Get out of town. Get a look at something new. Experience something different.
The Homestead boys basketball team did all three of those things when it headed to the Luke Homan Showcase at Brookfield Central on Jan. 28.
The Highlanders entered with a six-game losing streak but exited with a sense of relief. Thanks to 14 3-pointers, they were able to overpower the Huskies, 94-68.
"Man, oh man, did we need that," said coach Sean Crider. "That was really some slump we went through, but I was really happy with how the kids came to play. It was our third game of the week, but they didn't act like it. We had a good first half against Grafton (in a loss the night before), and that helped give us some confidence.
"We're learning that when we play experienced teams, that a five- or six-possession stretch can really go a long ways towards deciding a game. You've got to have some mental toughness in a situation like that."
Homestead, which lost to Grafton, 70-62, on Jan. 27 and also to nonconference opponent Wisconsin Lutheran, 64-50, on Jan. 24, started the week at 4-4 in North Shore play and 6-9 overall. The Highlanders took on Germantown in quite possibly their last game with their natural rivals for some time on Jan. 31. Germantown is moving into the Greater Metro next season.
They will then visit Milwaukee Lutheran in a North Shore tilt at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3.
The six-game John Chekouras Classic will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, with the Highlanders playing Brown Deer at 6 p.m.
Homestead was feeling good after the Hale win. They went up, 41-27, at the half and then scored an impressive 53 points in the second half to seal the victory.
A total of 11 Highlanders scored, led by Greg Foster Jr. with 20 points. Garrett Mitman had 16, Ryan Waddell 14 and Taejuan Johnson 11.
Crider said Johnson had a sensational game as he finished one assist short of a triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Mitman and Waddell had four 3-pointers each, and a total of seven players hit from long range.
Crider noted Hale was the first team to play a zone against the Highlanders for any extended length of time in a while, and Homestead took advantage of the situation.
"We got good looks, and we hit them," he said. "In the second half, they came out in man, and then Greg (Foster Jr.) got it going, and then we were able to run a bit."
In order to shake things up a little during in the slump, Crider brought in freshman Declan Ciurlik, and he scored 7 points against Hale.
"He's really brought a lot of energy to practice," he said.
And Crider noted he wouldn't mind coming back to Central again after the Highlanders' shooting exhibition.
"I asked coach Wandrey (Central coach Dan), 'Can we come back and play a few more games here?'" he said, laughing.
Realistically, Crider hopes the worst is behind the team now.
"This is a big week for us," he said. "We're excited to play Germantown because it may be the last time for the foreseeable future. It'll be a nice opportunity."