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Germantown girls set records in keeping share of NSC lead

Lutheran, Grafton routed in basketball

Feb. 9, 2014

Getting closer to the promised land of that first conference title in 40 years, the Germantown girls basketball team took care of business last week by routing both Milwaukee Lutheran (80-26) and Grafton (70-42).

With the two wins, the Warhawks maintained their share of the North Shore lead at 10-1, same as Whitefish Bay, and improved to 14-4 overall. They had a high-intensity nonconference game against area rival and state-ranked Kettle Moraine Lutheran on Tuesday and now host Nicolet in a league contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"We played pretty good basketball for the most part," Warhawks coach Matt Stuve said. "These were teams we expected to beat and we did. Against Grafton, we didn't get off to the greatest start (10 turnovers in the first half), but then we started kicking it in after that.

"We talk about playing a consistent 32 minutes. We had 10 turnovers in that first half, but then only three in the second. We just want the kids to focus, to be consistent."

There are three games left on the conference schedule for both Bay and Germantown. Bay still has to host current third place and defending league champion Cedarburg on Friday and Stuve and the rest of the Warhawks will be watching that game closely.

For Stuve and the team, it's a clear road now if they want to win that elusive league title.

"We don't want to be worried about who we're playing," Stuve said. "We know there's a bigger picture at stake here, a conference championship. We just have to focus on what we have to do to get better."

It was only 13-9 at the quarter against Grafton on Friday, but by the end of the half, the Warhawks had increased that to 39-18. From there, Germantown coasted home.

A total of 13 players scored for the Warhawks as senior guard Erika Berry had 14 points to lead the team. She also hit three 3-pointers on the night to break teammate Taylor Higginbotham's single season 3-point basket record with 39 (Higginbotham's record was 38 and she currently has 31 3=pointers herself this season).

Paige Groth and Bridget Kelley had 10 points apiece as Higginbotham contributed nine and Miska Cantley eight.

All told, Germantown hit 11 3-pointers in the contest with seven different players draining at least one apiece.

Against Lutheran on Feb. 4, the Warhawks had an easy time of it, leading 20-4 at the quarter and never looking back. They may have set some kind of unofficial state record when 16 players scored in the contest as Groth and Higginbotham had 10 apiece, Berry nine and Kelley eight.

Higginbotham had six steals and reserve Kelli Paluch five steals to help out.

"Not a lot of teams even keep 16 players, so it was great that we were able to give everyone an opportunity," Stuve said of the Warhawks' highly democratic scoring ways. "Kids who don't normally get in got a chance to show their stuff and show that they can play at our tempo."

He also praised the effort of Paluch, who is a backup for regulars like Higginbotham and Amy Flasch.

"But every time we put her in (Paluch), she hits a three," Stuve said. "She doesn't get a lot of minutes, but she's hitting something like 41 percent of her threes (nine for 22). We're just getting a lot of great contributions from people like her."

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