By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Montana State University-Northern women's basketball coach Mike Erickson keeps on recruiting. Erickson has signed a pair of former teammates, and familiar names to the area, to letter of intents to play next season for the Skylights.
Former Chester standouts Michelle VanDyke and Chasi Buffington are transferring from their respective schools, and will suit up for the Skylights next season.
VanDyke, a 5-10 wing player, is transferring from the University of Montana where she redshirted for the Lady Griz last year.
Buffington, a 5-9 wing/guard, is transferring from Sheridan Junior College where she averaged 3.3 points and three rebounds per game as a true freshman.
"To get two girls that are not only familiar playing with each other, but also playing with such a high level of success is important," Erickson said.
VanDyke and Buffington suited up for the Coyotes together for four years. During that time, they led Chester to unprecedented success, winning 100 games and losing only six. In their senior year, the duo led Chester to a perfect 26-0 season including a Class C state championship.
Buffington averaged 12 points, three assists, four rebounds and three steals a game during her senior season, and was an integral part to the Coyotes' success.
"Chasi has experienced a year at the junior college level that will help her make a smooth transition to the Frontier Conference," Erickson said. "She brings a great winning attitude, and a hard nose work ethic to the Skylights."
In her career at Chester, VanDyke was named first team all-state in basketball and volleyball in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She was also the Montana Gatorade Volleyball player of the year in 2001-2002.
In her senior year, VanDyke averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds a game.
She possesses unquestioned athleticism as evidenced by her efforts in the high jump where she was the three-time Class C champ and holds the Class C record at 5-7.
"We feel very lucky to get such a great player from the Hi-Line area," Erickson said. "Michelle will be an instant asset to our team. She has proved to be a great competitor and winner throughout her career."
Chasi is the daughter of Gary and Gay Buffington while Michelle is the daughter of Kim and Lynda VanDyke all of Chester.