For a short time "amazing" was the only word that Germantown junior guard Zack Kumbier could come up with to describe the flowing, breathing, and literally flying scoring machine that was the Warhawks' 36-point explosion in the first quarter against North Shore rival Nicolet Friday night.
But then Kumbier found a few more things to say.
"When you're running up and down the floor like that, everyone working as one, it just feels great," he said after the Warhawks' 87-59 rout of the Knights. "Things like that are almost unheard of, so you've got to take advantage of them when you can."
Kumbier, one of four guards in the starting line-up for coach Steve Showalter this night, was one of four players in double figures with 10 points as the Warhawks, along with some help from Whitefish Bay beating Homestead this night, emerged from this week with a two-game lead in the North Shore.
Germantown, the defending NSC co-champ, beat Cedarburg Tuesday night and is now 5-0 in league play and 12-1 overall while Nicolet fell to 3-2 and 7-4, respectively.
"Our number one goal is to win this league," said Showalter. "When we talk about goals at the beginning of the season, this is the first one, because this is a tough league. It's always a good goal to have."
"This was easily our best game all year," he added. "This looked like the game we can play when everything is working well. Like one of those really good games we've had in the past few years (when the Warhawks won or shared three North Shore titles in four seasons)."
"We've improved big time in the last week or so."
The irony of Germantown scoring 36 points in the first quarter, 59 for the half (it was 59-28 at the break), and hitting a ridiculous 11 three-pointers in the first 16 minutes less than a week after being shut out in the second quarter by De Pere, was not lost on Showalter.
That the basket appeared bigger than Lake Michigan to the Warhawks was no more evident than in the closing seconds of the first half, as point guard Josh Mongan drove the lane and had his shot blocked.
The ball bounced to reserve guard Brian Keller out on the wing, who calmly drained the last of those first session three-balls just as the buzzer sounded.
"You can't predict that you'll ever hit 11 threes in a half," Showalter said. "The zero we had in a quarter (against De Pere last week) I know is a record and this 36 may also be a record too."
" ...Like I said, you just can't predict things like that."
Nicolet never got inside of 24 in the second half.
Zak Showalter led 11 Germantown scorers with 21 while Mongan had 14 and Malcolm Bowers 12. Nicolet, which had come off an emotional win over Homestead Tuesday night, was led by Christian Griggs-Williams with 18 while Raheem Lemons had 14 and Corey Smith 12.
For Kumbier, who battled his way into the Warhawk starting line-up this past week with an effective series of practices, it was all in a day's work for himself and the team.
"We play in a tough conference, so for us to get it down pat like we did tonight was just great," he said. "It was a tough loss last week (against De Pere), but now we're back into conference play, working hard in practice and trying to perfect all the things we need to do to be successful."
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