High-speed Germantown girls overpower Falls, 73-54, in border clash
2-0 Warhawks host Cedarburg on Friday
In preparation for the better attended boys game that followed Saturday night, the crowd grew steadily for the Germantown at Menomonee Falls girls basketball game as the contest progressed.
What the fans saw was just a taste of the intense "run, press and shoot" Grinnell-style offense that the Warhawks won 18 games with last season.
And although the Warhawks were down point guard Paige Groth (sprained ankle) and weren't having one of their prime nights offensively, they still gave the fans in attendance an impressive display with a 73-54 decision over their game border rivals.
"It was nice to have the big crowd in the second half," Warhawks coach Matt Stuve said. "I didn't care that most of them were seeing the boys game as long as they were here seeing us."
The Warhawks, who have high aspirations after that breakthrough season last year, are now 2-0 having won their critical North Shore opener the night before over tough Whitefish Bay (see Sports Shorts).
Second quarter run hurts
For Indians coach Craig Amundson, whose team is in big-time rebuilding mode this season, there were still things to latch onto despite the loss that dropped them to 1-2.
"It was the second quarter that did us in (a 12-2 run that began the session broke a 13-all tie)," he said. "We didn't make a whole lot of shots then and that hurt us. I thought we were prepared for their press and even ran our open court offense. I thought we played hard.
"I was not disappointed by our effort."
It was 25-15 at that point and shortly thereafter Germantown went on an 11-0 run that made it 37-20. An Erika Berry three-pointer punctuated the effort as the Warhawks went into the break with a 37-22 lead.
"It was a funny game that way," Stuve said. "We were only three of 17 from behind the arc (the three-point line) in the first half and still we had a 15-point lead."
The Indians, led by feisty and talented freshman guard Kylie Sprecher, who led all scorers with 23 points, couldn't exactly threaten Germantown in the second half, nor did they let their visitors run away and hide either.
The lead reached 45-24 at its peak early in the third, but then a few moments later, Falls had it down to 13. It was 55-38 at the end of three quarters but Falls was never able to get the margin under 14 in the fourth.
Sprecher was seven of nine from the foul line as part of her effort. Amundson said that her mother played soccer for the University of Wisconsin. She's one of three strong freshmen on varsity for Falls including Madison Grzesiak and Marissa Igunbor.
Amundson is encouraged as the team prepares to enter Greater Metro Conference play next week.
"As I've said before, the kids are improving quite a bit every day," he said.
Erin Otzelberger and Laura Marx added seven apiece for Falls.
Coach wants more
For Germantown, the Warhawks were led Val Meissner, who had 20 points, including four of the team's eight three-pointers.
"She's getting more aggressive going to the basket every day, but I still don't think she's as aggressive as she could be," Stuve said.
Taylor Higginbotham added 12, Bridget Kelley 10 and Berry nine for Germantown. Stuve noted that guard Sarah Bartel remains a "menace" having had 10 deflections in the win over Bay and at least eight in the first half against Falls.
"We were hitting a wall in some instances though we did respond," Stuve said. "It's funny to score 73 points, win by 19 and know that you really didn't play all that well."
The back-to-back games are the first of three times that the Warhawks will be dealing with that scenario this month. They a critical game at home Friday against defending North Shore champ Cedarburg. Groth's sprain is believed not to be too serious, though the team is being cautious with her.
"We'll be careful because we have 10 games in December. We'll be seeing a lot of action," he said.
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