LANSING | Caleb Jonkman may not have won Mr. Illiana, Illiana Christian's version of a homecoming king, but the Vikings senior still ruled the court on Friday night.
Jonkman scored 27 points and hauled in nine rebounds to lead the Vikings to an 80-73 win over Elmwood Park on Illiana's Homecoming night.
“We started out really well,” Jonkman said. “We got out in transition and got some easy buckets. That put us ahead for the first three quarters of the game.”
Then, the fourth quarter came along, which saw the Vikings (10-7, 4-3 Metro Suburban) survive a scare from Elmwood Park.
“We knew they were tough,” Illiana coach Tom Roozeboom said. “We knew they were going to come out and hit some threes. The hoop got big for them.”
That was an understatement. Elmwood Park hit eight 3-pointers in the second half, including four on consecutive possessions, and finished with 11 treys for the game. They cut the lead to 70-63 on one occasion after Illiana took a 62-40 lead into the fourth quarter.
“Give Elmwood Park credit for never stopping,” Roozeboom said. “They’re a good team, and that’s a testament to their coach and program.”
Jonkman felt the momentum shifting into Elmwood Park’s favor in the fourth quarter. He simply shifted to a higher gear and found some easy buckets to keep the Vikings ahead.
“It was not all me just going at it,” Jonkman said. “My teammates got me the ball with some great looks. There was some good defense on the other end, which led to some easy buckets.”
The Vikings displayed some excellent ball movement early on, finding several open 3-point opportunities and easy buckets under the basket.
Jonkman was one of the main beneficiaries of Illiana's excellent passing game, as he scored 11 points in the first half to lead the Vikings to a 38-24 lead at halftime.
“I thought we did what we needed to in the first half and even into the third quarter,” Roozeboom said. “I’m proud of the guys. We hung in there and did enough at the end to get the ‘W.’”
Chad Ketelaar added 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds for the Vikings.