CORVALLIS, Ore. – Columbia Falls native Kiara Burlage was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference women's basketball player of the year on Monday.
Burlage, a senior forward at Lewis-Clark State, averaged 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. She's made 49.5% of her field goal attempts this season, including 41.7% from 3-point range. Burlage, who set the Warriors' single-game free throw record early this season, is a 75.2% shooter from the charity stripe.
Burlage has scored in double figures in all but two games this season, and was named the CCC player of the week three times this year.
Burlage's coach, Brian Orr, was named the CCC coach of the year. A Livingston native, Orr is in his 20th year with LC State and is the program's all-time winningest coach. He currently ranks sixth among NAIA active coaches in all-time victories.
Orr is an Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University Billings) graduate and got his coaching start at Joplin-Inverness High School from 1982-86. He was at Simms High School from 1986-91 and then coached at Fergus High School in Lewistown from 1991-96.
Orr entered the college coaching ranks in 1996 as an assistant coach at MSU Billings. He was with the Yellowjackets until 1998 and then had brief stints at the University of Great Falls (now the University of Providence) and Montana State before taking over the LC State program in 2001.
The Warriors have won at least 20 games in 17 seasons of Orr's tenure. This year, Orr has led the Warriors to a 12-5 record, including the CCC championship. The No. 22-ranked Warriors have clinched a berth in the NAIA national tournament, which is scheduled to begin March 12.
The Warriors also had Abbie Johnson recognized as the CCC defensive player of the year on Monday. In addition to Burlage and Johnson, Peyton Souvenir, Abby Farmer and Jansen Edmiston also picked up all-conference honors for LC State.