Monday, April 12, 2021
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Holland set rebound mark at 41*


The number sticks out like a 7-footer.


Tom Holland of Jefferson was credited with 41 rebounds in a boys’ basketball game Feb. 20, 1970, against Clinton in his final home game. Gazette reporter Jack Ogden listed the total in his game story, citing Jefferson statisticians. That total, plus two other 30-plus rebound games by Holland, still are listed in the Jefferson record book.

Then-coach Jim Lockett is skeptical.

“I recall the game but I think 41 is a little high,’’ said Lockett, who still lives in Cedar Rapids. “Kids were keeping stats back then. I know Tom had like 8 or 9 offensive rebounds in the last three minutes, but I’d say that’s a little high.

“I would not vouch for it. He was capable of 30 rebounds in a game, sure. He shot it and rebounded his own shots all the time. But I wouldn’t put my lottery money on it.’’

The story of Holland’s apparent record game is one of several uncovered during Metro Sports Report’s endeavor to compile all-time Metro boys and girls basketball records.

If Holland, indeed, snared 41 rebounds, he broke the school record of 36 set by Larry Baker in 1967. But Lockett disputes that total, too, for the same reasons. Nevertheless, MSR has included the Holland and Baker rebounding totals because they are listed in Jefferson’s official records.

The 6-foot-8 Holland was no slouch by any means. He played three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, totaling 769 points and 551 rebounds in 75 games for the Sooners while playing alongside Alvan Adams. Holland was an 8th round draft pick of the Phoenix Suns, but never played in the NBA.

Many statistics may be in question because of inaccurate record-keeping at some schools during different eras. Point totals are about the only statistic that can be accurately substantiated from MSR’s research of state association records, newspaper archives, school websites, coaches’ input and independent record keepers.

Jim Heck of Washington established the single-game Metro scoring record December 30, 1969, in a game against Muscatine. Heck made 21 of 31 field goal attempts and 11 of 13 free throws for 53 points in an 85-51 Warrior win.

Adam Spanich of Regis had a chance to pass Heck in a Dec. 20, 1994 game against Linn-Mar. Spanich had 50 points when he was removed from the lopsided game with 6 minutes remaining. He had made 18 of 24 field goal attempts (including 10 of 13 from 3-point range) and all four of his free throws. He also had 18 rebounds and 8 assists.

Spanich played collegiately at Oral Roberts and Southern Cal, and in professional leagues overseas.

Marcus Paige of Linn-Mar is another player who had a shot at Heck’s mark. Paige, now at North Carolina, scored 49 points in a remarkable double-overtime win over Kennedy in a 2012 substate game.

Paige is the Metro area leader in season points (729 in 2012) and career points (1,701 in four seasons).

James Yuill of old Cedar Rapids High is credited by the Iowa High School Athletic Association as scoring 48 points in a 1912 district tournament game. But MSR has not been able to substantiate that feat.

In fact, that may be Yuill’s career total, as most games in the 1910s saw teams scoring the teens or 20s. For example, a headline in the Feb. 5, 1912, Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette read: “CR wins fast game from Marshalltown.’’ The final score was 21-16.

Hugh Leffingwell of Marion (1950-52) had been listed as the all-time leading scorer in several publications with 1,898 points. But Marion historian Steve Roth of Omaha, Neb., substantiated Leffingwell’s varsity total actually was 1,314, as he played very little on the varsity as a sophomore.

Roth has been working for two years on a 30,000-page history of Marion boys’  basketball, including all-time records and every game story dating to 1908.

Roth also noted that for years, such statistics as assists, steals, blocked shots were lumped into one category called “recoveries.’’

The MSR would welcome substantiated additions or corrections to the lists compiled. Contact Mark Dukes at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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