Speedy Warhawks girls were relentless in posting record-setting 18-6 mark
Scoring marks fell left and right
It was flash and dash and excitement and records galore for the Germantown girls basketball team this winter.
And the Warhawks, who finished with an excellent, record-tying 18-6 record this winter, are only getting started.
The record tied the mark set by the 2009-10 team and the Warhawks 10-4 North Shore record was good for a tie for second with Whitefish Bay. The team average of 69.8 points per game, blew out of the water the previous record.
Individually, junior forward Bridget Kelly set a school mark with a season-long 54 percent field goal percentage while sophomore guard Taylor Higginbotham set new season marks with 38 3-pointers and 80 steals.
And don't forget to mention that the 105 points scored against Milwaukee Lutheran and the 98 against conference champ Cedarburg both far eclipsed the previous single-game scoring mark.
Then there was the fact that five players got some form of all-conference recognition with Higginbotham claiming first-team honors.
In short, the fast-subbing, hard-pressuring, never-look-back attack that coach Matt Stuve adopted this year was a raging success.
"I think after a 4-3 start some of the kids were wondering how things were going to work," Stuve said. "It was just a matter of fitting things in. The kids got used to playing faster and we knew if we could get the kids to believe in it, we could make it work.
"And in the end we validated the system."
Press and shoot
A variation on the Grinnell "press and shoot" attack, the system Stuve introduced to the Warhawks was entertainment incarnate, as the team looked to get shots off as fast as it could and then pressed like crazy to get the ball back.
They then made parents happy by playing multiple people, subbing en masse every minute or so to keep the legs fresh and to keep opponents off-balance.
"We succeeded through a combination of things," Stuve said, "because these were good kids on the floor and they were even better people off of it. It just turned out to be a good experience for everyone."
The team numbers were amazing in that the Warhawks hit 203 3-pointers as compared to just 48 for their opponents and had 583 total field goals to their opponents' 485. And through shear relentlessness, they out-rebounded their opposition 803-383.
All told, a total of 10 players had 10 or more 3-pointers including five with 20 or more and seven players scored more than 100 points each.
A total of 10 players averaged more than four points a game including Higginbotham at 11.4 ppg and Kelley at 10.4 ppg. Kelley led the team in rebounds at 6.6 a contest and junior point guard Paige Groth led the team at 3.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals a game.
Depth a strength
As noted, the system built depth.
"And that was a real strength of ours," Stuve said.
Along those lines, Stuve believes that no Warhawks team ever put more than three players on any one all-league team, but along with Higginbotham, Groth, Kelley, and senior forwards Maggie Johnston and Courtney Mehring all picked up honorable mention accolades.
Other seniors included Addy Green, Siobhan McDonnell and Lauren Grotjahn.
And also, as noted, this is just the beginning. A strong nucleus is back for Stuve next year and they will get help from a 17-5 junior varsity and a 17-3 freshmen unit. They'll be very competitive in what was otherwise a young North Shore Conference this year.
"We've got 10 players returning (from the varsity) plus we have all those players (from the junior varsity and freshmen squads)," Stuve said. "We'll be able to hit the ground running."
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