Anaconda's Braxton Hill (copy)

Anaconda's Braxton Hill gets a shot up through contact in the key against Malta in the 2017 Class B state title game. Hill overtook Ed Kalafat's boys scoring record with a 33-point performance against Thompson Falls on Saturday. 

BRONTE WITTPENN, Billings Gazette

When asked last week about the prospect of Anaconda's Braxton Hill overtaking his record, Ed Kalafat had a swift answer: "I think records are made to be broken." 

With one spirited performance, Hill obliged. 

The senior, who last week committed to play football at the University of Montana, needed to amass 31 points going into Saturday’s matchup against Thompson Falls to surpass Kalafat’s record set in 1950.

He finished with 33, matching and then eclipsing the 68-year-old mark in the final minute as the Copperheads held off the Blue Hawks 80-75. 

Hill scored five points over the final 35 seconds of the game, moving ahead of Kalafat's record of 1,614 points.

"It's really cool, knowing all the hard work I've put in to be with all those great names,” Hill said.

After three quarters — and after being held to 10 points in the first half — it looked like the record would have to come down another day. Hill had 17 points heading into the final frame, needing 14 points to match Kalafat.

Kalafat wished Hill well in taking down the record in a Standard story published last week.

“I wish the kid a lot of luck," Kalafat said. "I think it’s great.”

With multiple players out with injuries for Anaconda, Hill was also glad to see his teammates rally to pull out the victory.

“It was a really big win for our team,” Hill said. “We showed a lot of toughness.”

Hill concluded his record-setting performance on the cusp of a triple double, hauling in 13 rebounds, nine assists and five steals. 

To add a serendipitous wrinkle to the evening, the 33 points scored also coincided with the jersey number worn at both Anaconda and Utah State by Copperheads' legend Wayne Estes, whose scoring record Hill topped on Dec. 20. 

Hill still has another mark to pursue, the all-time record school record held by former girls' basketball player and Montana standout Ali Hurley who finished her Anaconda career with 1,698.

"I could not be more proud of Braxton," Hurley said last week. "It's been fun watching his career from afar. I hope to be in attendance when he passes my scoring record."

Hill is 82 points away. That final milestone is on his radar, but he's not dwelling on it too much. 

“It's in the back of my mind, but I'm just going to keep doing my thing,” Hill said. “Our team is doing pretty good right now and I think we’re going to roll into divisionals. We’re just going to keep going and keep winning." 

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