Notre Dame girls aim to cap dream season with state title

High School Sports

LA CROSSE (WFRV) – High school athletics don’t have RPI, win matrix, or strength of schedule rankings.

But if they did, the Notre Dame girls basketball team would be number one in just about every category.

After facing a gauntlet slate loaded with some of the best Division 1 teams in Wisconsin, the Tritons will try their luck against the best of Division 2 – with one hurdle left to clear: Reedsburg in the state championship game.

Notre Dame handled its business in Saturday morning’s semifinal, blitzing Onalaska 64-32 despite not making a single three-pointer.

Gracie Grzesk led the way for the top-seeded Tritons with 16 points. Senior Sammy Opichka added 12 points and eight boards for the favorites, who never let the game get within seven points after a 21-5 start to the game.

The catch was an eye-opener – NDA put together a 32-point drubbing despite not making a single three-pointer.

The result, however, was a familiar one for the Tritons. After defeating No. 4 Freedom by 32 points in the sectional final, Notre Dame overcame sloppy stretches to put away the Hilltoppers Saturday morning.

Now, only one test remains between the Tritons and a gold ball.

Third-seeded Reedsburg outlasted New Berlin Eisenhower 67-48 in the afternoon semifinal, setting up a championship battle between a pair of one-loss teams.

The Beavers finished on top of the Badger North division and currently hold a record of 20-1 on the year, meeting 27-1 Notre Dame as the Tritons carry a 25-game winning streak.

In fact, since a loss against Kimberly on December 5, NDA has hardly been tested – the close win was by a staggering 15-point margin.

Notre Dame is playing at the top of its game, with contributions up and down the roster – from freshmen like Trista Fayta to seniors like Georgia Gregoire.

For the first time in four years, there will be a state champion not named Beaver Dam in Division 2. Notre Dame has the resume to stake their claim to it – and 36 more minutes of basketball to take home the hardware once and for all.

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