MADISON, Wis. –
It's the only word to describe the Germantown (Wis.)
boys basketball team's run the last two seasons.
Germantown, No. 2 in the latest MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings
, didn't bury Mukwonago (Wis.)
in the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 championship game until the second half Saturday night, but cruised to a 57-28 victory at the Kohl Center.
The Warhawks (28-0) have now won 56 straight games and haven't felt the sting of defeat in nearly two calendar years. Their last loss was March 15, 2011.
"It's been a long journey, a long march to get here. Once we did it once, it was much more difficult to do it again," Germantown coach Steve Showalter said.
The 14th-year head coach is proud of his program getting so much recognition nationwide after having two phenomenal seasons.
"To be ranked in the country, that's unbelievable for whatever I would have dreamed for my team and my program and that's such a tribute to what we've done to build this thing," Showalter said.
Germantown scored more than 100 points in three games this season and 90 on three more occasions. However, the Warhawks were held to 24 points less than their season average in the title game.
"We're used to scoring 80 points and our guys were sitting on the bench and not making shots, and we won," Showalter said. "I can't even explain what happened. Defense, which we don't practice very much, our defense really came through for us, I guess because the offensive side was not a thing of beauty whatsoever."
Germantown outscored its opponents on the season on average 80.5-47.2. In more dominating fashion, it downed 26 of 28 teams by double digits.
The Warhawks' first-half performance wasn't so dominating, however. They scored just 25 points and were up by seven points at the break.
University of Indiana signee Luke Fischer
, who was named the tournament MVP and also Mr. Basketball for the state of Wisconsin, scored 11 points in the opening half as the 7-footer took control in the paint.
"Being the only one coming back and having experience in this type of game, I think I was kind of a necessity for me to set the pace for us," Fischer said. "They were pushing around and playing hard in the post. It was tougher to get the ball in there."
Fischer, who tallied 32 points and 16 rebounds in a state semifinal victory over Oshkosh North on Friday, finished with 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting, seven rebounds and two blocks. Brian Beardon
added 10 points off the bench for the Warhawks.
Mukwonago (23-5) trailed 29-22 midway through the third quarter, but Germantown went on a 7-0 spurt thanks to a 3-pointer from Dearionte Hudson
to take a 14-point edge into the final eight minutes.
"We were finally able to make some headway in the second half and were able to grind through it," Showalter said. "Teams play us all different ways every game and we've found ways to fight through every different style and that definitely was a style."
Germantown had a tough time against the physical Mukwonago players as the Indians cut their deficit to 10, 38-28, with 5 minutes, 23 seconds remaining. Mukwonago didn't score the rest of the way as Germantown went on a 19-0 run.
Mukwonago hit just three field goals in the second half and shot 21 percent (9-for-43) from the field for the game.
"I just feel like we kept missing shot after shot and all the guys would be crashing the boards and their guys were just in the right position at the right time and the ball would just land in their hands. We shot awful," said Mukwonago guard Dominic Cizauskas
, who had eight points and nine rebounds.
Winning back-to-back state titles and not losing in his final two years in high school is something that Fischer will cherish when he heads to play for Big Ten power Indiana.
"There's no better way ending my senior year with another gold ball, not losing a game in two years and I wouldn't have it any other way," Fischer said.
Said Showalter: "I don't know if I ever want to lose again because winning is just so much sweeter."
In Division 2, Pulaski (Milwaukee)
(24-4) won its first state title in a 48-40 triumph over Wisconsin Lutheran (Milwaukee)
, led by Cody Wichmann
with 17 points. Wisconsin Lutheran's Deiondre Cunningham
scored a game-high 19 points.Aquinas (La Crosse)
captured its second Division 3 championship in three years by holding off a late comeback from Lodi
to win, 53-48. University of Wisconsin recruit Bronson Koenig
had 16 points and five assists for Aquinas.Dominican (Whitefish Bay)
completed back-to-back Division 4 state titles by handling Auburndale
, 57-44. Dominican (24-4) – which lost to Germantown 88-53 in the regular season – was led by Marquette University signee Duane Wilson Jr.
, with 26 points. Five-star recruit for the Class of 2015 Diamond Stone
added 22 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks.Randolph
took home its third Division 5 title in the past four years by downing Northeastern Wisconsin Lutheran (Green Bay)
, 48-42. Kyle Roberts
had a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds for Randolph.