The Moraine Valley Community College women’s basketball team worked hard to have a successful season and grew despite the challenges they faced.

When the Cyclones’ roster dwindled to seven players, it made them more cohesive, pushed them to work more and helped them maximize the talent they had.

“We had a good team and a weird season with personnel. The players we expected to be on the team weren’t, and we ended with seven, but those seven bonded well and came together. Everyone supported each other,” said Head Coach Delwyn Jones, finishing his 24th season leading the program. “It was one of my most enjoyable groups as far as being coachable and playing hard, which is all a coach can ask for.”

The 2023-24 Moraine Valley Community College women’s basketball team.

The 2023-24 Moraine Valley Community College women’s basketball team.

The Cyclones finished the season 17-14 overall and 8-6 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference. Despite their record, they were still a top team in NJCAA Region 4 thanks to the players, Jones said.

Sophomore Andrea Robertson (Eisenhower) was one of the top defensive post players in the region. The 6-1 center blocked shots and created havoc under the basket, allowing her teammates to run a lot of defensive plays. She was nationally ranked in the NJCAA Division II all year for her rebounding and blocking skills, finishing No. 1 for defensive rebounds (320), No. 2 for blocks (131) and No. 3 for total rebounds (399). Robertson was the second best defensive player in the Cyclone record book and earned All-Conference first team and All-Region second team honors for her work.

Along with Robertson to control the paint was 6-2 sophomore transfer center Amari Cole (Round Lake). She was another threat under the basket that opponents would have to plan around. Sophomore forward Colleen Zarembski (Oak Forest) was a solid defender on the perimeter and at the post. This versatile player could guard opponent’s best point guard and shooters while hitting a lot of her own shots in the second half of the season. Another sophomore transfer guard, Sarah Burton (Westside Prep), only competed in the second half of the season but became a focal point on offense when the Cyclones needed a basket. She opened up scoring, and opponents knew they needed to stop her. Burton earned All-Conference honorable mention.

The Cyclones had two of their best shooters in freshmen guards Deniza Fuentes (Richards) and Olivia Baxa (Oak Forest), who also earned All-Conference honorable mention. Fuentes averaged 12.2 points per game and racked up 68 three-pointers while Baxa collected 65. The other freshman forward, Robin Stevenson (Shepard), was one of the most versatile players Jones has had on the team. She ran point guard, scored inside and hit three-pointers. When she decided to attack the basket, she was dominant. All three are expected to return and grow more confident in their abilities.

“I wish all seven were coming back next year, but they have to move on and do great things,” Jones noted. “Some people looked at our season and saw major players missing, but we still won 17 games. We still found ways to win. It was a pretty good season, and we maximized the talent we had.”

The four sophomores are looking to transfer and continue playing basketball at a four-year college or university after this semester. Jones, meanwhile, is recruiting and signing players to fill out the roster for next season.

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or