MADISON - Oshkosh North had the unenviable task Friday night of taking on Germantown, which has looked pretty much untouchable this season as it was riding a 54-game winning streak.
Despite a 23-3 season, North was a decided underdog, but with that it also had no pressure of living up to expectations.
The Spartans hoped the lack of pressure would help them out in a Division 1 boys basketball state semifinal, but it didn't. The Warhawks displayed their dominance with a fast start and are on track for a second straight state title with an 80-60 win over North at the Kohl Center.
"First of all, we knew it was going to be a steep hill to climb," Oshkosh North coach Frank Schade said. "We thought we might get by if we had them beat us from the outside, we just didn't know (Jake) Showalter would get that hot. He really shot the ball well.
"They were the better team. They were big strong. I like the way we battled."
The game started with both teams playing fast and well on offense. After one quarter, Germantown led, 22-20, but the second quarter was a different story.
The Warhawks blitzed the Spartans with a 30-12 second-quarter run to lead 52-32 as 7-footer Luke Fischer (19 points and 10 rebounds) and Showalter (18 points on six 3-pointers) put on a show.
"They have size that we don't have in our area," Neveau said. "They're a very good team. They have good guards. They don't have a glaring weakness on their team."
Germantown's pace appeared to overwhelm North, like it does to every team it plays. Could North have played a more patient style to slow down the Warhawks?
North never thought to change its style. It reached state with its aggressive nature and that wasn't going to change.
"If we lose, we lose, we're not going to change the way we play," Schade said. "To slow it down, that's not the way we want to play."
"We want to get after them right away, not take a backseat to them," Neveau said. "We wanted to play our game and not let them dictate how we play."
Not to be lost in the game was North's top three scorers played solid. Sophomore Blake Marquardt scored 17 off the bench, while Neveau added 15 and Cooper Radtke 11.
"I thought they did play well," Schade said. "They played like seniors play and we got them all back next year. Those three played this way all year for us."
Germantown hasn't lost since March 15, 2011, an overtime loss to Appleton East in a "Super Tuesday" game. The winning streak is at 55 games, the 20-point loss was North's largest defeat of the season and the 80 points were the most surrendered.
Nonetheless, North was not hanging its head after the loss. It knows it could return to Madison next season with losing just two players and also having two return from injury.
"It's nice to be coming back," Neveau said. "We do have another year … and maybe make another run to get back here."
- 3-pointers: Germantown outscored North, 40-20, in the paint. … Fischer scored 32 points, hauled down 16 rebounds and blocked six shots. … Showalter scored 21 points and tied a record with seven 3-pointers in a D1 state game.
- Game ball: Neveau, who showed no fear and played a good floor game.
- Numbers game: 18 Points Germantown outscored North by in the second quarter.
For a complete boxscore, click on link: http://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Results/Basketball_Boys/2013/d1game1.html
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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