March 4, 2015
Cyclones show big turnaround in 2015, includes conference championship
What a difference a year makes. In 2014 the Cyclones had a losing record
after a rebuilding season. This year they finished in the NJCAA Region IV
semi-finals after being crowned the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference
champions. And they only plan to continue the upward trajectory.
When head Coach David Howard took over the Cyclone squad for the 2013-14 season, he wanted to maintain its tradition of athletic excellence. Going 8-22 overall and 4-10 in conference was disappointing, but he plowed ahead. Recruiting and getting his team to gel supplemented a successful 2014-15 season that saw the Cyclones go 17-14 overall and 11-3 in conference, good enough for an outright championship not done by any Skyway team since 2011. Moraine Valley last held the title with Morton College in 2013. After they clinched the crown, Howard was named Skyway Coach of the Year, although humbly acknowledges the great help from assistants James Daniels and Brandon Allen. Niko Cahue (Sandburg) and Brian Townsend (Evergreen Park) were named to the All-Conference first team while Deland “DJ” Deere (Thornton Fractional North) and Ermias Nega (Wakefield) took All-Conference second team.
“We could’ve had a 20-win season, but I can’t complain one bit. The turnaround from last season to this one is amazing. It’s a testament to these guys. They sacrificed for the betterment of the team. They gelled and believed in each other, picked each other up, never stopped believing,” Howard said.
Before the Cyclones even reached their conference matchups, which began Jan. 13, they held a 4-10 record. They easily could have given up when battle tested but stuck to the plan. Some losses, however, were due to players getting caught up in the moment and deviating from cohesive team-play, like in their semi-final loss to Olive-Harvey College on March 1.
“Some of those early games we had a shot at winning. But overall we had a really good season. It’s always nice to say you earned a conference championship outright. It’s a huge accomplishment for these guys,” Howard said. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but the good outweighed the bad. This program is headed in the right direction.”
The Cyclones will lose a few starters due to their sophomore status or transfer to four-year schools. Cahue signed on scholarship—Howard’s first freshman to do so—to continue his education and play ball at Saint Xavier University this fall. Townsend is looking at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. The duo were walking double-doubles for the Cyclones this season—Townsend with 13 and Cahue with nine—so their presence will be missed. Paulius Ostruskevicius (Lemont) was asked to do a lot this season; it didn’t matter if he started or was the sixth man, he still worked hard and always responded with a positive attitude. Randall Rushing (Richards) played one season for the Cyclones a couple years ago and worked extremely hard to become a starter.
As for the returners, Howard said he’ll look to his star freshman, Nega, as well as Deere, Calviontae Washington (Eisenhower) and Jason Roland (Oak Forest) to set the tone. “It’s a good group returning. They know my expectations,” he added.
Now with the season over, the work continues. In addition to recruiting for next season, Howard is making sure his players succeed in the classroom and that the sophomores get into four-year colleges and universities. He credits Gloria Coughlin, student athlete success coordinator, with helping the players buckle down.
March 2, 2015
Cyclones falter in semis
The Cyclones are heartbroken. After a surge at the start of 2015 that
included an Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship, Moraine
Valley was ready to scrape their way to the national tournament. That is,
until Olive-Harvey College got in the way. The Cyclones dropped their NJCAA
Region IV semi-final game (March 1) 82-70 to the Panthers to end their
The two teams had met earlier this season with the Cyclones taking their first loss in the new year. This time the men in green had a shot to advance in regionals. Within the first half, the Cyclones were up 38-21 and by halftime were ahead 43-32, but the defense faltered in the second half. The intense competitive spirit of players conversely helped them stray, according to head Coach David Howard. Players didn’t want to lose so much that the ball-sharing strategy turned into solo shots. Turnovers (11) outnumbered assists (seven) in the second half as well compared to the first half. With four-minutes to go, the Cyclones tied the game at 65 before they let things slip.
“They deviated from the plan, and guys got caught up in the moment. But it was a hard-fought game. I tip my hat to Olive-Harvey. They played well,” Howard said. “The guys and I believe we should still be playing, but with our accomplishments this season, I told them to not hang their heads. They have nothing to be ashamed of. We had a really good season.”
