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Oak Creek girls basketball team looking for a perimeter option

Knights fall to top-ranked Kimberly in double overtime

Jan. 14, 2014

At some point, someone other than Stephanie Kostowicz or Tamya Sims is going to have to hit a really big shot for the Oak Creek girls basketball team.

And it's going to have to come from the perimeter.

In the eyes of coach Steve Hluchnik that is the only way the Knights are going to live up to their full potential this year.

That frustration was evident for the two for the second time in just more than two weeks, when the Knights went up to top-ranked Kimberly and lost their second one-point decision of the year with a 49-48 double overtime decision last Saturday.

"I don't care how many great posts you have," Hluchnik said. "You have to be able to hit some perimeter shots."

The Knights, formerly the state's top-ranked team, fell to 9-2 overall. They had previously lost a 42-41 decision to Pewaukee on Dec. 28. They still maintained control of the Southeast Conference with a 54-23 rout of Racine Park last Friday.

They took on Kenosha Bradford on Tuesday and then will be at Racine Case at 7:15 p.m. Friday. They will then have another chance to prove themselves on Jan. 21 when they host Pius XI, another powerhouse non-conference opponent, at 7:15 p.m.

Hluchnik said the game against Kimberly went back and forth. The Knights fell behind by eight in the first half only to rally to cut the deficit to 20-17 at the half. The entire second half was nip-and-tuck. Oak Creek had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but got hit with a bizarre five-second closely guarded call in the last five seconds.

Hluchnik said the Knights were just about to hit a wide open Kostowicz underneath for the potential game-winner when the call was made. Oak Creek also had a chance to win it in the first overtime but instead of driving for a closer shot, a jumper was off the mark.

In the second overtime, the Knights had the early advantage on a Katie Settingsgaard 3-pointer. But in the end, it was the Papermakers with the final opportunity as all-state player Frankie Wurtz had a clear-out run for her and she was fouled with about five seconds to go.

She hit the second of two free throws to put Kimberly up by one. The Knights threw a long pass down court but it was knocked away. Wurtz finished with 19 points.

Hluchnik said Kimberly was a spectacular 9 of 16 from 3-point range, while Oak Creek was just 4 of 16.

"We've got our posts, but the others have to step up," Hluchnik said. "We just have not shot it well (from the outside) this season."

Kostowicz led Oak Creek with 19 while Sims had 12. No one else had more than six.

"We just need to find one solid, go-to person down the stretch," Hluchnik said.

Oak Creek had little trouble with Park, taking an 18-4 first-quarter lead as Sims and Hannah Settingsgaard had 11 points apiece and Kostowicz nine.

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