Wheeling’s girls basketball team won its biggest game of the season, beating MSL East rival Buffalo Grove 57-49 Thursday night, even without 6-foot-3, Illinois-bound Lana Rukavina.
The four-year senior starter missed her fifth consecutive game since suffering a concussion in practice and now has missed 11 of her last 12 games due to the head injury, a holiday trip to her parents’ native land and a leg injury before that. Rukavina dressed and warmed up before the BG game, but did not need to play once the Wildcats opened leads of 25-7 and 31-9. Wheeling coach Shelly Wiegel said Rukavina has been cleared to play by doctors. It was the first time Rukavina was in uniform and sat on the bench since receiving the concussion during a drill in practice Jan. 10.
She played in only one half in a 54-52 loss to Schaumburg Jan. 8 and scored eight points. She was forced to sit on the bench in the first half due to her absence while in Croatia.
“What I thought was that her health was so important and the playoffs are so important,” Wiegel said.
The Wildcats ended BG’s seven-game win streak and a four-game win streak in the series between neighboring schools.