Ermias Nega led the scoring with 17 points along with seven rebounds and three assists. Brian Townsend finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Niko Cahue banked 13 and took down 10 boards. DJ Deere (eight points, four rebounds, two assists) and Randall Rushing (seven points, six assists, four rebounds, four steals) rounded out the bunch.
February 27, 2015
Cyclones advance in playoffs
The Cyclones are one step closer to nationals after their 78-59 victory over
Black Hawk East College in the NJCAA Region IV quarter-finals last night.
After being crowned the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference champs in their last game, the Cyclones felt the pressure to continue these winning ways. Nerves kept the men in green flat at the start, giving themselves only a five-point lead at halftime. Randall Rushing’s energy in the second half with some key steals got Moraine Valley rolling on a run. He finished the night with five assists, five boards and three steals.
Other big contributions came from Ermias Nega (23 points and four steals), Niko Cahue (14 points, seven rebounds), Brian Townsend (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals), DJ Deere (six points, six assists, two steals), Calviontae Washington (seven points), and Vicpatrick Harris (seven points).
Next up is Olive-Harvey College in the semi-final round on March 1. The Cyclones faced the Panthers at the start of 2015, losing that initial matchup. They’re hoping to change the results this weekend.
February 20, 2015
Cyclones bring home conference championship
The cooler of ice water was poured over Coach David Howard’s head and the
celebrating ensued after the Cyclones’ 77-64 victory over Elgin Community
College last night (Feb. 19).
If Moraine Valley failed to win that game, they would have had to share the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship with rival Morton College. Instead, Moraine Valley earned the crown outright, which hasn’t been done by any Skyway team since 2011. The Cyclones last earned the honor as co-champs in the 2012-13 season when they eventually finished as runners-up at nationals.
“I feel like God has shown us his favor right now. This is unreal. One year ago we were tied for dead last, now we are the conference champs all by ourselves,” said Howard, who was named Skyway Conference Coach of the Year.
The men in green were aggressive from the start and caused the Spartans to commit turnovers that helped fuel some Cyclone runs. The dynamic trio of Niko Cahue (21 points, six rebounds), Brian Townsend (15 points, 10 rebounds, six steals) and Ermias Nega (12 points, nine rebounds) gave the Cyclones that needed edge for the win.
The Cyclones finished with an 11-3 conference record and head into NJCAA Region IV playoffs next week with enthusiasm.
“We are enjoying this moment, but we still have other goals to accomplish,” Howard said. “We want to make the national tournament and make a run for the title. These guys worked so hard and really started to sacrifice and trust the coaches and their teammates. We want to ride this momentum right into nationals.”
February 18, 2015
Cyclones looking for one more Skyway win
Another key win down for the Cyclones, one more to go. After a well-deserved
74-67 victory over Prairie State College in their last regular season home
game (Feb. 17), the Cyclones retained the top spot in the Illinois Skyway
Collegiate Conference. If they win their final conference matchup with Elgin
on Thursday, they’ll claim the championship outright.
Throughout the first half, Moraine Valley worked all the right angles, leading by 14 at one point. After halftime, the Pioneers made some runs to cut their deficit to four, but the Cyclones pounded out the offense and maintained a tight defense for a comfortable win.
Leading the effort was Niko Cahue (18 points, four rebounds) followed by Ermias Nega (16 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, two assists), Randall Rushing (13 points, two rebounds, two assists), Paul Ostruskevicius (nine points, two assists), and DJ Deere (six points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals).
February 17, 2015
Former Cyclone coach Dedrick Shannon will head west this summer to start his
new job as assistant coach for men’s basketball at Oklahoma Panhandle State
University, where several former Cyclones have competed and continued their
Two Cyclone alum were named Mid-American Conference Players of the Week. Richaun Holmes (2011-12), at Bowling Green University, and Karrington Ward (2012-13), at Eastern Michigan University, earned the recognition after putting up some big numbers. For the week, Holmes averaged 16 points on 61.9 percent shooting overall as well as 6.5 rebounds, two assists and increased his blocked shot total this season to 61. Ward averaged 18.5 points and 10 rebounds, hitting 77.8 percent of his free throw attempts. Both players helped their teams go 2-0 for the week.
