(Editor’s note: This story has been edited and updated to reflect Pat Griffin’s 46-point game for Ennis in 2001. Thanks to Benjamin Griffin for the correction and link to the box score from that 2001 game.)
ENNIS — Forty-four points in nearly 40 minutes. Sports fanatics have seen it done many times by Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and more. But a high schooler in Ennis, Montana? Almost unheard of.
At least since 2001.
“With like two minutes or something left, the coach came up to me and says something like, ‘You only have one more point and you break the record,'” senior Trevor Swanson said.
Pat Griffin actually holds the Ennis school record, scoring 46 points in a 100-77 loss to Three Forks in February 2001. On Jan. 11 of this year, Swanson scored 44 points, which is believed to be the most scored by a Mustang in Ennis’s Class C era.
“It was kind of a big game,” he said. “We were playing against Drummond, and I knew I was going to have to play pretty good to give us a chance in the game.”
“It started out kind of slow,” Swanson added. “But then I kind of started getting it together — got fouled and started to hit free throws, and I just kind of started it from there.”
“Probably like the end of the first quarter he wouldn’t miss, and I kind of thought it was going to be one of those nights,” said Clay Coffman, Swanson’s teammate. “I’ve seen it in practice and just shooting around and when he gets hot he doesn’t miss. You could really tell it was going to be one of those nights where he wouldn’t miss.”
A good shooter by nature, Swanson knew no baskets could be made without a little help from his teammates.
“And then I just kind of started making every single shot I started taking and the team kind of fed me the whole game, so they helped me with that,” he said.
“I didn’t know anything about the record til like way late in the game, but he’s definitely a better shooter than me normally and he was making it a lot more, so I just kept giving him the ball,” Coffman said.
“(He) just kind of finally had that breakout game where he got hot from the 3-point line,” head coach Jared Smithson said. “Then they switched over to (man-to-mane defense), then he took over taking it to the basket, finishing strong and finished with 44 points. I mean, a phenomenal shooting night, too.”
He finished the night 8 of 15 from the 3-point line, 7 of 15 from inside the arc, and a perfect 6 for 6 from the foul line.
“When he got close I kind of mentioned to him, ‘Hey, you just tied the record. I’m leaving you in to go break it.’ And it was kind of funny, because the next time he touched the ball he was all, ‘Ahhh,'” Smithson said, laughing.
“I didn’t know at all,” Swanson said of the record. “And it kind of set in and I kind of realized I was doing something big that night, and I just realized it was that big of a night so it was kind of special.”
“I have never seen anything like that and for that to be my best friend is probably one of the coolest things, probably one of the best memories I will have out of high school,” Coffman said.