BOZEMAN — (Editor's Note: Montana State Press Release)
Montana State 17th-year head coach Tricia Binford has announced the signing of three high school standouts to join the Bobcat women’s basketball team for the 2022-23 season. Signing National Letters-of-Intent are Marah Dykstra, a 6-2 forward from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mattie Olson, a 5-8 guard from Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Dylan Philip, a 5-8 guard from Ellensburg, Wash.
Dykstra, who preps at Churchill Secondary in Vancouver, is a four-year letterwinner with the Bulldogs. She was the Vancouver Public Schools’ most valuable player in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In addition, Dykstra garnered Sea to Sky Region MVP honors after leading her squad to the region title. Churchill Secondary was also the Vancouver city champions in 2018, 2019 and 2020, with Dykstra being named the school’s athlete of the year.
Dykstra played club ball for VK Basketball, which won national championships in 2019 and 2021. She was nationals (AAU) MVP in 2019 and 2021, as well. And, for the past three seasons, Dykstra has been a targeted athlete for Team Canada.
“Marah will play the four for us as she’s a post that can take it off the rim, take it coast-to-coast and make decisions in the open court which plays into our system,” Binford said. “She has an explosive first step, she can hit the three, and she’s relentless on the glass. On the defensive end, Marah can really turn up the pressure. She’s got good length and is a lock-down defender. Marah can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”
Olson, who preps at Skyline High School, is a three-year letterwinner and an all-state performer. Last season, she averaged 20.6 points per game and was the top scorer in districts 5 and 6. For her efforts, Olson was the Post Register Girls 4A and 5A Athlete of the Year. She also garnered all-High Country Conference first-team recognition. In addition, Olson set Skyline High records for most points in a single game, most points in a single season and most points in a career with one season remaining. As a sophomore, Olson averaged 19.1 points for the Grizzlies en route to earning second-team all-state accolades.
An outstanding athlete, Olson led her soccer team to a third-place finish at the Idaho state tournament this fall and earned first-team all-conference honors. In track and field, she was a member of the state champion 4x100 relay team and was runner-up in the long jump as a junior.
Olson played club ball with the Idaho Flash, the same program that produced current Bobcat Madison Jackson.
“Mattie is a tremendous scorer and has a tough mentality,” Binford said. “She’s a gritty kid and is somebody in end of game situations that wants the ball in her hands. Mattie can score in a number of ways and is dynamic at gettering the to the foul line. She will also play well to our system on both ends of the floor. She has high character and is a strong competitor.”
Philip, who preps at Ellensburg High School, is a four-year letterwinner for the Bulldogs. Over the past two seasons, she helped EHS to an overall mark of 36-4. As a junior, Philip was team captain and went over the 1,000-point plateau for her career. For her efforts, she was a first-team All-Central Washington Athletic Conference selection. As a sophomore, she also garnered all-league kudos and guided the Bulldogs to a district championship and a sixth-place state finish.
Outside of basketball, Philip served as a team captain and was a first-team all-conference performer with the EHS soccer team, where guided the squad to an undefeated season in 2020 and a league championship.
“Dylan has a really quick trigger and is a great shooter,” Binford said. “She can light it up extremely quick and she has an endless motor. Dylan is a perfect fit for what we do defensively. She plays fast and hard and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. She’s the total package- a versatile and skilled player.”
“As whole, this group will help us take the next step,” Binford added. “They’re perfect for our culture and our character. They will help us take the next step in playing faster and how aggressively we want to defend.”