February 16, 2015
Last minute free throws give Cyclones the edge
Brian Townsend was the hero Feb. 14 with a couple of clutch free throws to
help seal the Cyclones’ latest win.
Although not a conference game, the narrow 74-72 victory over
nationally-ranked South Suburban was a morale booster.
The Cyclones put up a good overall fight and made pivotal stops when needed against the Bulldogs, who are ranked #18 in NJCAA Division II. They played a solid 40 minutes on the court and were up late in the game before the Bulldogs took a mini run to tie things up. With little time left, Townsend sunk both free throws to give Moraine Valley the lead. A fortunate missed shot at the buzzer by South Sub sealed the Cyclone win.
Townsend led with his double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) followed closely by Ermias Nega (16 points, seven rebounds, two assists), Niko Cahue (12 points, seven rebounds), Randall Rushing (11 points, six rebounds, three steals), and DJ Deere (nine points, five assists).
February 13, 2015
Battling Cyclones fall to Panthers
The Cyclones are a little hot and cold right now. Last night they
fell 84-74 to Morton College, a conference team that doesn’t trail far
behind in the Skyway standings. It was another team Moraine Valley had
defeated earlier this season but couldn’t stop down the stretch.
The score was close the entire game with the Cyclones up by two at halftime. The second half proved to be more of a battle, and Moraine Valley couldn’t get stops when they needed them, giving up mini runs late with little time for a comeback. Right now the Cyclones have a bull’s-eye on their backs and no teams are going to let them glide to a conference championship.
Ermias Nega led the effort with 19 points, six rebounds and two assists followed by a double-double from Niko Cahue (15 points, 12 rebounds), Randall Rushing (13 points, three rebounds), DJ Deere (six points, eight assists), and Brian Townsend (five points, 10 rebounds).
February 11, 2015
Cyclones back to winning ways
With a handful of games left this season, the Cyclones couldn’t risk any
more losses. After falling in their last two consecutive games and getting a
reality check, the possibility of giving up the top spot in conference was
not an option. So back to the grind, Moraine Valley defeated McHenry County
College 76-65 (Feb. 10).
The Cyclones came out playing well and quickly built a double-digit lead. However, once they loosened the reins, the Scots went on a 12-3 run and the Cyclones were down by the second half. Some quick regrouping at halftime helped Moraine Valley finish the game for the win.
Niko Cahue was back in the lineup, scoring 15 with nine boards and two blocks. Ermias Nega had a strong night with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists. Other big numbers came from Vicpatrick Harris (12 points, six assists), Paul Ostruskevicius (nine points, three assists), Randall Rushing (eight points, six rebounds, four steals), and Brian Townsend (seven points, seven rebounds, two assists).
“We were tired of losing. The last two losses scared us. The players were a little too [cocky] from the win streak and realized they have to compete well every game. Every win is important now,” said assistant coach James Daniels.
If the Cyclones win the next three conference games, they’ll bring the Skyway championship home. With that in mind, they’re taking it one game at a time.
February 9, 2015
Cyclones drop one to Chiefs
They’re not worried yet, but can’t sit back anymore. The Cyclones lost their
second straight game Feb. 7, this time an 84-73 defeat at the hands of
Waubonsee Community College, a team they defeated last month.
Niko Cahue was out with an injury, so the Chiefs instead keyed in on Brian Townsend. Early on both teams traded baskets, but the Cyclones dug themselves into a 20-point deficit in the second half. They pressed and scrambled to get back in the game and cut the lead to eight. Within the last nine minutes, starter DJ Deere injured his shoulder and had to sit out. At game’s end, Moraine Valley was out rebounded by 20 and couldn’t get enough stops to make any gains.
Townsend ended the night with 15 points and seven rebounds. He was followed by Deere (13 points) and Ermias Nega (10 points, four assists).
February 6, 2015
Cyclones given reality check
Humble pie was just what the Cyclones needed Feb. 5, according to head Coach
David Howard as he saw his team fall 76-56 to College of Lake County, which
they defeated earlier this season.
