Germantown Now All-Suburban boys basketball player Kyle Clow is a stand-up guy.
He admits his mistakes, accepts the consequences and tries to make amends.
Clow was coming off a career-best 35-point effort in a North Shore Conference rout of Milwaukee Lutheran on Feb. 23.
The Warhawks looked to close the regular season on a good note the next night on Feb. 24 against Kenosha Indian Trail in a nonconference game and then set sail for old rival Homestead the following week in WIAA regional play.
But the Warhawks lost, and members of the team wren't thrilled with the officiating. Clow admits to losing his temper a little bit, and he picked up two technical fouls, which by rule disqualified him from the next game, which just happened to be the Homestead game.
Everyone, including Clow, was dismayed and distressed at the situation. With its best player on the bench, Germantown fell in the rubber match with Homestead to close the season. It will likely be the last game for the Warhawks with their archrivals for a long time as the Warhawks move into the Greater Metro Conference next fall.
First-year coach Steve Martin was saddened by the situation, but as noted, said that Clow was a stand-up guy through the whole week, coming to practice, working hard with the scout team and providing the Warhawks with a good look at what they would face in Homestead.
"He didn't complain; he did his job," said Martin.
Clow admitted he learned a lesson from the situation.
"It's something I'll never forget," he said.
But it didn't completely take the shine off a sensational season for the 6-5 NCAA Division II Michigan Tech recruit. With graduation having taken a big bite out of the North Shore Conference champion and sectional semifinalist squad of a year ago, and with the program's third coach in as many seasons, the Warhawks were going to be in a state of transition.
Clow did his best to ease that transition, earning unanimous first-team All-North Shore Conference honors for the 11-12 Warhawks, who had numerous close games and played an entertaining brand of ball. Clow's selection to the All-Suburban team marks the 11th straight year Germantown has had at least one player named to the squad.
He was a scoring machine at 22.9 points a game in just 20 games; he missed a few games earlier in the season due to illness. He hit 49 percent of his shots and 64 percent of his free throws (75 of 118). He grabbed 136 rebounds (6.8 per game) and had 44 assists and 22 steals.
"He was obviously the most dynamic player we had," said the first-year coach Martin. "He has great athleticism, and his slashing ability allowed him to get to the basket almost anytime he wanted to. He worked a great deal on his shooting in the offseason, and it showed."
It really did.
A dynamic and athletic player, he scored 30 points in a loss to Wisconsin Lutheran, 32 in a rout of Port Washington and 30 in a Jan. 31 win over Homestead. He also had 27 points and 17 rebounds in an early-season win over Nicolet.
Clow was pleased with the character of the team after a rugged and un-Germantown like 2-7 start to the season.
"It was difficult to start that way," he said. "The only other person I really played with on varsity last year was (senior guard) Bryce (Thomas). We really had to work to integrate everyone. We just needed to start playing together and get familiar with one another's likes and dislikes."
He said the team made a good adjustment to Martin, who has been with the Germantown program for several seasons and who kept many aspects of the fast-paced "Showball" philosophy which made the Warhawks a powerhouse in the last decade.
"We've always had high standards around here," he said, "and that's good to have. It means you're always getting everyone's best shot."
Things started to turn around, he said, when the defense started to kick in.
"We hit a little stride when we started to do that," Martin said. "It really helped, because we had started the season so many close losses. Bay Port, (state semifinalist) Brookfield Central, Milwaukee Hamilton. We had a lot of tough teams on our schedule."
The run started in early January, when the Warhawks won nine of 12 games, with the only losses being to Central (a closer-than-it-appeared 77-66 decision), to Nicolet (62-60) and to North Shore champ and state D2 runner-up Cedarburg (65-52).
It got Germantown back closer to the standard to which they were accustomed, and speaking of standards, the Germantown senior class kept its academic standards up. Clow said they averaged a 28 or 29 on the ACT, one of the highest Martin can remember seeing in his time at the school.
Michigan Tech next
With high school behind him, Clow now turns his attentions to collegiate ball. He made his decision on Michigan Tech back in August 2016. He has roots there; his mom is from Houghton, Michigan, where the school is based.
"I liked the academics, the area, the atmosphere, everything," he said. "The team was really nice. They made it feel right for me."
He intends to double major in civil engineering and finance. He said the school sees him as a small forward, so he wants to improve his defense and the range on his 3-point shot.
He leaves behind a Germantown program that has a future with strong underclassmen teams that give the varsity a chance get back to an elite level.
"I feel pretty good about where the program is going," Clow said.