The Oak Creek girls basketball team has been operating on a powerfully-high version of cruise control the last few weeks plowing through its Southeast Conference schedule with great alacrity.
That road continued last week with a 72-24 victory over Racine Case on Jan. 12 and a 73-28 rout of Kenosha Indian Trail on Jan. 15 as the Knights ran their win streak to 10 games.
It will most likely go to 11 at Kenosha Bradford on Friday, Jan. 22, but then things will definitely start to get interesting again for Oak Creek, as they take a road trip on Saturday, Jan. 23 for a 3:45 p.m. game at old state rival Kimberly (8-4).
'That's always a tough place to play,' said Oak Creek coach Steve Hluchnik, 'and we haven't had a tough game in awhile so I hope we're ready for the challenge.'
The Knights (7-0 in Southeast play and 11-2 overall) beat the Papermakers in an ugly, physical, 32-21 decision last season and also defeated them in the WIAA D1 state semifinals in 2014.
Following that game, Oak Creek will host Racine Park (1-5 in league) on Tuesday, Jan. 26, before their second go-around with archrival Franklin (10-4) at home on Jan. 29.
The Sabers have won seven in a row since they lost to the Knights, 61-46, on Dec. 15.
Both the wins over Case and Indian Trail were very similar for Oak Creek.
Against Indian Trail, the Knights were up 45-14 at the half and then emptied the bench in the second half.
Hailey Erdman had 13 points, while Lea Finn came up with 11, Nicky Widenski 10 and Jessica McIntosh and Madison Hart eight apiece.
Widenski had five rebounds, while Kassandra Bartek had three assists and three steals. Katie Settingsgaard also came up with three steals, while Hailey Zylka contributed three assists.
Against Case, it was 51-23 at the half, and then they held the Eagles to one point in the second half. Bartek led the way with 14, while Kara Gilmeister, Hart, Widenski, Zylka and McIntosh all had eight apiece.
McIntosh had nine rebounds, while Katie West and Gilmeister had seven apiece and Bartek, Widenski and Hart six apiece. Zylka had an impressive 11 assists, while Settingsgaard had four assists and Bartek three blocks.
'Both games were very similar,' said Hluchnik. 'Both times were up by close to 20 just eight to 10 minutes into the game. We're also using more man defense because our 1-3-1 (zone) is not as effective. We were solid in our half-court (offense), and our transition game was very good. We rebounded well so we were able to get out into transition often.
'The goal for us right now is to not regress, and I don't think that's going to happen. The kids are working very hard in practice.'
He said sophomore Zylka is doing a great job at the point.