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Notre Dame Tritons looking for third straight gold ball

HIGHLIGHTS: Notre Dame and Freedom girls basketball overcome double-digit deficits to win
Posted at 10:30 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 23:34:31-05

GREEN BAY — The Notre Dame girls basketball team's quest for a state title 3-peat at the Resch Center begins Friday afternoon. They've won back to back titles before, but never three in a row.

The Tritons are the two seed entering the Division 2 state tournament and they face three seed McFarland in the semifinal round.

“We have a special team,” said Tritons junior guard and Illinois State commit Trista Fayta. “We have special talent, but as long as we continue playing our game, we will continue doing the things we want to do.”

Nothing beats playing at the Resch, under the bright lights. Something the Tritons are grown accustomed to.

“That first day they announce all the players, the starting lineups – it’s just a neat experience for the girls,” said Tritons head coach Sara Rohde. “I’m excited to see them just be happy about it.”

Despite only having one loss and coming off back to back titles, Notre Dame was given the two seed, but they’re not worried about what seed they are.

“I think our girls just have in the back of their minds their ultimate goal for this season, but they didn’t address the whole 1-2 seed – we're just like hey we gotta go play Mcfarland,” Rohde said.

The team that got the one seed, Pewaukee, who handed the Tritons their only loss. However, Notre Dame was without their star guard Fayta and only lost by one in their first game of the year.

“As long as we get what we need to get done and they get what they need to get done – hopefully we'll end up playing them in the championship.” said sophomore guard Peyton Musial.

Besides that one loss, a few weeks ago they won an overtime thriller over Hortonville, who has made the Division One state tournament and it is the only other game this season a team has come within single digits of this squad. The Tritons overcame a 16 point deficit at the half to come back and win.

“I think it definitely helped us learn a lot,” said Musial. “Just to see that when we are down we can find a way to come back from it and just continue to fight and not give up on any possession and just know that every possession matters too.”

The Tritons have outscored their opponents on the year by almost 1300 points. They take a lot of pride in a relentless full court press which sets the tone for the defense and team as a whole.

“We just focus on knowing which place we’re supposed to go to and communicating is a big key,” said senior Hope Barington.

“We work on it a lot. probably 90% throughout practice,” said Fayta.

And they’re hoping it will continue to pay dividends this weekend.

“We do think it wears teams out, makes them play faster – we’re hoping it will help us this weekend,” Rohde said.