As he was leaving the Menomonee Falls gym Saturday night following his team's occasionally impressive, occasionally messy 83-47 rout of the host Indians Saturday night, Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter called out to someone across the floor and said:
"That coach for them (Falls), he's doing all right. They'll be OK (this season)."
Showalter, the man at the top of the mountain, with back-to-back WIAA state championships to his credit and his 60th win in a row under his belt, was just recognizing the tenacity and intensity of the Indians that was instilled in them by first-year coach Ben Farley.
Farley is someone who wants to start climbing the same mountain that Showalter started on 14 years ago but he didn't think the effort this night was a good step towards that goal.
"They're just really, really good," he said of the Warhawks. "They're number one in the state, 12th nationally. I thought we had a good plan, we just didn't execute any of it.
"...That is the number one team in the state. It's an aspiration of ours to be able to compete with teams like that. Our question is, do we come back and respond in practice on Monday and get ready for conference play this week?"
Based on Farley's passion, the Indians (2-2 overall) likely will.
The intensity is something that Showalter recognizes in himself, as his team improved to 4-0 on the still young season.
The Warhawks, as is typical of them, took control early, as Brian Bearden hit two 3-pointers and Jake Showalter one as Germantown took a 13-2 lead just two-plus minutes into the game.
It was 26-10 at the quarter, but the Warhawks were just getting started. The Indians' Jason Precia scored the first basket of the second period to make it 26-12, but then the Warhawks went into one of those preposterous, patented runs of theirs.
They turned the Indians over at least a dozen times in the second quarter and proceeded to score the next 20 points after Precia's bucket.
It was 46-12 before the Indians' Jerry Murphy hit a free throw with just 39 seconds left in the half. It wound up being 48-13 at the break.
"When we're playing the right way, we can look pretty good," said Showalter, "but as we know it's sometimes hard motivating everyone after we've built the type of lead that we had.
"Sometimes, it's hard enough to get them focused (at all)."
The point coach Showalter was trying to make was proved at several points in the second half, as though the lead never got below 28 points, the Warhawks would look sloppy at times, trying as the late Marquette coach Al McGuire would like to say, to play with a little too much "french pastry" in mind.
To their credit, the Warhawks were coming off a challenging North Shore Conference victory over Whitefish Bay the night before, although their issues are the type of problems only a two-time WIAA state champion with eyes on a third crown could have.
"There are still a lot of things we have to improve upon," coach Showalter said. "I recognize them as much as anyone, though I am glad that we responded (in sections) the way we did after a game like we had last night."
Farley, on the other hand, recognized excellence when he saw it.
"They completely rattled us," he said. "They're team of runs. We tried to minimize them. We tried to respond (inside the runs) with buckets and stops but we were just an inexperienced team getting rattled by a very good team."
The Indians were led by Precia with 11 and Murphy with eight though an official box was not available immediately after the game.
"We tried to set goals for the second half and by-and-large we accomplished most of them," said Farley.
Brian Brearden finished with 23 points and Jake Showalter 20 for Germantown as the Warhawks continued their quiet chase towards Dominican's state all-time winning streak record of 62.
They will play at Cedarburg next Friday and if they beat the Bulldogs, they will go into Homestead at 7 p.m. Saturday and face none other than Dominican itself with a chance to tie the mark.
Again, coach Showalter praised the Indians.
"I didn't know how good they'd be, but they played hard," he said. "As for ourselves, we want to play the best we can against whoever we play.
"We have to work hard to maintain that desire and passion."
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