Moraine Valley continues to top the conference despite this first loss, but they won’t maintain that rank if they continue playing the way they did last night. The Cyclones had 17 turnovers and just six assists, compared to 21 assists for the Lancers. They were outmuscled and from the paint, Moraine Valley was outscored 42-20. Howard expects this reality check will bring his guys back to their typical cohesive efforts on the court.
The lead scorer for the night was Paul Ostruskevicius with 13 points. Compiling his 10th double-double, Brian Townsend finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Niko Cahue added 10 points and six boards while Randall Rushing scored nine.
February 4, 2015
Eight is great
A sluggish start didn’t stop the Cyclones, which earned their eighth
straight victory and boosted their record to two over .500.
Although the Cyclones were initially a bit lethargic in their Feb. 3 game, they finished with a hefty 87-63 victory over Oakton Community College.
Down for some time in the first half, the Cyclones finally hit a good run into halftime going up by 12. The men in green stepped up the defense in the second half, closing out on shooters and rebounding. Nick Bal was a spark off the bench hitting two big 3-pointers. Some key threes also were sunk by Claviontae Washington, Vicpatrick Harris (who had two) and Abdal Ishtaiah down the stretch.
Brian Townsend took charge again with another double-double (13 points, 14 rebounds), but had help from Ermias Nega (14 points, eight rebounds), DJ Deere (11 points, six assists), Niko Cahue (nine points, 11 boards) and Ishtaiah (nine points, five rebounds).
January 30, 2015
Lucky number seven
Last night was a major test of the Cyclones’ skill and willpower, and they
proved they deserve to be number one. They knock off Elgin
Community College, which also posted a 6-0 conference record and 11-game win
streak, doing so in the last two minutes of the game.
Moraine Valley started off with a strong flow, but gradually backed off enough to encourage a tight matchup. With two minutes left on the clock, the score was deadlocked at 54. Paul Ostruskevicius hit a 3-pointer before scoring on a driving layup to start the run the Cyclones needed to pull out the win. Niko Cahue sealed the 65-56 victory with a layup after giving the Spartans a last-minute bucket. This puts the Cyclones at 7-0 in conference action.
Randall Rushing led the attack (13 points, three rebounds, three steals) followed by Brian Townsend (12 points, 17 rebounds), Cahue (11 points, 12 rebounds), Ermias Nega (nine points, nine rebounds), and DJ Deere (five points, four rebounds, four assists).
January 28, 2015
Cyclones post perfect conference record
With minutes to go in the Cyclones’ latest matchup with Prairie State
College, the men in green were down and looked to be out. But nothing could
stop their determination as they surged ahead for a 61-56 win and sixth
straight conference victory Jan. 27.
Neither team dominated the court in a game that put Moraine Valley squarely on top of the conference standings. If the Cyclones had lost, there would have been a three-way tie for first, including Elgin Community College which they face on Thursday. The Cyclones knew what was at stake and fought back all game. With four minutes to go and down five, the Cyclones pulled out another win.
Double-doubles are becoming a common team trend with Brian Townsend being the latest star (15 points, 15 rebounds). Other big contributors were Randall Rushing (12 points, five rebounds), Ermias Nega (eight points, five rebounds) and DJ Deere (eight points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals).
January 26, 2015
Cyclones take time to volunteer
Two months ago the Cyclones were grappling with a five-game losing streak,
but took time away from their practice schedule to volunteer. Now, rolling
on a five-game win streak, Moraine Valley players returned to do community
On Saturday, Jan. 24, the men's basketball team did something bigger than basketball. Instead of a much needed practice at the height of the season, the Cyclones volunteered at the Harvest for the World Food Pantry in Chicago. The young men started at 7 a.m. and worked until 10 a.m. to help distribute food to needy families.
After their community service in November, the athletes expressed how humbling it was and they’d love to do it again.
“This is just another way to show that Moraine Valley is not only committed to education and athletics, but also to giving back to the community. Giving back is still at the front of what the Cyclones do,” said head Coach David Howard.
January 23, 2015
’Clones edge out Panthers; still perfect in conference
Not every win is a breeze and the latest one for the Cyclones was no
exception. Some free throws helped seal the Cyclones’ 93-88 victory over
Morton College (Jan. 22).
