Just as the flu has hit a lot of other winter sports teams, the McFarland High School girls high school basketball team found itself running short on players before a Feb. 6 Rock Valley Conference game at Whitewater.

“We were down a couple of players due to illness and a few that did play were also not feeling well. We worked hard, but we just weren’t able to overcome that,” head coach Sara Mallegni said after McFarland dropped a 61-57 decision to the Whippets.

The loss dropped McFarland to 7-11 overall and 7-7 in the league. The team has won only three of nine games since the new year.

McFarland had another great performance by 6-foot junior Katie Hildebrandt who had 18 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, two steals and four blocked shots.

The Spartans trailed 33-30 at halftime, but the team shot only 32 percent from the field.

Senior Freya Gilbertson also reached double figures with 11 points – including three shots from the 3-point arc – eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Freshman Byrnne Bieri did not score, but pulled down five rebounds, and sophomore Maddy Fortune led the Spartans with three steals.

Cassidy Laue and Kacie Carollo both had 15 points, including a pair of 3-point baskets, to lead Whitewater.

McFarland takes on another Rock Valley rival Friday, Feb. 14, when it plays at Beloit Turner. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

The Spartans lost to Turner 57-50 on Jan. 3 at McFarland.

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