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SOU’s Fryer, Walk make all-CCC team

ASHLAND — A day after leading the Southern Oregon women’s basketball team to a Cascade Conference Tournament championship, the league office announced Tuesday that Carlotta Kloppenburg-Pruitt will collect some additional hardware as the conference’s coach of the year.

The Raiders, who will enter the NAIA national tournament next week at 28-5, were represented on the all-CCC team by senior forward Syd’Nee Fryer and sophomore forward Kami Walk. Brianna Phiakhamngon, a junior point guard, received honorable mention.

Kloppenburg-Pruitt took top honors in her first season as a head coach. Her Raiders were picked to finish fifth in the CCC preseason coaches’ poll but defied those expectations with the NAIA’s seventh-best defensive rating. After serving as an assistant for three years at San José State University, Kloppenburg-Pruitt has pushed SOU to the third-highest win total in team history. The Raiders finished second in the regular season at 18-4 before sweeping through the tournament, punctuating their run with Monday’s 56-34 win at 19th-ranked Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in which they held the Warriors to their lowest point total in at least 20 years.

Fryer, a 5-foot-9 product of Manteca, Calif., earned all-CCC honors for the second time. On the conference leaderboard she ranked second in steals per game (2.3), 14th in rebounds (6.8) and 30th in points (9.9). She’s 26 points away from becoming the 19th member of SOU’s 1,000-point club, and on the program’s all-time lists ranks ninth in steals (216) and 11th in rebounds (686).

Walk dominated the conference in her second season, ranking second in points (16.2), sixth in rebounds (8.7), 11th in blocked shots (1.0), first in free-throw percentage (86.3), 14th in field-goal percentage (45.8), and second in double-doubles (11). With her on the floor the Raiders went 18-1 in CCC action, and the 5-11 Eugene native posted 18.3 points on 51.2-percent shooting over three tournament games.

Walk made SOU’s strongest case for the conference player of the year award, which ultimately went to LCSC guard Callie Stevens. She outscored Stevens 39-12 and outrebounded her 23-4 in two head-to-head matchups.

Phiakhamngon saved her best outing for the CCC title game, where she finished with a season-high 21 points and shot 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Overall she averages 10.2 points, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals. Her 3-point percentage of 35.6 during conference play ranked eighth among all CCC players.

The Raiders will learn their next playoff destination when the NAIA National Tournament bracket is revealed Thursday. The Opening Round will take place March 11-12 on campus sites around the country.