Ellis’ Bowling breaks school record with 35 in one game
Published 6:51 pm Thursday, December 1, 2022
By Brian Pitts
Braxton Bowling of the Ellis boys basketball team looks like an entirely different player from the past two years.
As a sixth grader, Bowling did not score all season, which covered six games. As a seventh grader, he averaged four points per game, peaking with 12.
But Bowling is flourishing as an eighth grader. After scoring 48 points across 12 games a season ago, he already has 54 in two games as an eighth grader, including a program-record 35 at North Davie on Nov. 21.
The explosions against South Davie and North Davie are strong evidence that Bowling can be the main man in 2022-23.
“He had a heck of a night,” coach Daniel York said after Bowling powered the Jaguars to a 68-39 drubbing of the Wildcats. “He just couldn’t miss.”
Bowling hit one 3-pointer and two free throws in two attempts, meaning he drained 16 field goals on the way to setting a new scoring mark for the 16th-year school. He had 21 at halftime and 33 when the third quarter ended.
“A lot of his points came from the (fast) break,” York said. “We had a great defensive night and he ran the floor. I mean there’s not many people who are going to keep up with him. All the kids were happy for him. It was a sight to see.”
Ben Reid, a 6-4 center, showed his long-range stroke with a pair of 3s and 11 points. Weston Barefoot had six points, Dashes DesNoyers five, Aiden Horton four, Max Cornatzer three, Zaheim Reese two and Colin Harrison two as the Jaguars poured in the most points since a 69-20 win over North in January of 2018.
“Ben is probably our most consistent 3-point shooter,” York said.
The Jaguars led 40-22 at halftime and built on a fantastic 2-0 start despite not having Brandon Forrest, a seventh grader who had 16 points in the opener.
“He was playing baseball in Atlanta,” York said. “He’s like top 150 in his class in baseball. He’s a heck of an athlete.”
North’s leaders were Edarius Oliver (13 points) and Wyatt Harwood (11 points, three 3s). Blake French had seven points, Ty Greene six and Will Carter two.
“Edarius did a good job of driving,” coach Trevor Gooch said after North fell to 1-1. “We must play better defense by moving our feet and cutting off driving lanes.”
Notes: Braxton’s brother Caleb Bowling is a sophomore defensive back for Drake University. … The old Ellis scoring record belonged to Cade Carney, who had 34 in a 53-51 win over North Davie in 2011-12.