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Stretching the team out after the frustrating opening-night loss to Milwaukee Hamilton on Nov. 29 did the Germantown boys basketball squad some good as the Warhawks earned first-year coach Steve Martin his first win when they overpowered Nicolet, 77-68, in their North Shore Conference lid-lifter on Dec. 2.

"I'm just happy for the kids, happy they got this win," said Martin. "We did a better job getting deeper into our bench, of getting into our style (up-tempo) of play. It allowed us to get a little more air into lungs at the end of the game. Kids like Nick Loberger and Jonathan Wizner got more time, and that really helped."

The seven-time North Shore Conference champion Warhawks evened their overall record at 1-1 with the win. They took on Wisconsin Lutheran on Dec. 6 and then will host border rival Homestead and its new coach Sean Crider at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. The Highlanders dropped a close decision tor Grafton in their North Shore opener on Dec. 2.

"It was a good second game for us," Martin said. "Now we've got to get back to work."

The Warhawks won the tempo battle against the Knights (2-2 overall), who have a more defensive mindset under new coach Allan Hanson. Germantown broke out to a 40-32 lead at the half and then was able to keep Nicolet at arm's-length the rest of the game. They were also able to induce a little foul trouble in Nicolet and thereby earned an advantage at the foul line (21-of-32 for Germantown as opposed to 8-of-16 for the Knights). Martin said the lead was never comfortable but also noted the Warhawks never lost the advantage.

Germantown had good balance as senior post Kyle Clow scored 27 points to lead the way. Forward Luke Taylor had 15, Bryce Thomas 13 and Rand Johnson 9. Post Jamari Sibley led Nicolet with 19.

"The Nicolet kids worked very hard and really made us earn this," Martin said. "They got the lead in single digits late, and we took a timeout, and then we were able to stretch out our lead again. I was very proud of the kids. We ran our tempo, and we were able to accomplish the things we wanted to. I was also pleased with the second group. We got to use a lot of the bench, and they did well."

As for keeping a game ball for his first varsity coaching win, Martin just laughed and said, "Heck no, we got too much work to do," he said.

For details on the Hamilton game, go to GermantownNow.com

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