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Former Missoula Sentinel standout Andy Garland led the Frontier Conference in scoring this season at 18.8 ppg. Photo courtesy Carroll College

HELENA - Andy Garland just added a couple of more accomplishments to top the Carroll College sophomore's stellar career list.

The former Montana Gatorade Player of the Year and honorable mention NAIA All-American was named the Frontier Conference's Player of the Year on Monday, capping a season where he led the league in points and rebounds per game.

He was also joined by senior teammate Chris Medina as a first-team all-conference selection, while Saints freshman point guard Casey Rogers was named the conference's Freshman of the Year.

Garland, a 6-foot-5 post player out of Missoula Sentinel, averaged 18.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Saints, who finished the season 13-16 overall, 6-8 in the Frontier.

Saints head coach Brandon Veltri said that he wasn't surprised by Garland's recognition, despite how young the player is.

"I think regardless of what grade he's in, he just had an impressive season, and he earned it," the coach said. "He's a tough guy to guard in the sense that he can do a little bit of everything."

Becoming the focal point of opposing defenses after the graduation of five seniors and former scoring leader Chad Vaculin in 2009, Garland broke through double teams and fought through injury to increase his production during his second season without sacrificing accuracy.

"If you put a bigger, physical player to guard him, he'll step back and shoot a 3-pointer," Veltri said.

Try putting a smaller, quicker guard on him and Garland would muscle his way to the basket.

"He's just extremely efficient, regardless of who's guarding him," Veltri said.

Garland completed 52 percent of his field goal attempts, 42 percent of his threes and was 86 percent from the free-throw line. He spent a lot of time at the charity stripe, hitting 112 of 130 attempts to rank seventh in the NAIA.

More importantly, Veltri said, Garland was a leader on the team that could pick up new schemes with ease.

"We put in one or two more sets on Monday before the final game against Billings, and Andy comes out with 25 points in that game," said Veltri of the 65-64 loss. "He just makes it look so easy. He's such a smart basketball player, he doesn't need a lot of reps to understand it."

Garland said he felt a little bit of the pressure to lead his team after the large turnover rate last season, but also had equal efforts from players like Medina and fellow post Chase Godecke.

"I think all three of us took on that leadership role this year," Garland said. "It was really hard for us to lose those five seniors last year. They were major contributors."

Medina finished his final season with 14.8 points per game and became known as a reliable performer especially as Garland sat out two weeks with a back injury midway through the season.

With Rogers, who was just under double-digit scoring but led the team with a little over three assists per game and contributed some clutch performances throughout the season, Veltri knows he will have even more to look forward to after finishing his first year at the helm.

"We have a solid nucleus in place," he said. "Now it's just a matter of putting in the pieces around them."

Individual awards

Player of the year - Andy Garland, Carroll College.

Newcomer of the year - Dean Colbray, Montana Tech.

Defensive player of the year - Andrew Sellars, MSU-Northern.

Freshman of the year - Casey Rogers, Carroll College.

Coach of the year - Tommy Connor, Westminster College.

First team

Andy Garland, Carroll College, sophomore, Missoula; Chris Medina, Carroll College, senior, Ogden, Utah; Justin Dennis, MSU-Northern, senior, Toronto; Andrew Sellars, MSU-Northern, senior, Browning; Eric Tisby, MSU-Northern, junior, Fort Worth, Texas; Dean Colbray, Montana Tech, senior, Pasco, Wash.; JaRon Brown, Montana Western, senior, Federal Way, Wash.; Anthony Allen, Rocky Mountain College, senior, Fresno, Calif.; Nate Richardson, Rocky Mountain College, senior, Montclair, Calif.; Weston Anderson, Westminster College, senior, Salt Lake City; Blair Prowse, Westminster College, senior, South Jordan, Utah; Ben Walker, Westminster College, junior, Lehi, Utah.

Second team

Tanner McIntosh, Lewis-Clark State College, senior, Imbler, Ore.; Markus Monroe, Lewis-Clark State College, junior, Monrovia, Calif.; Daniel Williams, Lewis-Clark State College, senior, Los Angeles; Walynn Burgess, MSU-Northern, senior, Genola, Utah; Layne Glaus, Montana Western, senior, Whitehall; Terry Hauser, Montana Western, senior, Three Forks; Brandon Lawson, Montana Western, senior, Chicago; E.J. Ross, Rocky Mountain College, junior, Washington D.C.; Kevin Harris, UGF, sophomore, Houston; L.J. Jones, UGF, sophomore, Anaheim, Calif.


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