The Oak Creek girls basketball team has dominated the Southeast Conference race in recent years because of a "take-no-prisoners" mentality.
And even in a rebuilding season like this, that mentality is on full display for the Knights, as they opened Southeast play with an 80-30 rout of Kenosha Bradford on Dec. 2.
A prime example of that was junior forward Kassandra Bartek, whose efficiency was remarkable this night.
"We shot as well as we could have in the first half," said coach Steve Hluchnik, "and she (Bartek) did an amazing amount of work in such a short time. She had 25 points in just about 14 minutes of play. The thing was for us, was not to play to their level. I think we were just about perfect for the first 11 minutes."
The win was the third in the row for the Knights and improved them to 3-1 overall. The schedule gets interesting in the next week. They took on nonconference power Milwaukee King on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and then will host Racine Park in another Southeast tilt on Friday, Dec. 9.
Then at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, they will host archrival Franklin in the nightcap of a boy-girl doubleheader.
Hluchnik is pleased with the progress, but with a smaller-than-usual lineup, he would like to see improvement out of his post players.
"We need them to step up," he said.
Against Bradford, the score was 44-19 at the break as a total of 12 players saw playing time, including 10 who reached double digits in minutes.
A total of 11 players scored, led by Bartek, who hit all five of her free throws and four 3-pointers in just five attempts. Jenna Dankert added 9, while Katie West and Katie and Maddie Gard had 7 points each. Jessica McIntosh had six rebounds, Haley Zylka had seven assists and Lea Finn five steals.
Hluchnik thinks the team has fully moved on from the tough opening loss to top-ranked Arrowhead.
"It was a good wake-up call," he said. "We haven't had a bad practice since. The kids have a little more attention to detail now. They're closing our correctly, and they're at full speed all the time."