If it looks like a Germantown boys basketball team, plays like a Germantown boys basketball team and gets the same emphatic results the Warhawks have been getting the last five years, then it must be...
In 2015-16, yes, it must.
A packed house at Concordia University in Mequon waited anxiously for the rematch of last season's WIAA D1 state championship game between Point and Germantown in the penultimate game of the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout on Dec. 30. Point was ranked first in state and the Warhawks second.
The crowd was waiting for any reason to explode, for a dynamic, high-scoring game that was going to be decided by a series of spectacular plays with just seconds to go.
But the immensely-talented defending state champion Panthers, who denied Germantown a fourth straight WIAA title with a 67-51 decision last March, absolutely silenced the crowd and made the event as exciting as waiting for the bus at the end of a long work day.
They stunned the Warhawks with what looked like a very Germantown-like 20-4 start as Point all-state guard Trev Anderson, who might only be the third-most talented player on this absurdly top-heavy roster, made shooting look like it was as easy as throwing a pebble into a lake from a pier, with 20 first-half points, including the Panthers' final 10.
It was 40-22 at the break and reached an absolutely astounding 54-25 margin with 14:10 remaining. Point was long, fluid and dynamic, using its length to block shots, create turnovers and generally make life miserable for the Warhawks.
Remember, this was happening to Germantown, a team that had a 133-5 record from 2011-2015 (.964 winning percentage); the team of state championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014; a team, which in large chunks of all of those seasons, was used to being on the opposite side of what Point was doing to them this evening.
That the score was as close as 77-64 at the end came largely as a result because Panther coach Scott Anderson called off the dogs and starting pulling starters with about four minutes to go up 25 and because Warhawk all-state guard Juwan McCloud hit three straight 3-pointers toward the end.
Warhawk coach Mark Adams was not overly upset by what happened. In fact, he didn't act surprised at all.
'They showed what a great team looks like,' he said. 'We're trying to get there.
'We'd hit a couple of shots, get inside, get a little something going, and then they'd go on a run.'
Just like Germantown used to do.
The Panthers, who won their 37th straight game, improved to 9-0 on the season. All the more impressive, they were playing their third game in four days, having beaten good Muskego and Sauk Prairie squads in their own Sentry Classic on Dec. 27 and 28, and looked fresh as daisies.
Trev Anderson finished with 31 as Joey Hauser had 21 and Sam Hauser 14. McCloud finished with 26 points for Germantown, while Max Keefe had 12 and Conner Edmonds 10.
Scott Anderson knew what happened here this night.
'We have real respect for them (Germantown),' he said. 'We knew that this would be a challenge, that they have a lot of good players. It was just our night tonight. They'll have a great season.'
As will the Panthers, who now bear the burden of being the prohibitive favorite for another state title come March.
'After the first day of practice, we didn't talk much about last year,' said Anderson. '... The challenge ahead of us is to get better still because we have a lot of good teams left on our schedule. This is a very mature team.. They understand what we have and want to maximize this thing and take it as far as we can go.'
So do the Warhawks. They are 7-2 overall, having lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009-10. But they are still 4-0 in North Shore play and will host Cedarburg (4-0, 8-2) in a critical league contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8.
Adams and his staff's task is to make sure this team knows it still has much to play for. He liked the defensive effort much more than that in Germantown's loss to Arrowhead on Dec. 22, and he liked that the team continued to play through right until the end.
'Collectively, all 14 (players) have to get after it on both ends of the floor,' he said. 'We've played nine games, and only two of them have been at home. We'll take a couple of days off, rest up and be ready to go.'