Top-ranked Germantown has to work hard to subdue never-say-die Port boys’ team
David didn’t slay Goliath in the Port Washington High School gym last Friday, but at least he gave the giant a few good blows.
For the host Pirates, not flinching and playing hard against Germantown, the state’s top-ranked Division 1 boys’ basketball team, provided a measure of satisfaction.
“I am extremely pleased with the effort we gave,” Port coach Brian Hebein said after his squad fell to the Warhawks, 71-45, in a North Shore Conference game.
“The energy level for our guys was really high. We told them before the game that it isn’t too often they get to face the No. 1 team in the state, and they should make the most of it. They did.”
Although Germantown never trailed while improving its season record to 8-0 and NSC mark to 6-0, the Pirates made things interesting, especially in the first half.
Slowing the pace against a foe that has averaged 83 points per game and topped the century mark twice this season, Port trailed by only 16-11 after one quarter and by 20-13 midway through the second period.
Guards Joey Burbach and Tay Jackson helped keep the Pirates within striking distance by scoring seven and six points, respectively, in the first half.
However, the Warhawks used their big front line — anchored by 7-foot center Luke Fischer — to take control. Applying steady full-court pressure, they outscored Port, 17-7, in the final four minutes of the half to take a 37-20 lead into intermission.
Much of Germantown’s first-half offense came from guard LaMonte Bearden (12 points) and forward Jonathan Averkamp (11).
“Germantown has such a big front line, and we knew they would press us,” Hebein said. “But we handled it pretty well and were able to slow the tempo. That was our plan, to keep things as close as possible.
“For most of the game, the tempo was exactly where we wanted it to be.”
The Pirates’ comeback hopes faded in the third quarter. Germantown used a 16-6 run to build a 46-26 lead by the end of the period, and Port never got any closer.
The Warhawks showed much of the same depth that helped them go undefeated and win a state title last season. Averkamp and Bearden each finished with 18 points, and Fischer added 13.
Burbach led Port with 18 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Jackson had 13 points.
The loss was the Pirates’ eighth straight, dropping them to 0-6 in the conference and 2-9 overall. However, Hebein was impressed enough with his players to believe they may have turned the corner.
“If we get that kind of effort every game, the wins are going to come,” he said. “I think our players are starting to believe in themselves.”
Sheboygan North 79, Port Washington 53
A barrage of long-range scoring buried the Pirates in a nonconference road loss Dec. 18.
North, which made 12 three-point baskets, raced to a 25-15 lead by the end of the first quarter. The margin ballooned to 48-25 by halftime.
Ethan Guske led the Golden Raiders with 26 points, including five threes. Davis Larson added 21 points.
None of the Pirates scored in double figures. Sam Weiland led them with nine points, and Burbach had eight.
“Sheboygan North made everything they took,” Hebein said. “They were hitting threes from everywhere.”
Port’s next outing will be Friday, Dec. 28, when it faces Hortonville in a 1:20 p.m. game at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Kress Center.
The contest will be part of the Sundrop Classic holiday tournament.
THERE WAS LITTLE ROOM for Port Washington’s Tay Jackson to move when he found himself surrounded by Germantown’s Luke Fischer (left) and Dearionte Hudson during a North Shore Conference game last Friday. Jackson scored 13 points in Port’s loss. Photo by Sam Arendt