New Berlin — The first time the New Berlin Eisenhower basketball team walked out on the court in practice last fall was the first time coach Dave Scheidegger ever had those five players together on the court.
There was a lot of talent among those five players, but perhaps the best player was the one who never played a high school varsity game.
Reed Timmer, a 5-foot-11-inch freshman guard, may have been a freshman, but he had national exposure while playing for the Ray Allen Selects, an AAU team featuring some outstanding local talent.
"You knew he had the love, the passion and the drive, they were off the charts," Scheidegger said. "We didn't know if he was just a point, just a shooter or a guy who would set up and distribute the ball.
"He turned out to be all of them."
This talented freshman ended up topping the team in scoring average (17.0), points (390), free throw percentage (87%, 115-132), steals and assist and was second in rebounding, grabbing 96 for a 5.0 average behind Keith Kahlfeldt and was second in 3-pointers (51%, 33-65) behind Alex McRae.
He was the Lions' Rookie of the Year and co-MVP with McRae and was first team All-Woodland Conference Black Division.
As a result, he was the only freshman named to the 11-man 2010-11 NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team since Menomonee Falls star JP Tokoto did it three years ago.
"He never pushed to score," Scheidegger said. "He never broke down. It's a long season, very intense. Some freshmen are physically into it, but you wonder can they mentally stay up, stay focused and keep up their intensity. Sometimes it takes until their senior year to handle it."
"Mentally he handled it," Scheidegger said. "Easily. He never lost his focus. He had some presence. He was very determined, competitive. Everyone feeds off of it. He's a leader."
As for Timmer, he was hoping to get a chance to fit in.
"Didn't except to be play as much as I did," he said. "I figured if you work hard, you might have a chance to play."
Scheidegger immediately recognized Timmer's ability and made him a starter."
Timmer was always looking to distribute the ball, but he also stepped up his game and became a huge offensive threat when the team needed him to score more.
"In most games I would get used to flow of the game," he said. "Assists come first. You would look for your shots, see if team needed and then do what they needed.
"I knew I was one of the 'go-to guys,' but the first option was Alex (McRae)."
Timmer made some big shots this year, but one of the biggest came against Pewaukee when McRae missed a 3-pointer, Kahlfeldt grabbed the rebound, passed out to Timmer and he nailed a 3-pointer on the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
"I didn't really concentrate on the pressure; I just shot," Timmer said. "I like pressure on me. It comes with being in the spotlight."
Scheidegger enjoys telling the story how the team recognized Timmer's ability quickly. When a player had to shoot free throws successfully at the end of practice or the team had to run the lines, the team, from the seniors on down, picked the freshman to go to the line.
"Late in the game when other teams were fouling we designed our inbound plays to get him the ball," he said.
As talented as he is, Timmer is smart enough to realize he still has parts of his game to improve.
"My shot selection. Sometimes I'm out of control. Sometimes I take bad shots," he said. "I have to make sure I'm not forcing my shots. I want to improve my court vision on fastbreaks or during the offense, making it easier for us to score more points."
Because there were seven seniors on the team, Timmer didn't have to worry about leading this team as a freshman. In talking to Timmer in his year-end players' meeting, Scheidegger pointed out that will change now that he will be a second-year player.
Senior Alex McRae and Keith Kahlfeldt of Eisenhower earned High Honorable mention honors on the NOW Newspapers All-Suburban Team.
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