LANSING | Illiana Christian's Caleb Jonkman just knows how to be in the right place at the right time.
Jonkman came up with two big rebounds in the final minute of play to help Illiana Christian hold on for a 50-47 victory over Metro Suburban Conference foe Fenton. Jonkman scored 13 points on the night, and his two rebounds with the Vikings leading only by three helped to seal the win for Illiana Christian.
"(Jon Zandstra) hit the first and I was just preparing for the worst," Jonkman said of his rebound with under 10 seconds to close out the game. "I got around the guy and when I went up, I tipped it towards myself, and I got the rebound.
Viking Jon Zandstra led all scorers with 17 points. Zandstra also added five rebounds and two steals for Illiana Christian. The Vikings led Fenton 40-29 to start the fourth quarter, but a 13-0 run by Fenton to start the quarter quickly erased the Viking lead. A Jonkman three pointer with 3:02 remaining in the game gave Illiana a 45-42 lead that they did not relinquish the rest of the way.
"I thought we gathered ourselves well and came back," Zandstra said. "We can't let that happen though. I think we're definitely taking a step up and trying to gear our way towards regionals."
Elijah Lares added eight points for Illiana while teammate Brandon Martin added seven points and five rebounds. Illiana Christian coach Tom Roozeboom felt his team could have been a little more selective down the stretch at the offensive end of the court.
"I told the guys it's just a one possession game," Roozeboom said. "Just that first shot that's available might not be the best one. We were kind of rushing it and taking that first shot, and we weren't making it."
Two Jonkman free throws with under 10 seconds to go in the game sealed the victory for the Vikings (15-8, 6-3). Jonkman feels the team is on the rise and getting better as they prepare for the playoffs.
"Stepping up to that free throw line I had a lot of confidence," Jonkman said. "I just shot it and put them in. Everyday we're working on being more and more intense in practice, mainly on the defensive side. Our offense will come, but when we play good defense, we're very hard to beat."