Cissna Park moves to title game
Timberwolves lead from the start, improve to 32-4; St. Mel awaits

– Going back to the 1980's, singer Phil Collins had a song called “Inside Out.”

That fit to a tee the offensive beginning for the Cissna Park Timberwolves in their 56-44 win in the 1A semifinals over Central A&M.

Using 6-foot-7 twins Christian and Julian Stadeli as targets around the rim, Coach Kevin Long positioned his guards outside the 3-point arc in the early going against the Raiders' zone defense.

The result was five made 3-pointers in the first quarter, giving the Timberwolves a lead they never would relinquish in their victory Friday afternoon at Carver Arena.

Five-foot-nine senior guard Bailey Sluis was a grateful benefactor of the “inside-out” game as he spotted up to nail down a trio of first quarter treys, four total in the first half, as Cissna Park took a step towards the schools' first boy's basketball title with the afternoon triumph.

The Timberwolves improved to 32-4 with the victory and will now play Providence St. Mel in the 1A state championship contest on Saturday afternoon.

While the outside game did the damage in the first half, the second half offense for Cissna Park centered around Christian Stadeli as his teammates went inside to the big man.

Stadeli scored all 17 of his points in the final three quarters to give the Timberwolves their seventh straight win and a spot in the finals.

Sluis finished 4-of-7 from the arc and he and his teammates ended up 6-of-12 from downtown.

Senior guard Brian Fehr and sophomore guard Ian Rogers also canned long shots for Cissna Park.

Those three combined for the first quarter outside onslaught.

Back-to-back bombs from Rogers and Sluis closed the first quarter at 17-8.

Overall the Timberwolves hit 16-of-33 overall in the rout of Central A&M.

Cissna Park led by as many 17-points in the fourth quarter and held on for the win.

For the Raiders, the opposite was true from the outside as Coach Rob Smith witnessed a 1-of-14 long range shooting performance and 18-of-48 overall.

Junior forward Connor Heaton led the 32-4 team with 18-points while junior Griffin Andricks came off the Raiders bench to added 12-points.

“These five guys right here, you could not find a better group of seniors to coach. They work their tails off. This has been four years in the making, couldn't ask for a better group of guys to go out with, I'm proud beyond words,” said Coach Kevin Long. “We're pretty efficient on the offensive end when we get the ball reversed because we have multiple weapons. We want to play with pace in the full court and transition, but when the defense is set, we want ball reversals because we got the two bigs inside and we got shooters on the outside.”

After giving up a bucket on the inside to Andricks on a rebound, Cissna Park went inside to Christian Stadeli, with the senior scoring twice and hitting 1-of-2 free throws,

Another 3-point bomb by Sluis from the right wing gave the Timberwolves a 25-10 spread with 2:15 left in the half.

Central A&M played even the rest of the way with the eventual winners, but never got closer than double-digits in dropping to the third place game on Saturday.

The Timberwolves took care of the victory by converting 11-of-15 free throws down the stretch.

Both of the Stadeli brothers hit the boards, grabbing nine rebounds each in the 31-27 edge for the game.

When they're making a ton of 3s and the two 6-7 kids like that, they're really, really hard to guard.

“When they're making a ton of 3s and the two 6-7 kids like that, they're really, really hard to guard,” said Coach Smith. “We were standing, so when you stand and you drive, there's 10 eyes on the ball. So, once we got people moving, cutting, things open up a little better. They're really good defensively, you have to move the ball from side to side to side to try to get their eyes moving. The first half we didn't do a very good job of that, in the game I thought that was the difference.”

1A State Semifinals
Central A&M
Cissna Park
Central A&M (44) – Andricks 5 0 2-2 12, Hutchins 1 0 1-2 3, Jacob Paradee 4 0 0-0 8, Heaton 7 0 4-7 18, Sloan 0 1 0-0 3, Burgener 0 0 0-0 0, James Paradee 0 0 0-0 0, Fenton 0 0 0-0 0, Palmer 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-17, 3FG-1, FT-7-11, PF-27.
Cissna Park (56) – C. Stadeli 7 0 3-8 17, J. Stadeli 2 0 4-6 8, Lober 0 0 5-6 5, Sluis 0 4 0-0 12, Fehr 1 1 4-6 9, Hull 0 0 0-0 0, Boyle 0 0 2-4 2, Stoller 0 0 0-0 0, Rogers 0 1 0-0 3, Verkler 0 0 0-0 0, Pierce 0 0 0-0 0, King 0 0 0-0 0.
2FG-10, 3FG-6, FT-18-30, PF-12.

Fouled Out – Burgener, Hutchins - Central A&M.
Technical Fouls – None.