by Dave Boehler
Beacon Sports Editor
Snow, apparently, is the only thing that could keep Josh Govek from becoming South’s all-time leading boys basketball scorer.
Govek was expected to break Gordy Zastrow’s record that stood since 1977 on Tuesday, but games across the area were snowed out.
That was fine with the junior, however, who bruised his tailbone in the previous game and said he would have been playing at 50 percent.
“So when it was cancelled, I was kind of happy about it,” he said. “But it was also another three days of being anxious and just waiting to get it done with. It was kind of hard because I was thinking about it a lot. It’s just something that I wanted to do for everyone, so I just wanted to get it done and have everyone happy.”
It got done Friday, as Govek needed 13 points to set the record but finished with 32 in the Redwings’ 67-55 victory over visiting Green Bay Notre Dame.
“It’s a nice honor, but I think it’s kind of a relief it’s done so I can focus on winning more and the rest of the season,” Govek said.
South snapped its four-game losing streak to improve to 3-7 in the Fox River Classic Conference (4-9 overall). Marcell Drone added 14 points to go with 12 rebounds and Lars Krugel contributed eight points, but the night belonged to Govek.
He was honored before the game at center court.
Standing with his parents and former head coaches at South, Govek was presented a commemorate ball by his current coach, Jesse Shaw.
“There’s a lot of unselfishness and toughness packed in a short body for Josh,” Shaw said. “For him to get this his junior year, to be the all-time leading scorer, that’s quite an accomplishment. Especially at 5-8, 150 pounds. So you look and you think, ‘well how does that happen?’
“Physical toughness that he has, his mental toughness, his quickness, and other teammates certainly setting screens for him and doing things that help him get open and flourish.”
Playing in front of at least nine other relatives, Govek broke the record in the first half.
There was a little over 2 minutes remaining when Govek dribbled the ball at the top of the key, went to his right and drilled a pull-up jumper from the side of the free-throw line.
It put Govek ahead of Zastrow, the current coach at Manitowoc Lutheran, who finished with 1,054 points.
“Coach kind of said (at halftime), ‘let’s win this for Josh, it’s his night and we should really focus on that,’” Govek said. “That meant a lot.”
Govek finished the night with a total of 1,074 points after shooting 8 for 19 from the floor and 15 for 17 from the free-throw line to go with three rebounds and three assists.
Notre Dame, which fell to 1-10 and 2-13, also watched Govek score 30 points in a 74-69 loss to the Redwings on Dec. 11.
Triton coach A.J. Alexander says Govek’s versatility is the best way to describe him.
“He can explode off the dribble and take it to the rim, he can stop and pop on a dime to take a jumper, and if you give him enough room, he’ll hit a three,” Alexander said. “It’s hard to guard a guy that has all three weapons.”
Govek’s varsity coach when he was a freshman was Mike Rank, who saw him in a summer league shortly before high school began and noticed how he made everyone else on the team better.
“I think as a freshman, that really says a lot about who he was as a player,” Rank said. “His ability to handle the pressure from other teams and have poise as a freshman that most other freshmen don’t have.”
Govek made all-conference last season and was the only sophomore in the league to do so.
This year, he leads the Fox River Classic in scoring with an average of 23.8 points per game.
Shaw says Govek is a quick player who uses his speed and strength to create a great mid-range pull-up jumper.
“He’s so quick, he can step back and shoot the mid-range jumper, and he can also get all the way to the rack,” Shaw said. “Like (Friday), when he scores, it’s two pointers. A lot of mid-range (shots) and (dribbling) all the way to the hole. He’s the floor general out there and he’s able to break any kind of press. He’s almost virtually unpressable by himself to bring it up the court, and then he’s so quick, he’s able to get to his spots.”
His coach also likes how Govek shares the ball.
“That doesn’t always go hand in hand when you score a ton of points,” Shaw said. “He does look for teammates, and he’s one of our leaders and captains this year.”
Sheboygan South junior Josh Govek hits a shot Friday to become the school’s all-time leading scorer, passing the old mark of 1054 pts set in ’77 (Gordy Zastrow) #wisbb