The energy was there. The fight was there.
But on Jan. 11, a late-game scoring drought by the Kettle Moraine boys basketball team was just too much for the Lasers to overcome.
Hosting Germantown in a nonconference game, KM did not score a single point in the game's final 3:42 and ended up falling to the Warhawks, 72-61. Germantown (4-7) scored the game's final 11 points in the last three minutes.
The loss dropped KM to 2-7 on the season. The Lasers will play two more games this week. At 7 p.m. Jan. 13, they host Waukesha West, and at 5 p.m. Jan. 14, they host No. 2 ranked Kimberly (8-0). On Monday, Jan. 16, the Lasers will play at Waukesha South.
Things didn't look good for Kettle Moraine when they fell behind by 9 points (55-46) with 9:56 to play. But KM battled back as Michael Payant, Jack Knuth, Ben Psicihulis and Nick Dahmen all scored to get the Lasers within 61-58. And when Psicihulis nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 3:43 to play, the game was tied at 61.
But that basket by Psicihulis turned out to be the Lasers' final points of the night. Five missed shots and three turnovers plagued KM down the stretch as Germantown put the game away with some outstanding free-throw shooting.
"I can't fault our energy or our focus," said KM coach Brad Bestor. "We had some bad stretches, and that hurt us. We also had some good stretches that kept us in the game. But tonight, we had too many bad ones. Our guys will always keep fighting. It's just a matter of not turning the ball over. It killed us."
Psicihulis had one of his best offensive games of the season, firing in a team-high 16 points. Others chipping in were Payant with 12, Dahmen 9 and Ben Wellenstein and Knuth with 7 each.
Germantown was led by high scoring senior forward Kyle Clow, who had 21 points. He came into the game as the 10th leading scorer in southeastern Wisconsin averaging 23.8 points per game.
Senior center Ethan Meyer had a big game as well for the Warhawks. He chipped in with 19 tallies. He made 11 straight free throws at one stretch in the second half.
Fouls also were a problem for the Lasers. Germantown was in the bonus with 11:06 remaining in the game. For the night, KM got outscored from the charity stripe by a 25-8 margin.
"You can't have silly fouls like we did tonight," Bestor added. "What we have to do is keep working hard and try to get better."
There were nine lead changes in the first half when Germantown scored the final 7 points of the half to lead at the intermission, 35-31. KM never led in the second half and fell behind by as many as 9 points two different times before the final Germantown surge.
The Lasers shot the ball well enough to win, sinking 23 of 51 shots for 45 percent. Germantown shot 47 percent for the game.
KM was guilty of 19 turnovers, committing 10 of those in the first half. The Lasers also converted just 2 of 7 foul shots in the opening half.