Women's basketball signs two Helena prep stars

UMW News Bureau

University of Montana Western head women’s basketball coach Cara Cocchiarella announced the signing of two Montana prep stars to Frontier Conference/NAIA letters of intent: Kaci Matthies, a 6’1” post from Helena, Mont., and Taylor Kanthack, a 5’11 forward, also from Helena, Mont. By Brett Morehouse University of Montana Western head women’s basketball coach Cara Cocchiarella announced the signing of two Montana prep stars to Frontier Conference/NAIA letters of intent. Kaci Matthies, a 6’1” post from Helena, Mont., and Taylor Kanthack, a 5’11 forward also from Helena, Mont., will join the Bulldog program in fall 2011. Matthies will graduate this spring from Capital High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and currently holds a 3.55 grade point average (GPA). Matthies’ success in the classroom has garnered her recognition as an Academic All-State athlete in basketball (2008-2011), volleyball (2009-2010) and track (2008-2010). “We are very excited about signing Kaci,” said Bulldog coach Cara Cocchiarella. “She is a tough player who has made an impact on great teams throughout her prep career. Her attitude and physical strength will help her to contribute at the next level. We think that Kaci is just starting to reach her potential as a basketball player.” In addition to being an outstanding student, Matthies has enjoyed success in multiple sports during her time at Capital High. Matthies earned two varsity letters in track and will gather her third by the end of the 2011 spring season. On the volleyball court, Matthies was a two-time letter winner while earning All-Conference Second Team and All-State Honorable Mention honors her senior season. Matthies earned three varsity letters as a member of the Capital High Bruins basketball team and helped lead the Bruins to three state tournament appearances. As a senior, she was recognized as a member of the All-Conference Second Team. Matthies is the daughter of Charlie and Audrey Matthies and plans to major in elementary education. Kanthack will graduate this spring from Helena High School. She is an exceptional student currently carrying a 3.92 GPA. Kanthack has also been selected as a Salutatorian for the Helena High class of 2011. “Taylor is a great kid,” stated Cocchiarella. “She is fun to work with and is very excited about becoming a Bulldog. She is a successful student-athlete who comes from a strong program. She has a ton of potential on the basketball court and we know that Taylor will fit in well with the rest of the players on the team.” During her athletic career with the Helena High Bengals, Kanthack earned seven varsity letters between basketball and track. Kanthack helped lead the Bengal basketball team to three state tournament appearances and in her senior basketball season, she averaged 8.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while earning All-Conference Second Team honors. Kanthack is the daughter of Chris and Renee Kanthack and plans to study global politics.