Girls Basketball: Illiana Christian turns up ‘D’ to top Elmwood Park
Updated: December 3, 2011 11:42PM
Illiana Christian coach Bob Knapper told his team to pick up the defensive intensity when it fell behind host Elmwood Park Saturday afternoon — and did they ever listen.
The Vikings (2-1, 1-0 Metro Suburban) went on a 22-0 run that started midway through the third quarter and went on to defeat the Tigers 43-30 to kick off its conference season on a winning note.
Illiana turned a 24-19 deficit into a 41-24 advantage as the Vikings held Elmwood Park scoreless for nearly 11 minutes before Joanna Bukowinski scored for the Tigers with just over two minutes left in the contest.
“I called time out, chewed them out a bit and told them we had to pick up the intensity on defense,” Knapper said. “I said it felt like a morgue in here, it was just dead. I said play with some intensity and good things will happen. At that point, No. 24 (Bukowinski) was there offense. She’s their shooter, you’ve got to know where she is — find her. We did, we got a couple of blocks on her that led to a couple of fast breaks and things just kept going from there.”
Knapper was right about stopping Bukowinski, who scored 24 of Elmwood Park’s 30 total points, canning six three-pointers along the way. She also added six rebounds and two steals for the Tigers, whose only other points came from Carrie Pilman (four points, r rebounds) and Ade Maron (two points, four steals).
Illiana Christian opened the game with a 9-0 run before Bukowinski started to find her range. The Vikings’ Jaclene Bonnema (11 points) hit a pair of buckets, while Mallory Fulton (seven points, four rebounds) drilled a long three and Megan Knapper and Alex Von Beck (seven points) each popped in a jumper.
It was Megan Knapper’s eight second-half points that helped Illiana Christian break open a close game. Kylie Van Roekol (five points, six rebounds) came off the bench and drained a couple of big shots to help her team pull away in the fourth quarter.
“Defense definitely won the game for us,” Knapper said. “But we ran our offense well the whole game, mixing things up on the high post and low post and making the right adjustments here and there.”