CEDAR RAPIDS — The individual numbers are great. They really are great.
But it’s his team’s record this season that has been the most gratifying thing for Nick Reid.
The do-everything senior and his Central City Wildcats open the Class 1A postseason Thursday night. It’s a district quarterfinal at home against Bellevue Marquette.
Central City is 15-6, winner of seven of its last eight games. That’s as good as it has been at the Linn County school for a long time.
“That means a lot,” Reid said. “It’s about all the hard work we’ve put in. We won (seven) games my freshman year, then my sophomore year we were pretty good (13-10), and I think we won 11 last year. There really hasn’t been a breakout year for awhile here. To come out and have it happen this year is really refreshing.”
You get the “we” response repeatedly from Reid when it would be so easy for him to talk about just himself. He led the state in scoring last season, piling up 76 points against East Buchanan, the second-best single-game performance in state history.
He is averaging 20.3 rebounds per game this season, and it’s unclear if any Iowa prep has ever accomplished that. With a bit of a playoff run by his team, he could hit the coveted 2,000-1,000 mark for his career.
That’s 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, something only seven other players have accomplished. The last was Lamoni’s Jeremy Deemer (2011-14).
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Three of the other names on that list should be very familiar: former Mr. Basketballs Brooks McKowen, Jess Settles and Raef LaFrentz.
“You look at the names of those guys in that club, Nick is putting himself in pretty elite company,” Central City Coach Tanner Carlson said. “That’s something I’d be really proud of him for and something he’d remember forever. There are a lot of kids who can put up crazy numbers in one statistical category, but a 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound guy is pretty remarkable.”
Reid has 1,967 career points and 968 career rebounds, meaning he needs 33 and 32, respectively, to get the magic double, if you will. That should be doable if his team can win Thursday.
“I feel like we’re really hot right now,” Reid said. “But we have to take it one game at a time. We can’t look ahead because these games count. You just can’t look ahead.”
“Everywhere,” Carlson said, when asked the areas his 6-foot-7 star has improved this season. “His scoring numbers went down (from 32.5 to 28.2), but that’s because other guys have stepped up. He also has grown as a passer. He’s still the same shooter he’s always been, he’s a better finisher around the rim because he’s a lot stronger, more athletic and faster. He’s still a really good ballhandler for his size. But, to be honest, the place that he has grown the most is as a leader. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true.”
Thursday night will feature district quarterfinals in 1A and district semifinals in 2A. Class 3A and 4A begin their postseason Monday night.
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