Oak Creek girls reward seniors as they clinch the Southeast Conference title
Kokta, Erdman and Finn honored
Senior night and the clinching of the Southeast Conference title went hand-in-hand for the Oak Creek girls basketball team last Friday, when the Knights took care of business with an 83-23 rout of Racine Horlick.
Coupled with the 66-24 hammering of Kenosha Tremper on Feb. 5, the Knights improved to 13-0 in Southeast play and 19-1 overall. They are two games clear of rival Franklin (11-2, 15-4) with just a road trip to Kenosha Indian Trail on Thursday to round out league play.
They will finish the regular season Tuesday with a home nonconference game against Greater Metro power Brookfield Central. The Knights are expected to get the number-one seed in their half of the WIAA West Allis Central sectional bracket.
Coach Steve Hluchnik is pleased with the championship and especially for the three seniors who were honored, all of whom started against Horlick. They include regular point guard Morgan Kokta, wing Sam Erdman and post Sarah Finn.
"We were hoping it would be this way," Hluchnik said. "We took care of business and we were able to get the seniors a ton of minutes. The kids really earned this (the conference title)."
The seniors got their reward for a spectacular first half against Horlick last Friday, as they outscored the Rebels by a 45-4 tune. A total of nine players scored led by forwards Tamya Sims (18 points) and Stephanie Kostowicz (16). Chipping in were Kokta with 14 and Hannah Settingsgaard with nine.
Finn also had six points.
Afterwards, Hluchnik honored all three seniors as Kokta and Erdman are team co-captains this season.
Kokta, who has been the point guard for the last two seasons, came in for special praise.
"She's the glue for us," Hluchnik said. "The coach on the floor. She knows what I want done and controls the tempo of the game."
He also had high praise for the two senior reserves, both of whom serve as excellent role models, he said.
"Sam Erdman came back from a serious (knee) injury just a couple of weeks ago," he said. "A lot of kids who get hurt like that just disappear, but she was at every workout and team event. It's easy to reward kids like that."
"And Sara Finn is a program kid if there ever was one," he added. "She's been stuck one great post after another (Ashley Luke, Kostowicz and Sims), but she works hard, puts in her time. She would get a lot more minutes on other teams, but she's been nothing but a great kid to have on our team."
Hluchnik said those three deserved the league title as much as anybody else on the team and looked forward to their contributions down the line as the Knights prepare for the WIAA playoffs.
Oak Creek clinched a tie for the Southeast title Feb. 5 against Bradford. The game was over after a 25-2 first quarter after which Hluchnik was able to sub liberally. A total of 11 players scored, including Kokta and Erdmann with three each and Finn with two.
Sims had 16 to lead the way as Kostowicz contributed 11 and Settingsgaard eight.
"The conference is down a little bit, but what I've been most pleased with and what I've told the kids is that we continue to play like we're supposed to play," Hluchnik said. "If we're supposed to be up by 20 or 25 after a quarter, we are. We're getting the job done."
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