John Kinziger of De Pere
Twenty-four high school boys' basketball players from Wisconsin, 23 from the class of 2023 and one in the class of 2024, enter the 2022-23 prep campaign with at least 1,000 career points.
A year ago, 19 players in the state began the 2021-22 campaign with at least 1,000 career points.
Two players in the class of 2022 managed to move into the Top 25 on the state's all-time scoring list as Sheboygan Lutheran's Casey Verhagen finished his four-year career with 2,265 points to take over 19th place while Lake Country Lutheran's Luke Haertle completed his four-year career with 2,264 points to move into 20th place.
De Pere's sharpshooting guard, John Kinziger, is the top returning scorer in the state with 1,570 career points. During his stellar three-year prep stay with the Redbirds, the 5-foot-11 Kinziger has averaged 20.1 ppg while playing against mostly WIAA Division 1 competition in the Fox River Classic Conference.
Mac Wrecke of Arrowhead
The state's second-leading returning career scorer, Mac Wrecke of Arrowhead, also plays against extremely strong competition as the Warhawks compete in the Classic Eight Conference. The 6-foot-5 Wrecke has scored 1,494 points in three seasons under coach Craig Haase.
Kinziger and Wrecke, along with the state's No. 3 returning scorer, Riley Brooks of Ripon, all have a shot at breaking into the Top 25 All-Time Top Scorers in state history with a prolific senior season next winter.
Brooks, like Kinziger and Wrecke a three-year starter and consistent scoring threat, enters next year with 1,394 career points.
Kinziger would need to score 586 points to move past former East Troy forward AJ Vukovich into 25th place on the all-time scoring leaderboard. Vukovich, who graduated in 2020, scored 2,155 career points for the Trojans.
Kinziger scored 586 points as a sophomore and 587 points as a junior so the 586 he would need as a senior to move into the Top 25 is a very realistic goal for the unselfish point guard with a NCAA Division I scholarship offer from Toledo.
Amari McCottry of Saint Thomas More
Wrecke needs 662 more points to get past Vukovich and 684 points to surpass No. 24 A.J. Hendrickson of Pecatonica, who scored 2,177 career points before graduating in 2017.
While Wrecke's chances of moving into the Top 25 are realistic, it won't be easy. If Kinziger moves past Smith that would potentially push Hendrickson down to No. 25. And Wrecke would need to score a career-best season total of 684 to move past Hendrickson. Wrecke's previous best scoring season came as a sophomore when he netted 672 points.
Brooks faces an even tougher task.
In order to get into the Top 25, Brooks will need to have a monster senior season. If Kinziger and Wrecke both accomplish their goals of getting into the Top 25, Brooks would need to score 800 points in 2021-22 to move past No. 23 Diamond Stone of Dominican. Stone scored 2,193 career points for the Knights before graduating in 2015.
Meanwhile, ultra-talented junior-to-be Amari McCottry (6-5) of Saint Thomas More is the lone player not in the 2023 class who enters next season with at least 1,000 career points.
McCottry has scored 1,059 in his two years of varsity competition for the Cavaliers. He has a strong chance of moving into the Top 25 with two more productive seasons for Saint Thomas More.
However, no player currently on the state prep landscape appears even remotely close to challenging the state's all-time scoring record of 3,391 points poured in by Wausaukee's Anthony Pieper in the early 1990s.
Below are the top returning career scorers along with the Top 25 All-Time scoring list.
|John Kinziger||De Pere||78||1,570||20.1|
|Tyran Cook||Waukesha South||72||1,280||17.8|
|Levi Birkholz||Lakeside Lutheran||73||1,223||16.8|
|Mason Prey||Newman Catholic||69||1,212||17.6|
|Cole Uhlenbrauck||Saint Mary Catholic||74||1,123||15.2|
|Jacob Dunham||South Milwaukee||71||1,098||15.5|
|Amari McCottry||Saint Thomas More||51||1,059||20.8|
|Isaac Seidel||Newman Catholic||74||1,043||14.1|
|Ashe Ogelsby||The Prairie School||78||1,040||13.3|
|Nathan Gibbs||Port Edwards||67||1,001||14.9|
|1. Anthony Pieper||Wausaukee||1993||3,391|
|2. Mickey Crowe||JFK Prep||1975||2,724|
|3. Mike Koehler||Elkhart Lake||1993||2,689|
|4. Sam Dekker||Sheboygan Lutheran||2012||2,593|
|5. Sam Okey||Cassville||1995||2,539|
|6. Jacob Ognacevic||Sheboygan Lutheran||2020||2,501|
|7. Jordan McCabe||Kaukauna||2018||2,442|
|8. Cam Ward||Marshall||2014||2,384|
|9. Matt Rohde||Weyauwega-Fremont||2001||2,381|
|10. Trevor Anderson||Stevens Point||2016||2,360|
|11. Ryan Duessler||Wausaukee||1997||2,354|
|12. Preston Ruedinger||Lourdes Academy||2021||2,349|
|13. Travis Tuttle||Argyle||1992||2,322|
|14. Marcus Domask||Waupun||2019||2,307|
|15. Jim Zweifel||Monticello||1958||2,303|
|16. Henry Ellenson||Rice Lake||2015||2,295|
|17. Dan Denniston||Pittsville||1994||2,283|
|18. Brad Clark||Markesan||1996||2,269|
|19. Casey Verhagen||Sheboygan Lutheran||2022||2,265|
|20. Luke Haertle||Lake Country Lutheran||2022||2,264|
|21. John Diener||Cedarburg||2018||2,250|
|22. Steve Wilhelm||Fall Creek||1970||2,235|
|23. Diamond Stone||Dominican||2015||2,193|
|24. A.J. Hendrickson||Pecatonica||2017||2,177|
|25. AJ Vukovich||East Troy||2020||2,155|