By Cara L. Dempski
WISCONSIN DELLS — Bulldog girls’ basketball player Madysn Riek may have graduated from high school at the end of May, but that did not mean her high school basketball career was finished.
Riek traded her basketball shoes for softball cleats during the spring season, but turned her attention back to basketball in early June in order to prepare for the 2017 Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s 2017 all-star game. She was named to the Division 4 north squad with fellow Dunn-St. Croix competitor Ally Heidorn of Colfax.
[emember_protected] The team was coached by Durand’s Lionel Jones; he was assisted by Kim Weber of Cameron and Durand assistant coach Curtiss Stark.
Boyceville’s head girls’ basketball coach, Jolene Bird, said the opportunity given to Riek was well-deserved.
“She represented Boyceville very well, not only through her play, but also through her commitment to raise funds for the MACC fund,” Bird said.
Players selected to participate in the WBCA all-star games raise money prior to game day for a variety of charity organizations around the state. This year’s all-star basketball players solicited donations for the Midwest Athletes Children’s Cancer fund.
Riek’s all-star week started June 12 with a team practice at Durand High School, and progressed to fun and team-building activities with her teammates Tuesday. After a trip to Eau Claire for shopping and team caricatures at Oakwood Mall and a few hours of fun at Chaos Waterpark, the D4 North team trooped to coach Jones’ house for dinner before holding another practice.
While Riek played against several of her fellow team members during the regular season, she said she became close to her former competitors in the days leading up to the June 16 game. Several of the North team players spent Monday and Tuesday night at the home of Durand’s Ambree Schlosser.
She enjoyed spending time with her fellow Dunn-St. Croix players, Schlosser and Ally Heidorn of Colfax. The recent graduate said she never would have thought she would form a strong attachment to her teammates, and felt the group grew into a small family from the moment they hit the court for the Monday practice until the closing seconds of the June 16 game.
“The entire experience was unforgettable,” Riek said. “The WBCA gave the players so many different things for playing in the game.”
Riek and her teammates, and team coaches, were treated to entertainment, meals, and hotel rooms while in Wisconsin Dells.
The team traveled to Wisconsin Dells June 14 to attend a player meeting at noon before receiving their uniforms and having a team photo taken. The group went to a late lunch at Buffalo Phil’s before heading to the Tommy Bartlett Water Show.
The Division 4 North team played a few scrimmages later that evening against teams in other divisions, both north and south. She indicated her team played well considering it was their first time competing together.
Thursday kicked off with a speech from a MACC fund representative before the squads broke off to separate spaces for practice. Everyone was treated to lunch and a jet boat ride that afternoon before getting in some more fun at a water park. The evening ended with a player banquet.
All-star players got royal treatment the morning of June 16, when they were taken to the JustAgame center via limousine. If that was not enough, the arena turned out the lights at the start of each game, and flashed spotlights around the court before turning the lights on the entering teams, who were treated to a foggy entry via a smoke machine.
The Boyceville player was on the court a total of 15 minutes for the game, and made good use of her time. Riek was three for four with field goals, scoring six points in the game. She also reeled in a trio of defensive rebounds in the game.
The northern team suffered an 86-62 loss after the southern squad took a 44-29 lead into the locker room at halftime. The team struggled to stay alive offensively in the second half, scoring just 33 points more, while the southern team tacked on another 42 points.
Leighton Fischer of Iola-Scandinavia was the north team’s highest-scoring player after logging 13 points.
Riek averaged 15.6 points per game for the Lady Bulldogs during her senior season before the Boyceville squad was knocked out of tournament play with a second-round regional loss to Osseo-Fairchild in February.
Now that her high school basketball career is complete, Riek has turned her attention to college. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin at River Falls starting in September with plans to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine.
Madysn Riek is the daughter of Josh and Angie Riek. [/emember_protected]