Fayta shakes off rough start to help Notre Dame win state title
By Rich Palzewic
ASHWAUBENON –Notre Dame Academy girls’ basketball player Trista Fayta had a rough first half in her team’s Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state title game.
The sophomore was 1-for-4 from the field and committed four turnovers.
That all changed in the second half.
Led by Fayta’s four 3-pointers in the second half, the Tritons won their second consecutive state title with a 68-54 victory over Pewaukee March 12 at the Resch Center in Ashwaubenon.
Fayta finished with 27 points, including being a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.
“Because I didn’t make my first couple of shots, I knew I had to keep shooting,” Fayta said. “I figured one would eventually fall.”
With Notre Dame (29-1) leading 34-28 early in the second half, the lead ballooned to 51-36 moments later when the Tritons went on an 17-8 run.
Peyton Musial hit a pair of free throws before Fayta and Musial hit back-to-back 3s.
Fayta then hit three consecutive 3s on as many trips down the floor to send the crowd into a frenzy.
In a tight first half, Pewaukee (26-4) took a 26-25 lead into intermission.
Notre Dame held a 23-20 lead with two minutes remaining, but the Pirates scored six consecutive points to grab the lead.
“The girls did a great job sticking to the defensive game plan,” Notre Dame Head Coach Sara Rohde said. “Offensively, we wanted to get the ball inside.”
Tritons forward Sarah Hardwick, who made all five of her field goals in the first half, scored 11 points before the break, including 10 of the first 12 for her team.
Sydney Whitehouse added eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Hardwick finished with 17 points, while Whitehorse added 13.
“As a senior, I can’t think of a better way to go out,” Hardwick said. “We had a target on our back from the beginning of the season. Now the underclassmen will have to deal with the pressure again next season.”
With the win, Notre Dame won its 28th straight game of the season and its fifth state title overall.
Before winning last year, the Tritons also won in 2001, 2013 and 2014.
Rohde said in a few weeks, she’ll meet with the team about plans for next year.
“It’s crazy to think we’ll already be chatting about next season in a few weeks,” she said. “Obviously, our goal is to win another state title – that’s what you play for.”