In the end, Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter couldn't hide his exuberance.
After weeks of trying to cover his ears and eyes and shutting out all mention of Dominican's 33-year-old state record winning streak of 62 games, and after saying all the right coach things about focusing on the next game at hand, he just let go Saturday night after his Warhawks tied that Holy Grail of a hoops mark with a 75-29 demolition of that same Dominican program before an overflow crowd at Homestead.
"It's hard to do, even to talk about our two state titles is hard," he said, "because we're so busy focusing on the next game, the next one up, that it is hard to take the time to appreciate what's happened here, how far this program has come."
And what followed next was said without a trace of irony by this 14-year coaching veteran.
"But where does that come from?" he said, his face lighting up. "That my program ties the greatest record in the history of the state? Are you kidding me?! It's huge!"
Yes, it is.
Dating back to the start of the 2011-12 season, running through two unbeaten 28-win WIAA state championship seasons and now the first six contests of this still new campaign, Showalter and the Warhawks have not been touched.
A three-point decision in the state title game against Rufus King in 2012 and a last-second hoop by Luke Fischer against Brookfield Central in a two-point decision early last season, are the closest anyone has come in that time.
The Warhawks in all likelihood broke the record Tuesday night against Milwaukee Lutheran and continue moving forward with an NSC road game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Grafton and then play Pius XI (5-3) in a nonconference game at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee.
Showalter wanted his players to celebrate the feat, but the Warhawks were remarkably low-key about it if just a bit impressed by what they did.
"We really didn't think about it," said senior point guard LaMonte Bearden, who dominated play with his lightning quickness which led to a game-high 22 points. "To us, it's just playing the next one up.
"It's just a number."
"It does feel awesome," senior power forward Jon Averkamp said. "That's really the only word to describe it. But seriously, it was never brought up by us. Everyone talks about it, but it was never our topic."
"It does feel pretty good," senior small forward Even Wesenberg said, "but we're not worried about it. It's good to be a part of it, but honestly going into the season I didn't know how close we were to it or which game it was (we could tie it or break it)."
"We beat Dominican, which had the record," said senior shooting guard Jake Showalter, the coach's son. We're a part of history."
It was achieved in an almost anti-climatic fashion before a who's-who of basketball royalty, including Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, Marquette head man Buzz Williams and a smattering of players from that stellar Dominican team of oh-so-long-ago.
Germantown graduates Zak Showalter and Dan Studer, both of whom lent considerable muscle in making this streak possible, also had court-side seats and frequently noted their approval of the goings-on.
They had much to cheer about.
Here comes the hurricane
The Green Knights' 6-10 all-state center Diamond Stone got a tip-in on Dominican's first possession to go up 2-0, but what followed was the typical category five hurricane that these talented and deep Warhawks visit upon opponents usually at least once, sometimes twice a game.
They scored 19 of the next 20 points, creating turnovers, getting out of the break and harassing shooters into miserable attempts. They took control for good in this stretch, as Jake Showalter drained three, 3-pointers to help make it 19-3 on the defending state D4 champions with 2:55 left in the first quarter.
Not even two fouls each in the period on three key players including guard Brian Bearden and Wesenberg could dampen the Warhawks aura of dominance, as it was 24-4 at session's end.
"In the first quarter, we always want to come out and make a statement," said Jake Showalter, who finished with 14 points. "We all played well in that time."
The Warhawks scored 10 of the second stanza's first 12 points to go up 34-6 as Lamonte Bearden was making one ankle-breaking move after another en route to 14 first-half points. It was 41-13 at the break and all that remained really was to tally up the final score.
In typical Germantown fashion, 10 Warhawks players scored as Dearionte Hudson had eight points and Max Keefe and Wesenberg scored six apiece.
The only downer was an indifferent 12-of-24 effort at the foul line.
In short, these Warhawks have seen it all, so they weren't going to get too excited about hitting another in-season milestone. Their measuring sticks are conference and state titles and those are many games and exponentially many more practices away.
Ready for best shots
"We're getting everyone's best shot every night," Averkamp said. "Coach Showalter gets on us that we have to be our best when the best is needed."
'"It's just a number, just a win along the way," LaMonte Bearden said. "Something like this just shows that we should be good throughout the season."
But as noted, and despite the fact that the Warhawks have three games ahead of them next week, coach Showalter wanted them to enjoy this moment.
"I've always thought that stuff like this was about the players," he said. "I get excited about good stuff, too, but you don't see coaches jumping around, doing stuff like that too often, maybe (Al) McGuire or (Jim) Valvano.
"You only see the players celebrating in a moment like this. It should be their stuff."
And last Saturday it was.
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