Area hoops stars Mihalko, Kokta make most of final prep event

Athletes help South all-star team to victory in WBCA Classic

June 18, 2013

College basketball will now take precedence for recently-minted graduates Cassidy Mihalko of Franklin and Morgan Kokta of Oak Creek.

But not before one final go-around as preps that was victorious for both of them for a change.

The two-time NOW All-Suburban selection Mihalko hit of eight of 12 shots and scored a team-high 16 points in rallying the Division I South team past the North, 65-51, in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches' Association All-Star Classic in Wisconsin Dells Friday.

"This was a lot of fun," Mihalko said. "There were a lot of activities they kept us involved in. I knew a couple of the players from my select team but mostly everyone was new."

Mihalko will attend and play basketball for NCAA Division II California Baptist next winter. The game allowed her to close her career on a winning note, after the Sabers upset archrival Oak Creek in the sectional semifinal in March before falling to eventual state champ Milwaukee Riverside in the WIAA sectional final.

Kokta injured

A big reason the Sabers were able to win that game over Creek was that the Knights' starting point guard Kokta was knocked out of the game early in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury.

That matter is still a sore point for Kokta, who had to have her hand in a splint for close to three weeks before competing well for the Knights' soccer team this spring.

She too thought the all-star game was a fun and useful event.

"It was nice to be with people from other schools, other experiences," she said. "It was really such an honor to be selected. It was my last high school event so I wanted to make the best of it."

Kokta will play basketball and attend school at UW-Oshkosh next winter.

All stars

Interestingly enough, the pair were coached on the South team by a former rival. Until this past season, Muskego had been part of the Southeast Conference, but the Warriors moved over into the Classic 8 this past season.

The Warriors'coach Brian Hirtz hosted a barbeque earlier in the week for the team and then led the South squad to a victory utilizing its great height (three players 6-3 or better) to rally past a 19-18 first half deficit.

"We had a very sleepy first half," Kokta said, "and then we came out on fire in the second."

Kokta had a basket for two points and contributed good floor play and defense.

Mihalko said she played within the flow and hit shots from all over. She said it was a hectic and fun game. Both liked the "JustAgame" Fieldhouse in the Dells and appreciated all the work that went into putting on the event.

Kokta did well on the fundraising end of the event, which was designed to benefit the MACC Fund. She generated and contributed over $500, the basic requirement for all participant. Mihalko earned over $4,500, which was in the top five of all players involved, boys or girls.

"I just used word of mouth," she said. "I also posted it on Facebook and talked to friends. I just told them what a good cause it was.

"People came through."

These two will now look to contribute mightily to their college teams. Both will now report to their respective schools until later this summer. Mihalko plans to major in business, while Kokta wants to go into radiological science.

"We'll look to keep in shape," Mihalko said. "Working on our skills. This was one last good time before we have to go (to college)."

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