It was another even matchup between the conference rivals, making the Cyclones the lone undefeated team in conference action (5-0). Although the Cyclones had a better second half, they faltered a bit on defense throughout the entire game. The win was solidified by some clutch free throws down the stretch. Every win counts, but in order to overcome some challenging opponents in the next few weeks, the men in green will have to focus on defense.
Niko Cahue continues to throw down the double-doubles with 29 points and 11 boards. Brian Townsend wasn’t far behind with 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and two blocks along with help from DJ Deere (20 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, three steals), Randall Rushing (11 points, three rebounds) and Ermias Nega (six assists, four rebounds, two steals).
January 22, 2015
Cyclones on a roll, including three double-doubles
Make that four in a row. The Cyclones charged through another Illinois
Skyway Collegiate Conference team—McHenry County College—to maintain a
perfect conference record. They defeated the Scots 98-58 on Jan. 20.
Three Cyclones had an impressive night, each with a double-double: Niko Cahue (17 points, 10 rebounds, two steals), Brian Townsend (15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals) and Ermias Nega (13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists). Also contributing to the cause were Nick Bal (15 points) and DJ Deere (12 points, three assists, two steals).
In the first half of the season, Moraine Valley was pitted against some tough opposition in preparation for conference competition, evidenced by their unblemished conference record. Their next test comes tonight when they face rival Morton College at home, 7 p.m.
January 18, 2015
Cyclones earn third straight
These battling Cyclones are still at it, winning their third straight Jan.
Facing Waubonsee Community College, the Cyclones battled against their evenly matched opponent. With the lead changing hands often, the Cyclones wouldn’t back off the attack. Their cohesive force took a 35-28 lead at the half. Moraine Valley continued to pressure the Chiefs in the second half and squeaked out the 67-64 victory.
Niko Cahue finished with yet another double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds). Brian Townsend wasn’t far behind netting 10 with eight boards and three assists. Paul Ostruskevicius had nine points, three rebounds and two blocks while DJ Deere scored eight, adding five assists.
January 18, 2015
Cyclones celebrate All-Decade Team
They came from around Illinois. There was even one out-of-stater and two who
had to coach a basketball game later that night, but nearly 40 Cyclone
alumni and former coaches flocked to the Cyclone Center Jan. 17 to celebrate
the college’s All-Decade Team.
At halftime of the men’s basketball game that night, Cyclones athletic director Bill Finn announced the men’s basketball All-Decade Team which included players from 1979 to 2010. Eighty-two players made the list comprised by Finn, who coached the men’s team for 22 years. After bringing up Skip Dorn, his assistant coach during his tenure, he announced all the alumni (some by game nicknames) in attendance and had them line the court while praising the basketball program.
“I’m honoring the top players, and I’m proud of all of you. Over the years we’ve won over 700 victories, had four Final Fours and a runners-up appearance. We’re known as a traditional national power. I know I was tough to play for, but it’s nice to see you guys now, all grown up,” Finn said at the brief ceremony. “We loved the G Building, but we love this new building. It’s the college you helped build. We’ve had good times and bad times. I’m proud.”
After a group photo, all the alumni and their families congregated and reconnected at a reception.
January 16, 2015
Cyclones edge out Lancers
Hopefully the Cyclones got most of their losses out in the first half of the
season. So far they’ve won both conference games and seem to have found
In their first home matchup in the new year, the Cyclones hung on to a 60-53 win over College of Lake County. The offense took some time to warm up. Halftime even saw the Cyclones down by seven after which they stepped it up a notch and fought back for the win.
Niko Cahue (14 points, 10 rebounds, two steals) and Brian Townsend (10 points, 12 rebounds, two steals) led the charge with their double-doubles. Ermias Nega, Paul Ostruskevicius and Calviontae Washington each scored 10. Nega added eight assists, six rebounds and three steals while Ostruskevicius had three boards.
The Cyclones face Waubonsee Community College on Saturday, 3 p.m., at home, where at halftime, select alumni players will be honored on an All-Decade team (1979-2010).
