Streblinski explodes for 16 points in the first half

Junior Murphy Streblinski shoots a free throw in the second half of Saturday night’s game. He currently is shooting 73.7 percent from the line.

Joey Femali, Editor-In-Chief

In a East Central Conference (ECC) boys basketball matchup, the Berlin Indians took on the Kewaskum Indians in a battle to see who the best Indian’s team in the ECC is. A game that took place on a Saturday night was an unusual occurrence.

“As a player you’re used to having to go to class and then get ready for the game. It was nice that we got a chance to actually spend the day out of class and rest up,” junior Murphy Streblinksi said. “Coach Falk had opened up the gyms for shoot arounds and some morning warm ups to get us moving and ready for the game.”

The morning shoot around definitely helped Berlin as they came ready to shoot the lights out. The team started hot with a 10-2 run to open up the night. Streblinski led the charge for Berlin with 8 of the 10 points to open up. 

“I hit a couple three’s early in the morning and started to feel myself. I decided to open up taking some three’s, something that I don’t particularly do.” Streblinski said. 

Streblinski also opened with a strong presence in the low post with some pretty moves. 

“Murphy is a very good two-way player. He creates a matchup nightmare for teams. You can try and guard him with a smaller, quicker player, but he can just bully you down low. Or you can try and put a bigger player on him and he can make you step out and try to guard him out on the three-point line,” Head CoachMichael Falksaid. 

But soon, Kewaskum started to attack Streblinski and get him into foul trouble. After benching Streblinski, Berlin seemed to hit a huge wall. Senior Landen Sobieski started to make his presence known with a couple of quick baskets, but also found himself in foul trouble quickly. Berlin was forced to go into a young bench early.

“Sometimes you’ve got to put in some younger players when guys get in trouble. We had to go to (sophomore) Connor Batley and (sophomore) Brady Pomplun early, guys that haven’t gotten much experience,” Falk said. “But, I’m glad they got a chance around this time to help our team grow down the stretch.”

Right as Berlin started to get momentum it seemed like it was all stopped by a foul or series of turnovers. Berlin couldn’t catch a break with a couple of charge calls that weren’t called and the crowd was very vocal about at the game. 

“As a referee I’m watching the defensive player constantly and watching their feet. Berlin had some plays where the feet weren’t fully set or were leaning into to gain contact. As a referee I can’t call a foul on the offense for that,” Referee Josh Cash said, who has been refereeing for 15 years, mostly down in the Madison area as a part of the Big 8 conference. 

Normally, basketball games would have local referees from areas around where the game was played.

“In a normal non-COVID year as referees we would ride together because our whole crew is from the same area. But this year we all ride up separate and have to get in touch with Athletic Directors and our crew earlier in the week to make sure we are all healthy,” Cash said. “The WIAA has suffered greatly in finding referees because most of the referees are older and are considered high risk so we have to travel farther than normal. It’s nice because we get to see some teams we normally don’t get a chance to see.”

Even though Berlin suffered some rough foul calls and turnovers they kept the game close in a losing effort. The final score of the game was 59-46. Streblinski finished with 20 points, most of which came in the first half. Along with Streblinski, Sobieski added 11 points. The boys next game will be tonight at Ripon.