River Falls junior Zac Johnson and New Richmond senior Joey Kidder have both been named to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 All-State Team.
Johnson was named to the all-state first team and Kidder was an honorable mention choice for the team. Both players reached the 1,000-point milestone in their careers during the 2019-20 season.
Johnson developed into one of the top offensive forces in the Big Rivers Conference this season. He scored 498 points this season, averaging 20.8 points per game. He scored more than 30 points in a game three times, with a high of 37 in a win over Menomonie on Feb. 8.
Johnson set a Wildcats’ school record by hitting 76 3-pointers this season. He also led the team in steals, assists and blocked shots.
Wildcat coach Zac Campbell said Johnson is a gym rat who is in the gym constantly trying to make his game better. Campbell said Johnson has the ability to stretch the court with his shooting and passing, creating more open space for his teammate. Johnson added considerable physical strength in the offseason which helped him to be a more successful finisher at the rim.
Campbell credited Johnson for making drastic progress in his defensive skills to become a highly reliable defender. The Wildcats graduate three seniors who are vocal leaders. Campbell said that is one area where Johnson will need to step up next season.
“We’ve got a hard-working junior class, but a quiet junior class,” Campbell said.
Kidder will rank as one of the most complete players in Tiger program history, leading the Tigers to two straight Middle Border Conference championships and a 20-win season for 2019-20.
Kidder amassed impressive career statistics across the board, finishing with 1,007 points, 639 rebounds, 331 assists and 201 steals. As a senior, he accumulated 443 points, 263 rebounds, 119 assists and 93 steals.
As a senior, Kidder was named as an All-MBC first team selection and he was co-Most Valuable Player in the conference, along with Prescott’s Parker Nielsen. Kidder led the conference in rebounding with 11.2 rebounds from his point guard position. He finished with 5.4 assists, which ranked second in the conference and his 18.5 points per game ranked fourth in the conference. He also led the Tigers with four steals per game.
“When is the last time a 6-3 point guard led the Middle Border in rebounding,” New Richmond coach Rick Montreal said in describing Kidder’s rare skills. Montreal said Kidder’s assist/turnover ratio is also exceptional, showing his superior judgement with the ball.
Montreal said Kidder is “a complete game changer.” He said the only games where Kidder wasn’t the best player on the court was when the Tigers faced Eau Claire Memorial and La Crosse Central, where the Tigers were facing some of the best players in the state.
As a final comment, Montreal gave Kidder a high compliment. “He’s just as good a person as he is a player,” Montreal said.