Germantown caps undefeated season with Div 1 title
But when Showalter was asked how he felt after he and his undefeated Germantown team captured the WIAA Division 1 boys' basketball state championship with a 72-69 victory over Milwaukee King, the senior guard perked up immediately.
"This is the best feeling I've ever felt in my life," said Showalter, who scored a game-high 22 points. "We've worked so hard for this. So many practices since we were in fifth grade, so much sweat, so much blood, so (many) battles. (For) all 15 of us, this is a dream come true. We've been thinking about this our whole lives. To be sitting here, this is remarkable."
Germantown (28-0) survived a frantic finish to claim its first title in three state tournament appearances.
Germantown held a 67-61 lead with 1 minute to play in the game following a pair of free throws by Showalter, but King (24-2) twice closed to within a point in the final 60 seconds, eventually trimming its deficit to 70-69 on a basket by senior forward Arroyo Edwards with 9 seconds remaining.
But Germantown senior guard Josh Mongan answered by sinking a pair of free throws with 6.9 seconds left to extend the lead to 72-69. King, which was seeking its third state title since 2003, had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but 3-pointers by Anthony Hatfield and Nic Stokes were both off the mark.
"When that first three went up I was praying in my mind that it was going to be long or miss or short or something," said Germantown junior center Luke Fischer, who finished with 19 points. "But after that ball tipped around a little bit I thought the buzzer was going to go off, I thought the six seconds were up. But when I saw whoever it was shoot up that desperation three my heart just stopped for a second. Thank god that buzzer sounded and thank god that ball missed."
Edwards finished with a team-high 18 points. Junior guard Austin Malone-Mitchell added 16 points for Milwaukee King, which finished the season 24-2.
"Extremely tough loss, extremely tough," King coach Jim Gosz said. "I just feel for my kids. I mean, they worked their tail off all year and they're just crushed. Absolutely crushed."