BOZEMAN — Montana State head coach Tricia Binford is touting her 2013-14 recruiting class as one of the best in her nine-year tenure with the Bobcats, both on the court and in the classroom.
Signing National Letters-of-Intent with the women’s basketball program on Wednesday were Haley Blodgett, a 6-3 center from Golden, Colo., Hannah Caudill, a 5-7 point guard from Spokane, Wash., Delany Junkermier, a 6-0 guard from Spokane, and Ashton Siegner, a 6-1 forward from Albany, Ore.
“We’re very excited about the potential of this class,” Binford said. “They had instant chemistry with each other and the team. They’re a natural fit with our style as everyone can shoot or put the ball on the floor. They are also great character kids, who are outstanding students. The MSU academic advisors who met with these athletes during the recruiting process should be commended.”
Blodgett, a four-year letterwinner and two-time team captain at Golden High School, averaged 13 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks, 2.5 assists and two steals last winter with the Demons. A three-time All-Jefferson County selection, she led the league in rebounding and blocks and was ranked third in scoring and assists.
“After taking my official visit in August, I realized that after only one visit, Montana State felt like home to me,” Blodgett said. “I felt such a strong connection with all the girls on the basketball team and I could tell right away how much the coaches cared about each and every player. I am also very excited to start my college education as I pursue a degree in business at the new Jake Jabs College of Business.”
Off the court, Blodgett ranks first in her class and has functioned as student body and class president. A National Honor Society honoree, she was named the Golden High School Outstanding Junior award winner.
“For her size, Hayley is very mobile and runs the floor extremely well,” Binford said. “She also has the ability to knock down the three-pointer. Defensively, she really gets after it and is an excellent shot blocker.”
Caudill, a former teammate of current Bobcat Lindsay Stockton at Gonzaga Prep, averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 assists last season for the Bullpups. As a junior, she led Gonzaga Prep to a 24-4 overall mark and a Washington 4A fourth place finish, scoring 11 points and dishing out six assists in the final contest of the season. As a team captain, the Bullpups made district and state tournaments all four years. In addition, Caudill was captain of her AAU team and was MVP at the End of the Trail Tournament.
“Hannah is a true-point guard that possesses the savvy and toughness we’re looking for,” Binford said. “Hannah is one of the best passers I have ever seen and will be able to take our tempo up another notch. Hannah is also a gamer and plays her best when the game is on the line.”
Caudill plans to major in exercise science.
“I choose MSU for many reasons,” Caudill said. “First, the coaches. The coaches called me more than any other school and showed me that they really wanted me to be a part of their program. I also chose MSU because of the team. I knew Lindsay, so she made it easy for me to feel comfortable and the rest of the team was awesome.”
Junkermier, a four-year letterwinner at Mead High School, guided the Panthers to a 25-1 mark last winter and a Washington state championship. For her efforts, she was a 2012-13 First Team All-State selection; a 2012-13 All-Greater Spokane League honoree; and a 2012-13 state tournament sportsmanship award recipient. A three-year varsity starter, Junkermier was the 2013 Jack Blair Memorial girls All-Star Basketball Classic most inspirational player.
“Delany can flat out shoot the ball,” Binford said. “She can play the 2 or 3 and will be able to score in transition. Delany is terrific in the open court and runs the floor hard. She’s got good size and has already established great chemistry with Hannah (Caudill). She is also an outstanding student.”
Sporting a 4.0 grade-point average, Junkermier, a national Honor Society member, plans to major in nursing at Montana State.
“I chose MSU due to the fact that it felt like it could be my new home,” Junkermier said. “I loved everything about it. I love the basketball program, which consists of a fast-paced game and lots of chances to shoot the ball. Also, MSU’s nursing program is one of the top in the Northwest and both of my parents are from Montana.”
Junkermier’s sister Kalee is a junior on the Carroll College women’s basketball team.
Siegner, who will become a four-year letterwinner at West Albany High School, has guided the Bulldogs to an impressive 71-12 over the past three seasons, including two Mid-Willamette Valley titles. Last winter, Siegner was a Second Team All-State and All-State Tournament selection. In addition, she was the Mid-Willamette Defensive Player of the Year and was a First Team All-Conference performer.
“Ashton is another outstanding athlete that will fit in nicely with our program,” Binford said. “She shoots and moves very well and is a great defender. Ashton sees the floor well and has good passing ability. She’ll be perfect for our dribble drive.”
Another student-athlete with a 4.0 gpa, Siegner plans to major in engineering at MSU. At West Albany, she is a member of the National Honor Society and is a valedictorian candidate.
Binford indicated the Bobcats can sign one more athlete, most likely in the spring.
— MSU Sports Information