WISCONSIN DELLS — For the boys selected to play in Thursday’s 44th annual Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-Star games at JustAGame Fieldhouse, it was the final chance to step on the court as high school athletes.
One of those players was Stoughton guard Cael McGee, who relished one last opportunity to represent his school and hometown in the Division 2 game.
“I’m realizing I’m moving on to the next step of my life and wrapping up high school now,” McGee said. “I love representing Stoughton, I love that city. I grew up there.”
The 6-foot-3 soon-to-be college freshman was a first-team All-Badger South Conference selection after averaging 20.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 1.9 assists per game over 10 contests this past season. He was an honorable mention All-State selection by the WBCA.
However, he said it was the season prior to this one that he will cherish the most.
“My freshman year and sophomore year, we came really close to winning (the conference),” McGee said. “But junior year we were able to finish it off, so that’s probably my most memorable and favorite part of high school.”
Now, he looks ahead to playing in college for NCAA Division II Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The Wolves were the NCAA runners-up in 2018, and have been the attendance leader among DII schools for 13 consecutive years, according to their Twitter feed.
“I’m ready,” McGee said of his upcoming transition. “I’m really looking forward to getting out there and getting with the team.”
He will head there on a positive note. He scored 14 points to help the Red All-Stars beat the White All-Stars, 118-108. McGee helped his team cap off a strong fourth quarter with two slam dunks in the final two minutes.
“It was really fun,” McGee said of the dunks. “When we played, I lived in Dane County where (the crowds were) really restricted. So, being able to do that in front of a bunch of people, it was really nice to hear that again.”
It’s no wonder he selected a college known within its division for their game crowds.
McGee also mentioned that another fun aspect to the game was getting to play with so many friends he grew up playing club basketball with.
On his team specifically, it was Onalaska’s Victor Desmond.
“I’ve played with him since 16U; we played a little 17U together and we’ve been really good buddies,” McGee said. “I stopped playing with the (club) team for a little bit, so it was nice to get out here and play with him again.”
Desmond scored 16 points for the Red team, and Whitefish Bay’s Jayden Jackson had a team-high 28 points. Elkhorn’s Jordan Johnson led the White with 32 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer before halftime.
In Division 1, White scored 36 fourth-quarter points to beat Red, 112-104. Tanner Resch of Sussex Hamilton led White with 17 points and Jay Hinson of Wauwatosa East scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin Rapids’ Grant Flory led Red with 18 points.
In Division 3, Red held White to 23 fourth-quarter points to pull out a 127-121 win. Wisconsin Dells’ Barrett Witt led the Red with 20 points, and Lake Mills’ Charlie Bender added 17. St. Francis’ Jeremiah Burke led White with 24.
In Division 4, Red scored 38 first-quarter points and rolled to a 127-117 victory as Cuba City’s Brayden Dailey made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to total 23 points. Racine Prairie’s Antuan Nesbitt added 22. Darlington’s Carter Lancaster led the White with 22 points.
In Division 5, White scored 43 points in the fourth quarter to beat Red, 133-95. White’s Dylan Kuehl of Hustisford scored eight of his 13 field goals in the first half and led his team with 30 points, and Randolph’s Brayden Haffele added 23. Red got 17 points from Wauzeka-Steuben’s Gavin Ralph.