Uplift ends Elgin Academy's season
Elgin Academy's comeback after a low-scoring first quarter came up short as the Hilltoppers fell to Chicago Uplift 64-50 in Wednesday's Class 1A Westminster Christian regional semifinal.
Chicago Uplift will face North Shore Country Day, who defeated Harvest Christian in the second semifinal Wednesday, in Friday's regional title game.
Elgin Academy tallied only six points in the first eight minutes and trailed the Titans 24-6 to start the second quarter.
"We are a team that responds to adversity. We don't hit the floor ready to play. I can't tell you how many times we've done that. Out of our losses, 10 of them came that way," said Elgin Academy coach Rick Williams. "We have to learn how to go out there and be the aggressor not the counter-puncher. I'm proud of them for still having fight at the end of the game."
The Hilltoppers got their offense on track in the second frame, outscoring Chicago Uplift 18-9 to cut the deficit to 11 points at halftime, 35-24.
Elgin Academy's rally continued into the third quarter. A pullup jumper at the 5:51 mark by Jabe Haith (14 points) pulled the Hilltoppers within 37-31.
Momentum shifted back to Chicago Uplift (11-16) as they closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run.
"We were pressing, trying to take advantage of our athleticism and speed and they made a really good adjustment to that (in the second quarter)," Chicago Uplift coach David Taylor said. "They started back-dooring us and getting some layups. Then we woke up and snapped out of it."
Titan Greg Ruben led all scorers with 19 points while teammate Davion McCarthy chipped in 14.
Ryan Ulrich and Elijah Pegues both tallied 8 points for Elgin Academy. The Hilltoppers finished the season with a record of 16-17.