Why not us? Why not tonight?
Like many Germantown opponents have been thinking the last two seasons, Friday night in Whitefish Bay, the home Blue Dukes inquired once again if they could be the ones to end the Germantown winning streak. After all, the Blue Dukes are certainly familiar with the Warhawks, having accounted for several notches in the 58-game run prior to this latest battle, and Whitefish Bay hung with a tough Milwaukee King squad just last week.
Unfortunately for the Blue Dukes, the answers given by Germantown were familiar ones as senior guard Lamonte' Bearden led the Warhawks past Whitefish Bay, 80-72. Bearden, a University of Buffalo recruit, scored 29 and was the catalyst in a first-quarter run that cemented Germantown's 59th consecutive win. Brother Brian Bearden isn't too shabby either, helping out with 22 points of his own.
Whitefish Bay held an early 3-point lead before Germantown scored 16 unanswered, including two dunks (on four attempts). Lamonte' Bearden seemed to flip a switch during the run, becoming instantly more assertive and marking 15 tallies in the first quarter alone, giving Germantown a 27-17 lead. The multiple dunk attempts weren't exactly what Germantown coach Steve Showalter wants all the time, but he recognized the fact the plays sparked an important run.
"If we could stuff the ball better, it wouldn't be so bad, but we do want to make runs, and it did help," Showalter said. "Sometimes one or two runs in a game like this are enough, and we needed them to be able to hold these guys off.
"It's never fun to play at Whitefish Bay and I'm never surprised at how difficult it is when we come here."
When the Warhawks tried to run further away to start the second quarter, it was junior guard Isaiah Johnson who finally stemmed the tide with a 3-point basket four minutes into the period after Germantown led by as many as 14 points. Johnson's nine second-quarter points kept the Blue Dukes within 11 points at halftime.
A trio of buckets to open the second half pushed the Warhawks lead to a game-high 18 points before Whitefish Bay would again answer. The Blue Dukes' leading scorer on the early season, junior Miles Sigh, finally cracked the score sheet with five straight points and Germantown led just 58-51 after three quarters. The spark from Sigh along with a spirited fourth quarter just wasn't enough to claw back into the game for the Blue Dukes.
"You never say there are moral victories, but I was glad to see us battle back from down big and we were right there at the end," Whitefish Bay coach Kevin Lazovik said. "We believe that we can compete with anyone and we will go toe to toe with anyone."
With early-season loses to King and now Germantown, Lazovik spoke of what it has been like playing such a difficult early schedule.
"You want to test yourself and see how you stack up against the best, and those are two great squads," Lazovik said.
Germantown is now three wins shy of the 62-game winning streak put together by Whitefish Bay Dominican from 1977-80, believed to be the state record.
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