Oak Creek - There was no letdown, no peaking around the corner looking ahead to the two delicious and potentially exciting match-ups ahead of them for the girls basketball team as the Knights buried Racine Horlick (69-23) and Kenosha Indian Trail (80-40) last week in a pair of necessary Southeast Conference decisions.
Coach Steve Hluchnik was pleased with the effort despite the potential distraction of two high-level nonconference road games this week. The Knights took on area rival Muskego on Tuesday. They visit fellow state power Milwaukee King at 7 p.m. Friday.
'No, there was no letdown,' Hluchnik said. 'In fact, I know Indian Trail isn't the best team we'll play, but I'm hard-pressed to name a time where we played better. We only had three turnovers going into the fourth quarter. We moved the ball around well, rebounded well and defended well.'
'We have a goal to keep improving and that's what I think we did this week.'
The two wins improved the Knights to 7-0 at the end of the first half of Southeast Conference play and 11-1 overall.
Hluchnik said the team is excited about the heady challenges ahead, including two tough Southeast tilts the week after next including a contest next Tuesday at home against third-place Racine Park (5-2) and then a rematch on the road against archrival Franklin (6-1) Jan. 25.
'We've talked about it in practice,' Hluchnik said, 'but the kids listened to what I said (about paying attention to the game right in front of us) and so we got the job done. Now we're looking forward to the next few weeks.'
And those opponents best beware of an Oak Creek team that is playing very well indeed.
Against Indian Trail last Friday, forward Tamya Sims had 14 first-quarter points as the Knights bolted to a 24-7 advantage and never looked back.
It was 44-19 at the half.
A total of 10 Knights scored in the game as the twin six-foot-plus terrors underneath for Oak Creek continued to dominate. Steph Kostowicz finished with 22 points and Sims with 20. Point guard Morgan Kokta added 12 and Katie Finn nine.
'That was the best I've seen Tamya play,' Hluchnik said.
Against Horlick, the Knights were stifling defensively right from the start, as it was 17-2 at the quarter and 33-6 at the half.
Eight players scored in this game for Oak Creek: Kostowicz had 17, Sims 14, Kokta 11 and Lindsey Kalski eight.
Hluchnik is pleased.
'Offensively, defensively we're doing things right,' he said. 'We didn't let ourselves hit a slippery slope this week. We got a big two-and-a-half weeks ahead of us, some good challenges facing us.'