The Notre Dame Tritons stayed poised down the stretch to defeat Milwaukee Pius XI 50-47 in the Division 2 semifinals this afternoon at the Resch Center. The top ranked Tritons go balanced scoring and opportunistic defense to defeat the second ranked Lady Popes. Notre Dame came up with 13 steals and shot 52 percent from the floor. They built a 10 point lead at 30-20 early in the third quarter but Pius mounted a comeback to push in front 43-41 with 5:33 to play. Caroline Pettijean answered with an inside shot, FRCC player of the year Allie LeClaire scored on a drive put the Tritons on top for good with 2:20 left. Olivia Campbell then delivered a layup and two free throws to extend the lead to 6. Pius cut the lead to four when Carli Borseth made one of two free throws with :19 to play. After a basket by Pius made it 50-47, LeClaire was fouled with :08 remaining. Her bonus free throw missed but Pius could only launch a 50 foot desperation shot at the buzzer. Olivia Campbell led Notre Dame with 14 points, Eliza Campbell and LeClaire each scored a dozen as the Tritonss won their 17th straight game. In her third season as head coach, Sarah Boyer-Rhode has taken her team to state each year and now has a shot to earn consecutive state titles. Notre Dame will meet either LaCrosse Central or DeForest in the championship contest Saturday night at 6:35 PM.
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