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McCabe on last game: 'I didn't want to go out on a loss'

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Kaukauna and Jordan McCabe defeated Milwaukee Washington, 76-74, in the Division 2 state championship game at the Kohl Center. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

KAUKAUNA (WLUK) -- Jordan McCabe ended one of the most impressive high school basketball careers in state history in style, scoring the final eight points in the Division 2 state championship game as Kaukauna won its second state basketball title in three seasons, beating Milwaukee Washington, 76-74.

The game was electrifying and the most electric player in the state made the plays when needed to and celebrated by jumping on press row as Washington missed the game's final shot.

Recently, McCabe sat down to talk about this past season and looked ahead to West Virginia and said the memory of winning the state championship was still fresh.

"Even a few days after it the amount of media attention around it and stuff like that it's going to be hard to forget that last game, but that's a good thing," McCabe said. "I don't don't think I ever want to forget something like that."

McCabe, who finished his career sixth in the state in scoring with 2,442 points, admitted the championship game led to him having a different demeanor. He appeared more focused and animated than ever.

McCabe: Didn't exceed expectations

"I didn't want to go out on a loss, obviously, so I was willing to do anything and everything, whatever it took in terms of statistically, emotionally, anything I could possibly do to let us win," McCabe said.

McCabe tried everything in his power to help Kaukauna to win a state title but Washington led late. The West Virginia recruit had an off-shooting night (10-for-33) but when it came to crunch time, he showed everybody why he was regarded as the best player in the state this season.

McCabe made his final three shots, including a layup with 2.3 seconds to play to win the game. McCabe said, though, his thought wasn't to take over.

"No, it wasn't my mindset to be completely honest," said McCabe, who had 32 points 10 assists and nine rebounds in the title game. "I know a lot of people watching on thought that. We talked about me doing whatever it took. That's what was going through my mind.

"Not I'm going to get that shot up, no matter what. Whether it was a dish or a shot, it didn't matter to me. Like I said, I wanted to do whatever it took. I was willing and able at that point to do anything."

McCabe did what he had to and after the final second ticked off the clock his team celebrated on the court while McCabe ran onto press row.

"At that point, it was an overflow of emotions," he said. "It was probably the apex of everything going on in my heart and mind. I don't know why exactly. It is what it is. That's kind of who I've always been."

McCabe has already graduated and his first day of classes at West Virginia is May 14. He's going to get a head start on his freshman season and hopes to be an impact player right away.

"There are no guarantees in college basketball, that's why I am very excited about it," McCabe said. "There were no guarantees here. When I came on to coach (Mike) Schalow's program, at first I didn't know if I was JV, varsity. If I would start on varsity.

"You have to earn it from day one and that's the same thing he (West Virginia coach Bob Huggins) does with his program that coach Schalow got me ready for the next step. I'm going to have to go out there and earn it. There's opportunity there for me, I know that.

"That's one of the reasons I picked West Virginia. I plan on seizing those opportunities and move in as quickly as I can into an impact role. I told them on all my recruiting visits I want to be an impact player. If you don't see me being that, I'll look elsewhere."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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