January 14, 2015
First conference matchup yields Cyclone win
Things are coming together for the Cyclones. In a much needed win to start
conference play (Jan. 13), Moraine Valley defeated Oakton Community College,
At one point the ’Clones were up by 20 points, but withstood all the runs by Oakton to maintain the 10-point advantage. Nick Bal was on fire with 31 points along with two steals. Other contributors to the win were Ermias Nega (16 points, nine assists, five rebounds, two blocks), Brian Townsend (14 points, eight rebounds, three steals), Calviontae Washington (11 points, two assists), and Paul Ostruskevicius (nine points, five rebounds, two assists).
January 7, 2015
Turnovers stifle ’Clones
A big winter break did not help the Cyclone cause. Not having played since
Dec. 20, Moraine Valley came out a little rusty Jan. 6 against Olive-Harvey
College. A lax defense and too many turnovers hurt the Cyclones in a 99-68
Two players had double-doubles—Niko Cahue (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Paul Ostruskevicius (11 points, 13 rebounds, two assists). Brian Townsend also scored 15, adding nine boards, four steals and two assists. Deland “DJ” Deere (10 points, four assists) and Jonathan Wilson (seven points, two rebounds) rounded out the effort.
December 22, 2014
Cyclones fall short in second half
The effort was there, but the Cyclones gave up a run at the wrong time Dec.
20, suffering a 77-70 loss to Joliet Junior College.
Moraine Valley struggled to recover from the Wolves’ run and the defense was sluggish in the second half. Deland “DJ” Deere had a massive 24 points, six assists and three steals followed by Nitavian Sims with 12 points and three assists. Brian Townsend came out with his fifth double-double scoring 10 and grabbing 11 boards plus two steals. Ermias Nega had nine points, eight rebounds and two steals, while Niko Cahue rounded out the bunch with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.
December 19, 2014
Cyclones grab second straight
The Cyclones earned a much needed win Dec. 18 over Wright College. Getting
their second straight victory (71-64), they maintained good flow on the
Brian Townsend led the attack with 15 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Close behind was Niko Cahue with 14 points and five boards followed by Deland “DJ” Deere (10 points, six assists, two steals), Nick Bal (nine points, two assists, two steals) and Ermias Nega (seven points, six rebounds, three assists).
December 10, 2014
Cyclones handle Hawks
Moraine Valley broke a five-game losing streak Dec. 9 with a big 86-61
victory over Malcolm X College. As a young team still working out the
details, the Cyclones played a complete game without fizzling out toward the
end while also responding well to the Hawks' defense.
Brian Townsend led the effort with 22 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Ermias Nega followed closely with 21 points and two assists. Other contributors included Deland “DJ” Deere (12 points, seven assists), Mychele Bullock (eight points, five rebounds) and Randall Rushing (eight points, three rebounds).
December 1, 2014
Even in losses, Cyclones improving
It was a tiresome weekend (Nov. 28-29) for the men in green after they
trekked to Ohio for the Surge Classic hosted by Cincinnati State Technical
and Community College. Even though Moraine Valley came up empty handed at
the end, they’re improving and still learning how to finish games strong.
The first matchup (Nov. 28) was against the host team. Considering that Cincinnati State is ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA, the Cyclones held up well, even taking the lead a few times. Moraine Valley was up by eight at halftime and kept a lead only once more before losing control and falling 79-68. Brian Townsend had another big game with his fourth double-double, racking up 23 points and 12 rebounds. He was followed by Niko Cahue (13 points, seven rebounds) and Deland “DJ” Deere (10 points, six assists, two steals).
In another tight game (Nov. 29) the Cyclones lost 63-54 to Danville Area Community College. Cahue and Townsend led the way again with Cahue grabbing six boards and scoring 13 while Townsend had five rebounds and 12 points. Ermias Nega rounded out the top with 10 points and four boards.
November 26, 2014
Cyclones struggle to get over hump
After a solid start to their matchup with College of DuPage on Nov. 25, the
Cyclones couldn’t capitalize on their run and get over the hump, losing
Moraine Valley gave up some critical offensive rebounds at the wrong time throughout this game. They have all the elements to put together some wins and are determined to keep fighting.
Brian Townsend had his third double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Nitavian Sims scored 14 and had two assists while Niko Cahue had 13 points, Mychele Bullock scored nine and grabbed three rebounds, and Deland “DJ” Deere rounded out the group with seven points, six assists and four rebounds.
