Maybe there was too much talent on the Cyclone squad, but despite an earlier than desired end to the season in playoffs, the team had a lot to be proud of this season.
With a last string of wins, the Cyclones advanced to the NJCAA Region IV finals against Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference rival Prairie State College, narrowly losing the matchup 58-53 on March 10. Although the loss halted the season, Moraine Valley finished with a 24-9 record, continuing their streak of 20-plus win seasons.
“We had a solid season, but this ending was not what we wanted. We were getting it together near the end, but not enough. Still, we finished with a 24-9 record and were ranked 18th in the nation,” said coach Delwyn Jones. “We never had all five of our key players on the court at one time because of injury. Even under those circumstances it still wasn’t a bad season. We had high expectations—to win conference and region—and when you don’t get that it seems like a major failure, but when you step back and look at our ranking and 24 wins, it’s an accomplishment.”
The Cyclones had players who could score from the inside or outside and had good height in the middle, and everyone learned from each other in a variety of ways that they hopefully will apply to life, Jones said. He hopes this year’s freshmen will take these lessons and bring them back next season. Jones anticipates five or six returners and already has a group of recruits.
Several athletes received honors for their action on the court including sophomore Kim Young (Argo) who was named to the All-Region IV and All-Conference first teams and freshman Kelly Foley (Oak Lawn) who made All-Region and All-Conference second teams. Loretta Burton (Crete-Monee) and Natalina Cifaldi (Lake Park) also had nods to the All-Conference second team. Jessica Contant (Stagg) and Valerie Zulevic (Mother McAuley) were recognized with nods to the All-Region tournament team.