Arrowhead boys basketball coach Craig Haase is in his 13th season at the helm at his school and has won conference titles and a state championship and is generally regarded as a knowledgable person when it concerns Wisconsin prep hoops.
He knows a good team when he sees one and his squad is one of them at 10-2.
So, it is probably safe to say no one will accuse him of exaggeration concerning his remarks after unbeaten and number one ranked in the state Germantown annihilated his crew by a 100-47 count in the nightcap of the WBBY Shootout at Concordia University Thursday night.
"The way they do things, they just play with a confidence that I've not seen before," he said of the Warhawks. "I don't think I've seen anything like them and I don't think we've ever played against anyone this good."
"They don't have any weakenesses and they play like they don't have any weaknesses and that is an extremely tough combination to crack."
"They can beat you inside, outside, and sideways. I don't know who's going to beat them this year because I don't expect them to lose. It will take a monumental effort on someone's part."
It is believed to be the first time that Arrowhead has given up 100 points in its history but is the third time that the defending state champion Warhawks have broken the century mark this season (Whitefish Bay and Cedarburg being the other two games).
Germantown improved to 10-0 on the season and has now won 38 in a row and 62 of its last 64 games.
Coach Steve Showalter likes all the praise, but is concerned about his team keeping perspective.
"It's easy for someone to say those things about another team," he noted when told of Haase's remarks. "It puts more pressure on a team and just puts a bigger target on your back. I'd love to be able to say that about somebody else's team (laughs)."
"But I just did not expect an effort like this. The guys had been off three days (after an impressive rout of East Troy in the Al McGuire Classic), and we had only one day of preparation (yesterday) and it wasn't a good day of practice either."
"Everybody was happy, full of themselves after the East Troy win. I had to work hard to knock them down a couple of pegs to bring them back (to earth)."
But it didn't take long for the Warhawks to bring themselves back up again at the Concordia Fieldhouse. After Arrowhead's Kyle Keranen tied the score at 2-all with a hoop at the 6:37 mark of the first quarter, Germantown went on a 14-0 run to effectively end all drama.
Arrowhead worked hard to deny the Warhawks' 7-0 center Luke Fischer access to the inside and the result of the physical play was nine of 11 free throws in the first period for Germantown. Fischer had 10 of his 20 points in the period as Germantown finished the first session with a 25-10 advantage.
After closing the gap to 25-15, things got worse again for Arrowhead, as Germantown went on a 12-2 run to bump the margin up to 37-15.
The deficit would never drop below 16 after that point.
Germantown's tremendous starting length posed a huge problem for Arrowhead (the Warhawks go 7-0, 6-7, 6-6 upfront), but not as much as the guard play of the Warhawks, as junior point guard LaMonte Bearden continued his recent impressive run of play.
Bearden had 24 points, on a mix of three-pointers, steals, and confident drives to the hoop, a couple of the latter had some people in the large crowd comparing him favorably to Dominican's Duane Wilson Jr., who put on an impressive performance in the Knights' win over Whitefish Bay in the game that preceded the Germantown-Arrowhead match-up.
Combined with fellow starter Jake Showalter, and reserves like LaMonte's brother Brian and Dearionte Hudson, the Warhawk backcourt is tremendously athletic and difficult to deal with.
"We're faster than we were (last year) defensively," Steve Showalter said. "The athletes we're bringing in, the sixth-seventh guys (Brian Bearden and Hudson) are so much faster than the people we've had in those positions in the past. Their fundamentals may not be the best, but their speed is so great that they can make the other guys in front of them panic."
Germantown's reserves and deep bench scored the final 18 points of the game for the Warhawks as 12 players scored all told. Jake Showalter added 10, Brian Bearden nine and Evan Wesenberg eight for the Warhawks.
Arrowhead was led by Kenny Finco with 16 points.
"We're still a good team," said Haase. "It's just that we lost to a great team tonight."
"We had one day of preparation after the East Troy game," said Steve Showalter, "and we did most everything like we should."
To that assertion, there is little disagreement.
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