November 24, 2014
Cyclones give back in community project
Instead of working on their game during a typical Sunday practice, the Cyclones worked on something else—helping others at a food pantry.
For several hours on Nov. 23, the men’s basketball team volunteered at the Harvest for the World Food Pantry in Chicago. They passed out food to needy families, carried boxes to people’s cars and helped setup and break down the pantry.
“This is just one way of showing that the men's basketball team is giving back to our community as well as learning life lessons along the way. Each player was told that the Moraine Valley coaches are teaching them life through basketball. We want them to be prepared to be productive citizens who always face the trials and tribulations of life with integrity, humility and dedication,” said head Coach David Howard. “So while we have plenty of work to do to get better on the basketball court, we owe it to our players and to our communities to show them how to give back.”
November 21, 2014
Big start fizzles for ’Clones
They’re fighters and still working out the kinks. Even with a good start and
fighting spirit, the Cyclones tacked on a loss Nov. 20.
The Cyclones went on a nice run to start their battle with Elmhurst College, but were down by 10 at halftime. Throughout the rest of the game Moraine Valley scraped and cut the deficit to three, but couldn’t get over the hump and were dealt the 72-63 loss.
Brian Townsend had his second double-double this season—17 points and 10 rebounds along with three steals. Deland “DJ” Deere tacked on 14 points, five assists and two steals. Niko Cahue added eight points and eight rebounds while Paul Ostruskevicius finished with eight points and three rebounds.
November 19, 2014
Turnovers get Cyclones down
Turnovers hurt the Cyclones Nov. 18 in a 77-64 loss to Kankakee Community
Moraine Valley started off well, but the turnovers were hard to recover from. At halftime the Cyclones were down by 10 but got as close as six before the end.
Brian Townsend was the top scorer for the night with 16 points along with eight rebounds and two steals. He was followed by Vicpatrick Harris (14 points, four assists, three rebounds), Nick Bal (10 points), Deland “DJ” Deere (eight points, two rebounds, two steals), and Randall Rushing (eight points, four rebounds, two steals).
November 14, 2014
Cyclones take down Hawks
In their best defensive game so far this season, the Cyclones grabbed their
second win on Nov. 13 with a 62-56 victory over the Hawks of Harper College.
Keeping their composure and fortitude throughout the entire game, the Cyclones played much better ball and didn’t let up. Leading the way was Brian Townsend with 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Niko Cahue had a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Vicpatrick Harris topped out at 16 points and four assists while Deland “DJ” Deere added six assists and three steals.
November 12, 2014
Cyclones nab first win
The Cyclones added that desired notch to the win column on Nov. 11 when they
soundly defeated Daley College, 75-55.
The players battled fatigue in the second half but are still learning to finish games better, handle pressure and take on mental mistakes.
Niko Cahue led the charge with 22 points and eight rebounds followed by Brian Townsend (21 points, nine rebounds), Deland “DJ” Deere (17 points, eight rebounds, five assists), Paulius Otruskevicius (five points, seven rebounds), and Vicpatrick Harris (five rebounds, four assists, four steals).
November 10, 2014
Cyclones lose steam
There was more fight in the Cyclones Nov. 8 as they faced Danville Area
Community College, but not enough for a win.
Moraine Valley kept the energy level high early in the game, holding a four-point lead at halftime. However, the defense lost some steam in the second half, giving the Cyclones an 89-77 loss.
Brian Townsend led the attempt with 17 points, five rebounds and two steals. He was followed by Deland “DJ” Deere with 16 points, four assists and two steals; Ermias Nega with 10 points and three rebounds; and Niko Cahue who tallied nine points and five rebounds.
November 5, 2014
Flat start hurts ’Clones
There was a flat start to the Cyclones’ game Nov. 4, and too late of a surge to make up a deficit in an 83-56 loss to Triton College. Paul Ostruskevicius led the attempt with 13 points and four rebounds followed by Vicpatrick Harris (12 points, four rebounds) and Niko Cahue (10 points, four rebounds).
