The No. 16 nationally ranked Cyclones had their 10-game win streak snapped after dropping two to a couple of tough teams at the John Wood Community College New Year's Classic.
Their first 101-73 loss Dec. 30 was to Division I Moberly Area Community College (MO). The Cyclones were down two starters and trailed by two at the half to this perennial powerhouse. A stunted second half for the Cyclones and surge for the Greyhounds really widened the gap. Dontia Johnson led the offense with 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Trevon Jones earned a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Da'Quan Dunn scored 10. Jalen Hughes and Zion Fortune each banked nine for the Cyclones in this game.
The next day the Cyclones faced host college, John Wood, and fell 90-63. A banged up Moraine Valley trailed by five at halftime (38-33) to the Blazers. Still down two starters, the Cyclones saw a rough second half, where they fell apart and scored less than the first half. Fortune led in this game with 18 points. Jones added 14 points and nine rebounds while Hughes had 10 points.
Even with these two losses (their last loss before this was on Nov. 5), the Cyclones still start the new year with an overall 12-3 record.
"Our two missing players are our best perimeter shooters, so we miss them. But the real issue is that for two and a half months, we created a unit and now it's different. It's going to take some time to get right," said Head Coach John Chappetto. "Basketball is always tough. This tournament was more about adjusting to change. And we played two good teams, so it was even more difficult. The travel, being down players will only make us better."