Nobody should know the nuances of an elite basketball player better than that player’s high school coach.
It’s even more apt if that coach also happens to be the player’s father, who watched the player from youth to middle school to high school on an almost daily basis.
So when David Ediger begins to talk about the skill sets that his daughter, Morgan, possesses on the basketball court, he probably can be the resident expert.
The coach/father shed some light on his daughter, who graduated from Cimarron High School in 2015 after an illustrious prep career with the Bluejays, as The Garden City Telegram has named the 5-8 guard/forward its Girls Player of the Decade for the period from the 2008-09 season to the just recently completed 2018 campaign.
“First, it’s quite an honor for her,” coach Ediger said when informed during a recent telephone interview. “There’s been so many good players over the last 10 years, and I’m sure my father instincts kick in a little, but Morgan certainly can be discussed as among that group of players who have excelled.”
During that time, there have been 10 all-area teams selected as well as 10 players of the year, albeit Mikayla Skidmore of South Gray is the only other two-time POY during that time frame.
Ediger, who helped her team reach the Class 3A state title game in her senior year of 2015, was joined on the elite top five by Skidmore, a 5-6 spark plug guard from South Gray, whose Rebels won two Class 1A state titles and finished runner-up during a big run capped by a 27-0 unbeaten season and state crown in 2010.
The all-star group also includes of Hugoton’s Katy Heger, a 5-8 guard who, like Skidmore, was instrumental in leading the Eagles to a pair of state championships — Class 4A-II in 2015 and Class 3A in 2017 when her team also went unbeaten at 26-0.
The other two players rounding out the top five are Ulysses’ Kaylea Britton, a 6-0 front court performer, who could post up on the interior, clear out to the perimeter for a 3-pointer or dribble-drive and take her defender to the bucket; and Dighton’s 5-11 post Jordan Speer, who teamed with another POY in Sara Cramer, to help Dighton to the 2016 Class 1A-II state crown.
It’s a heady group of players and any coach would be fortunate to put those five out on the floor together to take on all comers.
In assessing his daughter/star player’s skills on the court, coach Ediger said that she could do many things well, and so her contribution to her team’s success came in many different forms.
“She’s the ultimate team player,” he said of his daughter, who established several school records during her four-year run with the Bluejays. “She made other players better around her. She’s got great court awareness and has that ability to lead.”
Whether on the offensive or defensive end of the court, her coach/father said there was little that she could not accomplish.
“She can score, she can pass, she handles the ball well,” coach Ediger said. “She has the most career blocks and she just has that ability to be in the right place at the right time. Her length really helps her guard opponents, and she’s very unselfish.”
For a coach who has had other standout players, coach Ediger puts it simply, “she’s the best I’ve coached and I say that not as a father.”
All-Decade Top 5
Morgan Ediger, Cimarron
All-Area: 2013-14-15 (H.M., 2012)
Career Stats: Points (1,414, 2nd at CHS); 171 3-pointers (1st at CHS); 466 rebounds; 294 assists (school record); 251 steals; 112 blocked shots (school record).
Team Record During 4 years: Won 88, Lost 8
State Tournament: Lost 1st round, 2014; Lost in championship game, 2015, to defending champion Hesston.
Honors: Named Miss Kansas Basketball, 2015.
College: Tabor College, Hillsboro (Will be Senior in 2018-19 and playing for the Bluejays)
Katy Heger, Hugoton
All-Area: 2015-16-17 (2nd team, 2014)
Career Stats: Points (1,546, school record); Rebounds (384); Assists (254); Steals (356)
Team Record During 4 years: 90-8
State Tournament: Lost 1st round, 2014, Class 4A-II; Won Class 4A-II, 2015; 3rd place, 2016, Class 4A-II; Class 3A state champions, 2017, unbeaten 26-0 record.
Honors: Named Miss Kansas Basketball, 2017
College: Washburn University, Topeka (Medical redshirt this past season)
Mikayla Skidmore, So. Gray
All-Area: 2010-11 (2nd team, 2009)
Career Stats: Points (1,612); Rebounds (403); Assists (431); Steals (384); 3-point goals (137); broke 14 school records. Senior year: Averaged 21.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 5.4 steals.
Team Record During 4 years: 90-12 (78-2 in 1st 3 seasons)
State Tournament: Class 1A state champion, 2008; Class 1A state runner-up, 2009; Class 1A state champion, 2010 (team unbeaten at 27-0).
Kaylea Britton, Ulysses
All-Area: 2012 (2nd team, 2011; 3rd team, 2010)
Stats: Senior year in 2012, averaged 16 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.6 assists and 1.2 blocks. Season high scoring was 38 points and had 21 rebounds in the same game.
Team Record During 4 years: 33-51
College: Attended and played at the University of Vermont (3 years).
Jordan Speer, Dighton
Career Stats: Points (1,106); Rebounds (657); Assists (139); Double-doubles (18). Season high of 27 points, 14 rebounds.
Team Record During 4 years: 77-18
State Tournament: Teamed with 2016 POY Sara Cramer to win Class 1A-II state tournament.
College: Attending University of Missouri on track and field scholarship.