By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most prolific scorers in in North Central Montana will be bring his offensive exploits to the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team.
Colby Bliss, a 6-1 shooting guard from Dutton/Brady, has signed an NAIA national letter of intent to play for head coach Shawn Huse and the Lights next season.
"We are very excited that Colby has chosen MSU-Northern," Huse said. "He is a very crafty player with the ability to score at a high rate."
Indeed, besides leading his team to a third-place finish at this year's State Class C tournament, Bliss averaged 24.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 2.8 assists per game this season for the Diamondbacks.
Bliss' 690 points for the season smashed the 50-year old school record for most points in a season of 569. Bliss also broke school records for most field goals made, field goal attempts, three-point attempts and free-throws made in a season.
Bliss finished as the school's third all-time leading scorer with 1,432 points and second in assists with 319. He is the Dutton/Brady's all-time leader in steals with 312.
During his career, Bliss has taken home all-state honors the past two years and was named to this year's Class C first-team all-tournament team. He is also a three-time all-conference performer in District 10C and a three-year starter that has steadily improved each season.
"Colby spends a lot of hours in the gym always trying to improve on all aspects of his game," Huse said.
Bliss joins Havre's Cory Brothers as Northern's only recruits signed for next season, with Huse planning on adding at least three to four more.
While he hasn't made it official, Huse did admit that Bliss is a likely candidate to redshirt next year for Northern to work on his overall strength and prepare for the higher level of the college game.
"Colby is a good player, a good student and a quality person that exemplifies the type of people we try to find for our program," Huse said.
Skylights ink JC point guard
With the graduation of all-conference guard, Montana State University-Northern women's basketball coach Mike Erickson can cross one of his biggest things on his to-do list for the offseason.
Erickson announced Monday that Camille Gardner, a 5-7 point guard transfer from Dixie College in St. George, Utah, has signd an NAIA national letter of intent to play basketball for the Skylights next season.
"Camille is a true point guard that shoots the ball extremely well," Erickson said. "Her court awareness and passing skills along with her quickness will help us play more of an up-tempo style of game."
Gardner averaged 10.8 poings, 4.5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2.1 steals per game this season. She shot a respectable 41 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free-throw line.
During this past season, Gardner was named team captain for the Rebels and helped lead the team to a 20-12 record. She was named Scenic West Athletic Conference player of the week four times in her career at Dixie. Gardner also picked up second-team all-Region 18 honors.
Camille is the daughter of Larry and Carol Ann Gardner of St. George.