ANACONDA — There are no more Anaconda records for Braxton Hill to gun down on a basketball court.
With a 26-point Senior Night performance in the Copperheads’ 55-41 win over Butte Central Thursday evening, Hill topped Ali Hurley's decade-old record and now stands alone as the most prolific scorer — male or female — in Anaconda basketball history.
Heading into the second half, Hill had 13 points – 11 shy of tying the record – with Anaconda holding a 29-18 lead.
If there were any doubters in the crowd on whether the record was coming down, Hill made sure those sentiments wouldn’t run into the fourth quarter.
Hill sunk a pair of free throws, quickly hit another bucket and then a possession later stepped into a deep 3. Then he sunk another pair of free throws.
Just four points from the record, Hill dribbled the length of the court and calmly sunk a jumper from the elbow. A few possessions later, from the very same spot, Hill struck again, sending The Pit into an uproar with the final record on the bucket scorer’s bucket list coming down. Hill’s total stands at 1,702 with a good chunk of the season left to tuck that record away even tighter.
“It was really fun, a lot of fans here. It’s senior night, we’re playing Butte Central, our rival,” Hill said. “So it was really cool to do it on this night.”
Hill has ascended through Anaconda's Top 10 scorers list in the past two months, passing Copperheads legend Wayne Estes, his sister Torry, Scott and Rob Hurley, and Ed Kalafat.
For Ali Hurley, who was in attendance, there was a sense of déjà vu between watching Hill surpass her record and recalling the night she eclipsed Ed Kalafat’s 60-year-old mark 10 years ago.
Both she and Hill set their records on Anaconda’s Senior Night. Both earned it against Butte Central. Both did it at the end of the third quarter.
"The irony was insane and it brought back so many memories," Hurley said. “It was really special that I could be there. I was so proud of him and I had to fight back tears. It meant a lot to me and I'm sure it meant a lot to him.”
Following a back and forth first quarter that ended with Anaconda up just 14-11, the Copperheads slowly pulled away on the strength of Hill’s scoring and a host of his teammates chipping in.
Butte Central scored the first six points of the second half, but would only hit one more bucket in the frame as the Copperheads cruised into their comfortable halftime lead.
The win puts Anaconda at 12-4 overall, while the Maroons slip to 12-5.
With the record behind him and playoffs looming, Hill says nothing changes about the way he’s approaching his time on the floor.
“I’m going to have the same mindset, be aggressive and try to get the win,” he said.
Butte Central 54, Anaconda 45
It was a slew of 3-pointers over the final two quarters that ultimately put the Copperheads girls away Thursday night.
The Maroons held a 23-19 lead at the half following a 9-8 lead after one.
Central will host Corvallis on Saturday while Anaconda will travel to Troy.