Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Champions
2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, 1988, 1987
NJCAA Region IV Champions
NJCAA Region IV Runners-Up
2014, 2009, 2007
October 31, 2014
Cyclone defense key to big success in 2014-15
With a stacked lineup, including last year’s blocked shots record breaker, the
Cyclones have the tools to bring conference and region crowns back home in the
Last year Moraine Valley went 22-11 overall and 12-2 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, good enough for second place. They were just one game away from advancing to nationals in a heartbreaking loss in the NJCAA Region IV finals. Even though the Cyclones lost, it was memorable and motivating for five returners from that team.
Sophomore 2013 All-Region players Maggie Yandel and Katie McGann as well as All-Conference player Jamilla Jones are gone this year, but All-Conference center/forward Nariman Jaber (Argo/6’3”) is back with her eyes on breaking the all-time blocked shots record at Moraine Valley. Last season she was ranked second in the nation with 131 blocked shots and the school record. In the off-season she developed her short jump hook and can more easily maneuver around the basket, making her a big asset to the team. Although she had to split time with other guards last year, Shavonne “Bonnie” Lewis (Eisenhower/5’6”) is the best passer head Coach Delwyn Jones has seen in his tenure, and according to him, the best point guard in the region. She’s right-handed, but taught herself to shoot well from the left side. Her quickness and vision on the court are unmatched while her defense can help the Cyclones score. Guard Megan Beckow (Evergreen Park/5’7”) is a two-sport athlete at Moraine Valley, playing softball in the spring. She’s always in the right place on the court and finishes well around the basket, evidenced by being the lead scorer when she competed at Evergreen Park High School. Guard Nicole Maloney (Oak Lawn/5’8”) didn’t see too much action on the court last season, but specializes in the 3-point shot and if opponents get in the zone, she can score. Six-foot center Colleen Kull (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences) rounds out the sophomores. She has the size and brings a tough attitude to the group.
The dynamic freshmen and transfers are the final puzzle piece to make this team competitive, particularly with their ability to dominate the perimeter. Rachel Ruzevich (Sandburg/5’10”) is a guard/forward, but has the ability to play any position. An all-around player, Ruzevich has a high basketball IQ and energy, is a good shooter and is one of the better defensive players. Kailey Foster (Joliet West/5’8”) is an athletic combo guard with an impressive vertical and strong drive to the basket. It’s hard to stop Foster’s 3-point shot. Forward Duneya Shatat (Oak Lawn/5’8”) was a 3-point specialist at her alma mater, but also drives well to the basket and is a strong passer. Another talented forward joining the crew is Sharnita Breeze (Argo/5’10”). Although she has a strong 3-pointer and drive, she’s even better on defense. Three Cyclone volleyball players also will have an impact on the team. Forward Jessica Chaput (Shepard/5’11”) brings high energy and hustle to the court. Forward Kate Patnett (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences/6’0”) has potential in the post despite not playing basketball in a couple years. Guard Carly Trinley (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences/5’6”) is a fighter. She also plays softball for the Cyclones. Some other newcomers include forwards Katie Bass (DeKaney Park/5’10”), Jonie Nard (Evergreen Park/5’8”) and McKayla Smith (Andrew/5’10”) and guard Anita Robinson (Richards/5’7”).
“I think we have a solid team this year. We have well above average individual defensive players. If we come together as a unit, we’ll be tough. Our defense is so good collectively. It’ll be tough to score against us. I think we can win with our defense alone, plus Nariman is our biggest shot blocker,” said Jones, who is in his 15th year at the helm. “As in the past, we have a great shot at conference and region championships this season.”
By his side, Jones has assistant Sean Mackey, who has been with the Cyclones since 2011, and newcomer and former Cyclone Natalina Cifaldi.