he's even happier to have sophomore brother Jake on the current team.

"He (Jake) is a pretty understanding guy," Zak said. "I think we're happy to have each other around."

As is Steve.

"When I took over coaching (around 2000) I wasn't planning on staying around this long," he said. "The boys were 4 and 5 at that time, and they were part of the reason I took the job in the first place.

"Because I thought there's no better way to raise a family. They could run around the gym (while I coach) and they could have role models to look up to (other players), and they could shoot baskets and get rid of all their pent-up energy. Those two have probably put up more shots in this gym than anyone else alive."

"…As a dad, I couldn't be more proud. They know that the game means so much to me and that the boys love it, too, means more than I could ever imagine. … For him (Zak) to do this in a season like this, at home, was just a joy to watch, a joy to coach."

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