Greenfield - Producing a starting lineup for each game is becoming mostly a mix-and-match proposition for Whitnall girls basketball head coach Keith Larson.
The Falcons have endured an incredible run of injuries and illnesses this season, making it extremely difficult for them to get any kind of consistency or continuity going.
"We have had different players each game, it seems," Larson said. "We don't know from one day to the next who will be playing."
Their problems began early in the season when Ann Marie Bay went out for the year with both a torn anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament.
Whitnall recently lost leading scorer Ashley Markowiak to a heel injury, although she is now off her crutches and should return soon.
Those are only the long-term losses for the Falcons, who have also had players miss one or two games along the way.
"I could write a short story about all our problems this season," Larson quipped.
All these setbacks contributed heavily to a four-game losing streak that covered the month of January, but the frustration finally ended on Friday with a 51-46 triumph over Greendale.
That was a game that both sides needed desperately, as Whitnall came into it having lost six of seven and the Panthers had 11 straight losses.
The Falcons were able to get the victory as Gabby Weis tallied a game-high 15 points in what Larson called "her best game of the year."
Just to show how the Falcons' luck is running, though, Weis came down with the flu this week and was probably out for Tuesday's contest against Brown Deer.
Rachael Shulta added 14 points and Jackie Gruszka 12 for Whitnall, which rallied from a 32-22 deficit in the third quarter.
"Lizzy Menden hit some shots and Weis got a 3-point field goal to get us within one," Larson said. "We had a good fourth quarter, forcing some turnovers and hitting our free throws."
For Greendale, which started the season 3-1 but has not won since then, Taylor DeLong collected 10 points, Emily Perszyk nine and Natalie Burton, Anna Klar and Taite Kurzka each seven points.
Whitnall lost to Wauwatosa West, 51-35, Jan. 22 despite 18 points by Shulta.
The Falcons came into this week at 6-6 in the Woodland Conference East Division, still trailing South Milwaukee (7-4) by just two games and 9-7 overall.
They visit the Rockets at 7:30 p.m. Friday, trying to launch a late run for the division crown.
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