Palatine’s strong 2nd half nets win at Tosh tourney

Fifteen years ago this week of America's top pop hits was "Hot 'N Cold" by current American Idol judge Katy Perry.

That could very well serve how things were going for Palatine in its Tuesday morning opening round contest vs. Lake Forest at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic at York High School.

The Pirates had found themselves trailing 20-15 at the half after having been outscored 12-2.

It was then that senior forward Tommy Elter helped kickstart a comeback. He helped lead Palatine on a pair of second-half surges which fueled them to a 37-27 win at Campbell Gym and a Wednesday afternoon round two date with Riverside-Brookfield at 3:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs (11-1) bested Minooka (3-10) 65-52 Tuesday.

After a Darrin Dick charity toss, the 6-foot-3 Elter put together consecutive baskets that evened the score at 20 with his second one coming off a steal that he turned into a layup at the 5:22 mark.

After a Hudson Scroggins free throw gave Lake Forest (7-4) its last lead at 21-20 with 4:29 left in the period, Dick's three-pointer followed by Elter's third hoop off a pass from senior teammate Connor May put the Pirates up 25-21 with 3:27 left in the period. It was 25-24 entering the fourth after the Scouts’ Tommie Aberle connected from beyond the arc.

After another Scroggins free throw knotted the contest at 25 with 5:35 remaining, Elter and May combined to go on a 10-0 tear to place them permanently ahead of Lake Forest 35-25 with 1:39 as May once again fed Elter.

Palatine outscored the Scouts 22-7, holding them to just 2-12 (16%) from the field in the second half and 11-35 (31%) overall.

Elter and Washington University commit May would each tally 10 points in the winning effort while Aberle and Scroggins led the Scouts with 9 points apiece.

"Our seniors really stepped up in the third quarter when we needed it," Palatine coach Eric Millstone said. "We knew it wasn't going to be an up-and-down pretty game, so you're going to have to make hustle plays, you're going to have to win the (floor) battle and I thought we got to a lot of loose balls that was probably the difference of the game."

Elter, who quarterbacked the Pirates football team to back-to-back playoff appearances, also credited his teammates on the bench for providing a spark for their strong second half.

"We came out strong in the first quarter and then our energy kind of died down in the second quarter,“ Elter said. ”We go into the locker room (at halftime) and mainly the bench guys got us going. They said we looked dead out there and they kind of got our energy back up and it felt good to get going again."

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