November 1, 2014
Cyclones fall to Kougars
The Cyclones have some kinks to work out, but it’s still early. In their first official game to start the season Nov. 1, Moraine Valley lost to Kishwaukee College 97-75. Brian Townsend had a double-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks, and three steals. Deland “DJ” Deere scored 17, grabbing four boards while Nick Bal had 11 points.
October 30, 2014
Cyclones ready to make a statement in 2014-15 season
It’s a new year with a young team yearning to win. Every player on the
Moraine Valley men’s basketball team will be expected to contribute this
season and continue rebuilding the winning Cyclone tradition.
Last year was a transitional one for the Cyclones, which saw their coach Dedrick Shannon resign—after ending his ninth season with the runner-up team in the national tournament—and former Cyclone David Howard take the reins. Howard wasn’t able to recruit his team and finished with a disappointing 8-22 overall record. But this season he’s anticipating more success. In his first full year in recruitment mode, the players have bought into his style of coaching and pushed each other throughout the pre-season.
“This feels like my group of guys because it’s my first year recruiting. There was so much transition last year,” Howard said. “This group is competitive, and they want to get better. We’re small, but I like what they bring. They’re young and feisty. They want to get better, and they hate losing.”
The Cyclones lost sophomore All-Conference players Kyle Ward, Johnte Shannon and Des’nique Harris, and have just two returners, 6-foot guard Nick Bal (Reavis) and 6-foor-2 guard/forward Paulius Ostruskevicius (Lemont), who bring experience and a winning mentality, along with strong recruits.
Size is coming from freshmen forward/center Niko Cahue (Sandburg) and transfer forward Brian Townsend (Evergreen Park/Western Oklahoma State College) who each top out at 6’6”. Other new additions to the squad include guards Mychele Bullock (Thornton Fractional South/6’2”), Deland “DJ” Deere (Thornton Fractional North/5’10”), Vicpatrick Harris (Dyett/6’0”), Abdal Ishtaiah (Reavis/6’1”), Jason Roland (Oak Forest/6’0”), Nick Sims (Stagg/5’11”), Demarcus Vines (Boylan/McHenry County College/5’10”), Calviontae Washington (Eisenhower/6’1”), guard/forwards Ermias Nega (Wakefield/6’4”) and Randall Rushing (Richards/6’3”), and center Sean Tyrrell (Andrew/6'5").
The Cyclones have their eyes on more success this season with two new tactics they hope will pay dividends—a quicker game on the court and a true collective effort.
“I’m feeling good about this year. We’re going to play more up tempo. Last year we fell in love with the 3-point shot. Now we want to attack the rim first. We have quite a few guys who can shoot, but we’ll make our opponents uncomfortable with defensive pressure,” Howard said. “A lot of the guys do things well, but to be successful it’ll be a team effort from the first guy to the last one on the roster. They all have to contribute. Everyone is expected to perform and work together.”
Howard is joined on the bench by second-year assistant James Daniels and newcomer Brandon Allen.
October 27, 2014
Cyclone hoopster alum heads to Argentina to play pro ball
When Cyclone alum Dwight McCombs competed at Moraine Valley in the 2009-10
season, he made a statement with conference and region honors. Now he’s
bringing that same intensity to Argentina, where he’ll play professional
Following his brief stint at Moraine Valley, McCombs continued his education and basketball career at the University of Central Florida (2010-12). Last year he split time between teams in the National Basketball League of Canada. For the 2014-15 season, he signed to play with San Isidro in the Argentinian Torneo Nacional de Ascenso league.
September 8, 2014
Two Cyclone alum rank in top 20 for defensive stoppers this season
Two former Cyclones are showing their stuff at some NCAA Division I
universities. Richaun Holmes (2011-12) and Karrington Ward (2012-13) made
the Bleacher Report’s list for one of the top 20 defensive stoppers who will
be key to their team’s defense this season.
Holmes is ranked 18th, setting Bowling Green University’s record for blocked shots in only two seasons. Karrington Ward was ranked 15th out of Eastern Michigan University, which had a defense nationally ranked 11th or better last season.
While at Moraine Valley, both players helped their teams earn championships in both the NJCAA Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference as well as compete at nationals. Both were named NJCAA Division II All-American and Conference Player of the Year while Ward added Region Player of the Year to his resume before transferring.
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