Timothy Christian's "hot potato" offense stresses ball movement -- but it also meant Tessa Bosman barely touched the ball in the first half Wednesday.
She heated up after the break.
The Trojans' lanky 5-foot-11 senior scored 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half and also pulled down 18 rebounds in a hard-fought 44-37 win over Wheaton Academy at the Lisle Cage Classic.
"We changed up our offense to a 2-1-2 instead of the 'hot potato,'" Bosman said. "I like being high post more in the 2-1-2. I think I have a pretty fast first dribble for my height."
No. 1 seed Timothy Christian (9-3) scuffled a bit coming in with recent losses to Immaculate Conception and Riverside-Brookfield. But now the Trojans are back in the Lisle semis for the first time since 2004, and will play Chicago Christian at 6:30 p.m. today. Timothy Christian won the first Lisle tournament in 2002, its only title.
"We told our girls, 'Hey, semifinal berth is on the line, final four, somewhere this program hasn't been in a while,'" Trojans coach Ryan DeKoekkoek said. "We like to hang out on the consolation side of this too much. We told them expect to play good and expect to advance."
Timothy Christian led 20-17 at half over its former Private School League rival, but Wheaton Academy turned up its ball pressure in the third quarter. Sophomore guard Ali Grant rolled in a jumper with 2:05 left, giving the Warriors their first lead since the first quarter at 27-25, and they took a 31-29 lead into the fourth.
But the Trojans' defense locked down from there, and Timothy Christian eased ahead with a 10-2 run. Bosman scored 7 of those points, wheeling into the lane from the high post for a 38-33 lead with 2:31 left.
Cassidy Block scored 11 points and Jessica Dirkse had a big 10 points off the bench for the Trojans.
"We had some touch-and-go moments there a little bit in the second half," DeKoekkoek said, "personally as a coach I got a little too tight and a little too intense. I had to get my girls relaxed and more confident."
The Trojans hung on despite 5-of-18 free-throw shooting. Wheaton Academy wasn't much better, making 7 of 15 and just 14 of 40 shots in the paint.
But Warriors coach Beth Mitchell liked the effort from her improving Warriors (9-5), who had a four-game win streak snapped. Ally Witt scored 15 points and Sarah Drury had 13 points and 8 rebounds for Wheaton Academy.
"We were right there," Mitchell said. "Against a very good team, we just fell short."