Jace Saxton could not be contained last Friday night.
Saxton, a senior on the North Oconee boys basketball team, scorched the visiting Chestatee War Eagles to the tune of 54 points. That output set a new program record for single-game scoring.
It was Saxton who made the shots – and missed very few of them – but he credited his teammates, particularly fellow senior Dylan Garrington, for distributing the ball throughout the game.
“I thank my teammates for giving me the ball and allowing me to shoot as much as I did [Friday],” Saxton said. “Thanks to Dylan for feeding me the ball; he had 12 assists. When you have two guys playing like that, it's a good day.”
The previous single-game record for scoring at North Oconee was 44 points.
“He's a very talented player one-on-one and we try to get him in situations to be able to do that,” Titans coach Rick Rasmussen said about Saxton’s historic outing. “Our team is good at finding him and then you add in extra transition and he was hot from 3 [Friday]. All of a sudden, that adds up to a lot of points.”
In addition to setting the new record, Saxton reached a career milestone.
On his final shot of the night – a 3-pointer dialed up off an inbound pass following a deliberate timeout – Saxton surpassed 1,000 career points.
The team knew Saxton needed 53 points to reach the career benchmark. No one expected he would score that many in just one game.
However, early during Friday’s contest, Saxton said he started feeling it. He knew he had an opportunity to score enough to get him to 1,000 points.
“After the second quarter was coming around, I was thinking, 'Hey, I could maybe do something special here tonight,’” Saxton said. “It just kept going from there.”