By JASON CLARY Daily News
ASHWAUBENON — As Germantown has become accustomed to, it was playing a meaningful game in March. And as usual, the Warhawks found themselves on the winning end, this time against the Kimberly Papermakers, 66-51, in a Division 1 WIAA sectional final.
It is a rematch of the 2012 state title game. The game started with both defenses flexing its muscles, but it would be Kimberly (17-9) that found itself down early, though not by much.
Germantown elected to test the Papermakers with a full-court press, which forced 12 first-half turnovers. Germantown also had the benefit of going to its bench often to keep players fresh, whereas Kimberly stuck with its five starters for most of the game.
“I assumed that coming in here, they only had six or seven guys that could keep running,” Germantown coach Steve Showalter said. “And my gosh they kept running with us. I wanted to run them out of this gym and make them be bending over grabbing their shorts in the fourth quarter. And to their credit, with six or seven guys, they hung right there with us and that was impressive to me.”
Jon Averkamp said because of the deep bench, he and his teammates were able to stay fresh. To no surprise, Germantown took advantage of its defense, and turned turnovers into transition offense. On the receiving end of that was Lamonte Bearden, who had 13 of his team’s 29 points in the first half. He finished with 17 points.
Despite Germantown’s height advantage, Kimberly was successful early getting rebounds, taking away a part of the Warhawks’ strength.
After being tied at 16 early in the second quarter, Germantown went on a 13-5 run to end the half, putting it up 29-21. “In the first half our offense was not good,” Showalter said. “Our defense is what carried us. That’s the only thing that kept us in it. We’ve got to improve on some things but that is the focus every game — to turn defense into offense.”
Three-point specialist Jake Showalter also got his shot on track. In the previous game against Sussex Hamilton, Showalter’s shot went cold as he scored four points. He started the game cold, but finished with all 15 of his points from 3-point range. He also helped his team build a bigger lead when the Papermakers were forcing Germantown to use the perimeter.
Kimberly was getting tired in the third and fourth quarters, and Germantown took advantage, getting out to a 13-point lead to start the fourth, and had a 62-42 lead with just minutes left in the game. Kimberly’s Austin Weyenberg led all scorers with 20 points, while teammate Tucker Paschen had 15.
Germantown’s Juwan McCloud added 13 points. “If the (opposing) team wants to play fast, we’ll play fast,” Bearden said. “If they want to play slow, we’ll make them play fast.”
Germantown still has some issues to correct, Steve Showalter said, but are the favorites heading to state as the two-time defending champion.
“We’re just going to go up there and have fun,” Bearden said. “If we don’t win, we still feel like we accomplished a lot this season.”
GERMANTOWN 66, KIMBERLY 51 Kimberly............................14 15 15 22 – 66 Germantown.....................10 11 10 20 – 51 Kimberly (51) – Austin Weyenberg 7 2-3 20, Tucker Paschen 6 2-6 15, Ben Boots 3 0-0 8, Travis VanderHyden 2 0-0 4, Jake Johnson 1 1-2 3, Jackson Gibbs 0 1-2 1. Totals – 19 413 51.
Germantown (66) – Lamonte Bearden 5 711 17, Jake Showalter 5 0-0 15, Juwan McCloud 4 4-4 13, Jon Averkamp 4 0-0 8, Evan Wesenberg 2 1-2 5, Dwayne Lawhorn Jr. 1 0-0 3, Brian Bearden 1 1-2 3, Brian Studer 0 1-2 1, Lamonte Christian 0 1-2 1. Totals – 22 15-23 66. Three-pointers – Kimberly 7 (Weyenberg 4, Boots 2, Paschen 1), Germantown 7 (Showalter 5, Lawhorn Jr. 1, McCloud 1). Rebounds – Kimberly 17 (Paschen 6), Germantown 21 (Averkamp 4, Theis 4).
Turnovers – Kimberly 17, Germantown 6. Fouls – Kimberly 20, Germantown 19. Fouled out – Kimberly 1 (Weyenberg).