Arrests cloud the air as Germantown boys overpower Bay, 65-49
Four Warhawks players benched over marijuana citations
The second-ranked Germantown boys basketball team held off visiting Whitefish Bay Friday night, 65-49, in a game that was far closer than the final score indicated.
The Blue Dukes pushed hard — just as they did in an eight-point loss in December — but with every rally, the Warhawks answered. Bay clawed all night and forced a 36-36 tie midway through the third quarter and a 41-41 draw in the fourth, but the Blue Dukes simply couldn't get over the final hump.
Germantown junior Brian Studer supplied the dagger with three consecutive three-point baskets late in the fourth quarter to give the Warhawks a 57-43 lead. Germantown exploded for a 28-8 run the final 6:30 to remain unbeaten in North Shore Conference at 9-0 (15-1).
But on this night, there was as much or more focus on who wasn't on the court.
The Warhawks were without leading scorer and point guard Lemonté Bearden, his half-brother and fellow starter Brian Bearden, key reserve Dearionte Hudson, and Lamont Williams Christian. All were in a car that was pulled over for a traffic violation on the morning of Jan 23.
The officer smelled marijuana and all four were arrested along with two other juveniles who were also in the car. Hudson was charged with a misdemeanor of marijuana possession and was taken to the Washington County Jail for booking. The others in the car were issued citations for possession of marijuana, booked and released.
The four players attended Friday's game in street clothes and sat on the bench.
"I have a boss at school," Germantown head coach Steve Showalter said. "I've been told not to make any comment on the incident. There's really nothing I can say about it. I have to do what I'm told."
Showalter said he couldn't elaborate on who made the decision to have the players at the game and had no inclination as to how long they would be out (see separate column for more details).
While the Warhawks were short on bodies against a scrappy Bay team (10-5), they got the clutch shots from who they had.
Bay junior Isaiah Johnson, who was hurt in the first minute when he took a hit to the eye, led Bay with 19 points, including 15 from beyond the arc. But after every seemingly big shot, the Warhawks were there with a bigger one. Jake Showalter, who had struggled in the three previous games, led Germantown with 22 points — many of which came at critical moments to shut down Bay rallies.
"We knew guys would have to step up," Jake Showalter said. "We know Whitefish Bay is a good team, they can shoot as well as anybody. They had a couple of good runs there, but I think we were able to respond. We hit the boards better in the second half and once Brian Studer hit those threes I thought that put it away."
It was déjà vu from the free-throw line. Germantown outshot Bay from the line 31-8 in December and 26-6 on Friday.
"Germantown plays a certain style," Whitefish Bay head coach Kevin Lazovik said. "If the officials let them do it, it's tough. They're an outstanding team, and we didn't rebound well, but when the calls are going that way, it makes it tough."
Germantown's roster shakeup paved the way for Juwan McCloud to make his first start for the Warhawks at point guard. The sophomore made the most of it, chipping in with 14 points.
"Coach told me to just be ready to go and did everything I could to do that," McCloud said. "We knew we'd need to have guys step up and we had a good week of practice. I've been hurt for awhile and it feels good to be able to help the team."
"He was excellent," coach Showalter said. "He's still small, still young, but it was a blessing to have him on the floor tonight. He's smart, he's talented and he wants to get better.
"And he maybe sat all of 30 seconds tonight."
New options being explored
Coach Showalter called no one up from the junior varsity and played with 11 players Friday. To give McCloud a break from time-to-time, he occasionally ran his son Jake through the point, which is something his dad said he has never done before.
"And going forward, he's going to have to get better at it," coach Showalter said. "Things are going to be done by committee and we may experiment with other ideas. We don't have a lot of options at the moment."
Dwayne Lawhorn added 10 for Germantown. Joe Sherburne scored 13 for Bay. The Warhawks host Nicolet (3-12, 0-8) on Tuesday and Cedarburg at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Steve Showalter said the Warhawks have responded well since their loss to Brookfield Central on Jan. 14 and was proud of their performance in the face of adversity this particular night.
"That was a tough week for us with Brookfield Central," he said. "We had a strong week of practice. I told the guys to read the front of their jersey. This is Germantown basketball. When you wear that jersey, you represent everything it stands for.
"...This was a huge victory for us tonight."
— With additional reporting by Steven L. Tietz
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