Moving on and adjusting, Germantown boys post two routs
Smiles are returning after suspensions
Making adjustments to its new reality, the Germantown boys basketball team found both character and success last week in routs of Nicolet (88-37) and Cedarburg (84-34).
The Warhawks still have the cloud of the arrests and citations for alleged drug use for players Lamonté and Brian Bearden, Dearionte Hudson and Lamont Christian hanging over them. The four are currently suspended for violation of the athletic code but will likely return before the end of the regular season. Criminal proceedings are also pending.
Since then, coach Steve Showalter has looked to co-captains Jake Showalter (his son), Evan Wesenberg and Jon Averkamp for leadership both on and off the court and has inserted sophomore Juwan McCloud into the starting point guard role, and junior forward Dwayne Lawhorn into the other vacant starting slot.
"We're putting things together with duct tape and bailing wire," coach Showalter said.
The previously very deep lineup still goes about a comfortable eight strong, he said, though guard depth is precariously thin at this point as both Beardens were starting backcourt players and Hudson was the first guard off the bench.
The second-ranked Warhawks are currently 17-1 overall and 11-0 in North Shore Conference play. They had a high level nonconference game against 2013 WIAA State D2 runner-up Wisconsin Lutheran on Tuesday (see GermantownNOW.com for details) and host Grafton in a North Shore tilt at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Team is healing
"The glass is getting closer to half-full," he said. "We're healing a bit. We were actually able to have a little fun last week, not just going by the scores but by the way we played. Different kids have risen to the occasion and we're actually seeing smiles on their faces.
Coach Showalter said that it's actually a little like where the team was before the state championships, winning streaks and all the hype that went with all that got in the way.
"I think the whole streak (which ended at 69 with a loss to top-ranked Brookfield Central), the whole point of having to be the best, took a toll on everybody, " he said. "We've taken a few punches here and now we're getting back to where we started. Practicing hard, playing hard.
"Stuff that made Germantown basketball what it is."
The four suspended players are still practicing with the team (and doing a great deal of running afterward). Coach Showalter said that the rest of the team is working hard trying to handle the internal fallout of the whole affair.
"They're dealing with stuff," he said.
He said that people like junior guard Brian Studer (combined 27 points in the two wins last week) and Kyle Theis have stepped up off the bench. McCloud, the sophomore transfer from Falls who missed part of the season with a foot injury, has been "incredible," the coach said.
"He's filled a huge void (at point)," coach Showalter said. "He's shown great leadership and he's really played with a lot of poise and smarts."
Lawhorn has also gotten better and better with every game, Showalter added.
The coach also praised his son.
Captains step up
Jake Showalter had been in a mini-slump in the three games before the arrests, but has averaged more than 24 points a game and has been an internal rock in the three games since then.
"He's been tremendous both on and off the court," coach and dad said. "He's taken over the team....There hasn't been a real strong vocal leader on this team (so far) but it has been a pleasant surprise (since the arrests) with him and the other captains (Wesenberg and Averkamp)."
The team has also been very generous on the court, too, the coach said, as the Warhawks had 20 assists or more in each of the wins last week.
"There's been a lot of sharing of the ball," coach Showalter said. "Everyone gets a touch. It makes it better out there. When everyone is touching the ball numerous times, good things can happen."
In last Friday's rout of Cedarburg, Jake Showalter had 23 points to lead all scorers while Wesenberg had 18, Averkamp 16, Studer 13 and McCloud eight.
The game with Nicolet had been postponed from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30 due to another cold day (the second time the game had been postponed). It didn't matter, as the score was 51-23 at the half.
Jake Showalter had 28 points, while Wesenberg had 23, Studer 14 and Lawhorn 11.
Coach Showalter said life goes on.
"The basketball community around here is pretty positive, pretty tight-knit," he said. "We're more like a family. Every once in a while, families make mistakes, and, like most families, we deal with things and then move on."
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