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Notre Dame Academy beats DeForest for state title
Question of the Day
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Allison LeClaire let her teammates build the lead and then finished things off in a big way to help Green Bay Notre Dame Academy to back-to-back Division 2 state girls basketball championships.
LeClaire scored 24 points and added eight rebounds and Eliza Campbell chipped in 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Tritons held off DeForest 52-42 on Saturday at the Resch Center.
“It feels great,” LeClaire said. “Many teams don’t repeat so I think that’s very cool. We’re happy that we share it with a special team and this is exactly how we wanted to go out in our senior year.”
Notre Dame (27-1) wasted little time taking charge. Olivia Campbell hit a three-pointer from the right wing on the Tritons’ first possession and Eliza Campbell made a three from about the same spot on their next possession to make it 6-0. Another three-pointer from Olivia Campbell helped the Tritons extend the lead to 18-6 after the first quarter.
The Norskies scored nine of the final 11 points of the half to pull within 24-15 at halftime. Kayla Goth hit a runner in transition and a three-pointer to key the rally. DeForest held Notre Dame to one field goal over the final 6:45.
But LeClaire took over in the third quarter. She scored 11 points, including two three-pointers and a three-point play, and her drive and dish set up Tess Gapinski for two free throws that gave the Tritons a 38-26 lead entering the final period.
DeForest rallied one more time. Jordanna Midthun’s three-point play and Goth’s drive pulled the Norskies to within 42-37 with 3:22 to play. Kortni Kohl’s 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 44-40 but the Norskies could get no closer. A Gapinski steal led to a layup by Katelyn Morgan that pushed the lead to 47-40. LeClaire made five of six free throws to seal the victory.
“I thought our girls panicked a little bit but once we settled down, talked over what we needed to do, they came out pretty composed and handled the pressure better,” Notre Dame coach Sara Boyer-Rohde said. “(Gapinski’s steal) was a big moment. We knew we had to get a stop in the half court.”
Goth and Cassidy Byrd each scored 11 points for the Norskies (26-2), who were in the championship game for the first time.
“We were just turning and kind of throwing it up there,” DeForest coach Doug Pickarts said. “I don’t know if it was nerves or Green Bay’s defense or a combination of both.”
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