Cissna Park, which has won 15 of its last 18 games, built a 36-20 halftime lead with sophomore Addison Stoller scoring 14 of her team-high 21 points and the Timberwolves were making 61.5 percent of their shots (16-of-26).
“We were talking in the locker room at halftime, it seemed like they didn’t miss a shot,’’ said Miles, who also had eight rebounds in addition to her 22 points. “It was definitely difficult for us to get the ball through the hoop.’’
Facing a 16-point halftime deficit, Hipsher challenged his team show its true character.
The Trojans slowly chipped away, getting within eight points (49-41) with 2 minutes, 5 seconds left on a basket by Johanna Bruens.
“We showed our character in that second half when we didn’t give up,’’ said Miles, who scored 12 points in the second half. “When we got it under double digits, I kept thinking that we were going to come all the way back and win the game. We just didn’t quite get it done.’’
Armstrong-Potomac went 0-for-4 from the field with three turnovers in the final two minutes as Cissna Park effectively used its spread offense to take time off the clock.
“Cissna Park has too good of ball handlers,’’ Hipsher said. “They can really spread the floor and chew up a bunch of clock.
“We just dug ourselves too big of a hole.’’
With the victory, the Timberwolves advance to Thursday’s IHSA Class 1A regional championship game. Cissna Park will face the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers, a 37-34 winner over Shiloh, in the 7 p.m. title game.