Just as he did at Germantown about 20 years ago, first-year Menomonee Falls boys basketball coach Steve Showalter wants to bring energy and excitement back to the Indian gym.
After winning their second road game in as many tries with an impressive 81-61 triumph over Fond du Lac on Nov. 29 and then traveling to Watertown on Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Indians and Showalter will finally get a chance to demonstrate their wares before the home folks at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, when they open their Greater Metro Conference season against returning state tournament qualifier Marquette.
"I'm really interested in that first home game," he said. "There's a lot of excitement being built among the staff, the students and the community. I can't guarantee a packed house (like Germantown had for much of a decade when he was there), but it'll just be good to show everybody what we can do.
"Marquette's been in the back of our minds for awhile. We're not looking past Watertown, but it'll just be fun to be back at home. The guys are flying around and working hard. I hope everyone enjoys it."
The Indians fill follow that up with a GMC road game on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at West Allis Hale.
As in the opener against Hartford the previous week, the Indians kept it entertaining in the game at Fond du Lac. They got out to a 5- to-10-point lead early on and then just kept expanding it, eventually earning a 44-27 advantage at the break.
The lead got up to 27-28 points in the second half, as Showalter liberally substituted.
"I think we've pretty sure now that we can go 10 or so deep every game," he said. "We've got our rotation down the way we want it. I'm even subbing five at a time occasionally ala Matt Stuve (the Germantown girls coach). Sometimes that idea works, and sometimes it doesn't, but we want to keep the pressure on the other team and be fresh at the end of the game."
Again, as in the 101-point effort against Hartford, Falls had tremendous balance against Fondy as 11 players made the box score.
Cross Wilson led the way with 15 points, while Nate Schuster had 11, and Trevon Williams and Matt Henningsen had 10 apiece. Justin Gruber also added eight.
"The effort has been really, really good," said Showalter. "Our leading scorers the other night were not our leading scorers tonight, and I don't even think the guys really care who is on any given night. I've also seen that we have a lot of guys who can play multiple positions.
"I really don't think foul trouble will bother us much this year."
Though Showalter said he is working to keep the 6-5, 260-pound future Wisconsin football star Henningsen happy.
"We have one big man and something like 15 guards on our team," said Showalter with a laugh. "You can really tell when he's in the game. He gets every rebound he's near and always gives it everything he's got."