Tech women land C-Falls’ Kemppainen, California JC transfer

The Montana Tech women’s basketball program grew by two today.

Oredigger coach Carly VanDyke announced the signing of Columbia Falls star Winter Kemppainen and junior college transfer Dahlia Lopez.

Lopez and Kemppainen are the second and third signees for Coach VanDyke this offseason, joining Butte High graduate Sammy McGree.

Kemppainen helped lead Columbia Falls to third place the last two seasons at the Class A State tournament. The 5-foot-10 forward was named All-State and first-team all-conference.

“Winter is an extremely athletic player who can get to the basket and score,” VanDyke said in a statement. “She works hard and we are excited to have her in our program.”

Kemppainen, a three-sport athlete, led the Wildkats to two consecutive Northwestern A Conference championships. She averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds per game during her senior season.

“I chose Montana Tech because I believe it will provide me with every opportunity to achieve my goals and dreams,” Kemppainen said in the press release. “This is a place where I will always feel comfortable.”

Kemppainen plans to major in biology/pre-med at Montana Tech.

Lopez transfers to Tech from Reedley College in Reedley, California. Before that, she played at Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, California.

The 6-foot-2 post averaged 9 points and 8 rebounds per contest while shooting 53-percent from the field and 76-percent from the free-throw line last season.

“Dahila is a long, athletic and talented post player,” VanDyke said. “She runs the floor well and is a great rebounder who finishes well around the basket. She is a great addition to our program.”

Lopez was named All-League by the Central Valley Conference in back-to-back seasons, earning first-team accolades this season.

“Montana Tech is a great fit for me,” Lopez said. “It offers me a great location to continue my studies and play basketball. I can’t wait to play for Coach VanDyke.”

Lopez has two years of eligibility remaining. She plans on majoring in liberal studies at Montana Tech.

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