Prep Basketball

Nick Reid, Iowa high school basketball's leading scorer, back for a senior-season encore

Now at 6-foot-7, he scored 32 points a game for Central City a year ago, including memorable 76-point game

Central City senior Nick Reid takes the court during a recent scrimmage. (Sara Reid/Central City sophomore)
Central City senior Nick Reid takes the court during a recent scrimmage. (Sara Reid/Central City sophomore)
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CENTRAL CITY — Ten times. Perhaps 15 times.

That’s what Nick Reid admits to when it comes to watching video of his Central City team’s Feb. 4 game at East Buchanan.

The Wildcats won in overtime, 86-76. Reid had 76 of their 86 points.

Most people would watch a performance like that on a loop.

“I think more than me watching it back five or six times myself, it’s the amount of people who reached out to me who wanted to watch that game,” said Central City Coach Tanner Carlson. “Coaches from different states, college and high school, have literally reached out. Colleges that weren’t maybe even necessarily interested in recruiting him were like ‘Hey, we want to watch this. We’ve never heard of this happening.’ I sent that tape out to multiple people. And that video (The Gazette) put together where you just showed all of his points, I sent that to many, many people.”

“I had to see it a couple of times just to make me realize I had actually scored that many points in a game,” Reid said. “Just going and seeing the high school record and seeing you are second ... that is just pretty crazy.”

Crazy is one way to put it.

Reid’s 76 points were the second most in a game in Iowa history, tying Gary Wolcott of Battle Creek, who had that many in a 1921 game against Arthur. Roy Buchanan of Conway (in Southwest Iowa) still holds the all-time record, pouring in 84 points against Gravity in 1927.

This is where we mention Reid is back for his senior season at Central City. The do-it-all wing player has added 15 pounds and grown to 6-foot-7 since we saw him last on the court.

He was the state’s leading scorer a season ago at 32.5 points per game. Repeating that feat would be quite an accomplishment.

Now could Buchanan’s record be in serious jeopardy this winter, too? Weirdly, Reid hopes not.

“I was able to accomplish a lot of things last season, but I want more than that,” he said. “I want more than just finishing fifth or sixth in the (Tri-Rivers) conference. I want top three. My ultimate goal is to make it to Wells (Fargo Arena). That’s been our whole goal the offseason. I think we can really make it. We had guys in the gym all summer, and they’ve been shooting it really well. I’m very confident in their abilities to score, so far ... I think we are light-years ahead of where we were last year.”

Central City went 11-12 a season ago. Six other Wildcats who saw a lot of playing time are back with Reid, though the top scorer in that bunch averaged just 4.6 points per game.

That means Reid again will see double teams. He’ll see triple teams, box and ones, faceguarding, every defense ever created.

“He didn’t get faceguarded in our scrimmage the other night, and he missed a couple of easy ones,” Carlson said. “He was like ‘Coach, I’m not used to this.’ I think he kind of enjoys the attention, as far as when the defense is focusing on him, because it allows the other guys’ shots easier. He knows what’s coming on a nightly basis defensively, and we try and replicate that in practice as best as possible. I do think we have more capable scorers this year, which will help him as well. His numbers might go down, but I think we have a chance to win more games, too.”

“What I try to do is just play my game,” Reid said. “Some of the moves I’ve made my fair share of, I’ll probably use them again. I’m so much taller and stronger, if they box me, I am so much taller than most of the players who are defending me because there are not many 6-6 guys who can defend me. I just try and use my size as an advantage to try and get past them. If they bring doubles or triples, I can just kick it to my teammates.”

Reid averaged 10.1 points as a freshman starter for Central City and 18 as a sophomore. If there is a school record, he probably owns it.

His basketball prowess mostly comes from his mom, Lisa, who once scored 64 points in a 6-on-6 game for Edgewood-Colesburg. Reid’s sister, Sara, started as a freshman for Central City’s girls’ team last season and averaged 11 points a game.

If case you’re wondering if his gaudy numbers are legit, he has signed to play college basketball at Division II Emporia State in Kansas. He’s getting a full scholarship.

They don’t just hand those out.

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“I think he is fully capable of doing everything he did last year and more,” Carlson said. “I’ve watched a little bit of film from last season, and, just physically, he is 12 to 15 pounds heavier from a year ago, he’s an inch and a half to 2 inches taller than he was a year ago. And he’s quicker. He has grown physically, he played at a high level over the summer (with the AAU Iowa Barnstormers), which was good for him. He’s going to be a really tough matchup at our level. Somebody who is 6-7, can handle it and shoot it. He guards really well, he has a super high IQ, he is a good passer, he’s a good teammate.”

“If I average 20 or 18 this year, whatever the number,” Reid said. “I just want to win games this year.”

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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