GREEN BAY — The two seed Notre Dame Tritons girls kept their three-peat hopes alive with a thrilling 76-70 victory over three seed McFarland to advance to the Division 2 State title game.
The Tritons found themselves down by three at halftime but played stellar defense utilizing their machine like full-court press to create turnovers in the second half. By the end of the game Notre Dame forced McFarland to turnover the ball 20 times.
"We need to play defense. We had one steal at halftime, which again, we had one steal, I don't how many possessions we stopped them in the first half," head coach Sara Rohde on what she told her team at the half. "I don't know how many possessions we stopped them in the first half."
The Tritons shot 50% from the floor in the second half while making clutch free throws to seal the game.
"Loose balls, free throws, rebounds — those are really the three things you need to do in tight game situations and big games and we practice free throws a lot, so I'm very proud of the girls," Rohde said.
The Tritons had four players score in double-figures, Gracie Grzesk (20), Trista Fayta (18), Sydney Whitehouse (17) and Hope Barrington (15).
Next up for the Tritons, they will face one seed Pewaukee for the title on Saturday. The Pirates gave the Tritons their only loss (68-67) of the year in the first game of the season. The Tritons were without Fayta in that game.
"I just think our message needs to be, Pewaukee has some amazing shooters, as well. Our defense has to be a lot better because they can put the ball in the basket as well. We're going to have to just be ready to play and I know our girls will be," said the Tritons head coach.