Morgan Anderson may be in line to have something named after her at Solon Springs High School.
After all, the senior on the Eagles girls basketball team became the school’s all-time leading scorer this season with 1,502 points, surpassing Sandy “Spin” Slade, who recently became the school gym’s namesake.
Slade, who scored nearly 1,500 points before graduating from St. Croix High School in 1981, became the first female player to score 1,000 points, reaching that milestone as a junior. She finished her career averaging 21 points per game.
Fast-forward 38 years and Anderson’s career has mirrored Slade’s by scoring 1,044 points through her junior year and 458 points as a senior to finish with 1,502 points. She also averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds a game, including 22 points in conference games.
Those accomplishments helped with Anderson being named the 2019 Superior Telegram Player of the Year.
“Morgan had an outstanding year,” SSHS coach Adam Beilmeier said. “This was my first year coaching her, but right away I knew she was a leader. At our first practice, you could tell she was an outstanding basketball player, and her knowledge of the game was phenomenal, which made my job coaching a little bit easier.”
Anderson’s basketball career at Solon Springs included several honors: first-team all-conference honors twice, Superior Telegram All-Area Team twice and selection to play in the 2019 Border Battle, which pitted the best players from Northern Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota on Tuesday, March 26 at Minnesota Duluth’s Romano Gym.
“I was a bit nervous, but it was fun,” Anderson said. “There were a lot of good players there.”
Anderson got the basketball bug from her older brother, Ryan Anderson, whose senior year included helping the Eagles win the Indianhead Conference basketball title and then being named the 2016 Superior Telegram Baseball Player of the Year.
“I always looked up to him and learned from him,” Morgan Anderson said. “I didn’t think I could score that many points, but with his support, all the hard work paid off.”
Beilmeier knew he had someone special the first time he met Morgan.
“I learned a lot from her. She was a joy to coach,” Beilmeier said. “You can tell she’s been playing the game for a long time and her knowledge is far above any other I have seen in girls basketball.”
Beilmeier was also impressed with how Morgan handled herself with all the extra attention she received from their opponents.
“Teams definitely concentrated on her,” Beilmeier said. “We saw a lot of box-and-ones all year and that made it tough on her. But she’s an outstanding shooter, found ways to score, and she created things for herself and her teammates.
“And as a person she’s an awesome young lady. She is a great leader and she did a lot for the program overall at Solon Springs.”
Anderson’s stat line also included making 51 3-pointers, 91-of-118 from the free-throw line, 2.2 assists a game, 24 blocked shots and 68 steals.
“It’s been great, my teammates have been great,” Anderson said. “It was a good season despite our record and playing most of the year with just seven players.”
Kids leaving the team and injuries left the Eagles with just seven players late in the season.
“We didn’t have a lot of players, but everybody played as a team and played together,” Anderson said. “Foul trouble was hard to overcome, but we played hard and did as good as we could.”
Anderson, who also plays shortstop on the Eagle softball team, said college is in her future, but she is undecided between the University of Wisconsin-Superior and Florida Southwestern in Fort Myers, where her sister lives.
“I’m still debating between the two,” Anderson said. “If I go to UWS, I’d like to play basketball, but I’ve always wanted to live in Florida.”
EAGLE EXTRAS: Beilmeier also nominated Anderson for the Division 5 Wisconsin State All-Star game. … Phil Larson is believed to be the Solon Springs boys’ all-time leading scorer with 1,367 points. Other 1,000-point scores for the Eagles are Kenny Smith (2004), Zach Gilbert (2006) and Willie West, who graduated in the 1970s.
Superior Telegram Girls Basketball Players of the Year
2019 Morgan Anderson, Sr., Solon Springs
2018 Katie Lundeen, Sr., Northwestern
2017 Katie Lundeen, Jr., Northwestern
2016 Mackenzie Kmecik, Sr., Superior
2015 Megan Gustafson, Sr., South Shore
2014 Jessica Lindstrom, Sr., Superior
2013 Jessica Lindstrom, Jr., Superior
2012 Jessica Lindstrom, So., Superior
2011 Jessica Lindstrom, Fr., and Hailey Kontny, Fr., Superior
2010 Annie Block, Jr., Northwood
2009 Ashlee Blegen, Sr., Northwood
2008 Gretchen Grube, Sr., Northwestern
2007 Lindsey Lindstrom, Sr., Superior
2006 Lindsey Lindstrom, Jr., Superior
2005 Lindsey Lindstrom, So., Superior
2004 Jolene Anderson, Sr., South Shore
2003 Nancy McConkey, Sr., Maranatha
2002 Katie Moench, Sr., Maranatha