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Basket-ful of Triumph: Powell surpasses 1K points enroute to owning the record books

Bowman County’s three-sport athlete honored in front of coaches, teammates and family in game against Buccs

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Ellie Powell in a non-region game against Stanley on Saturday, Jan. 14 2023.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Ellie Powell's nerves were on edge before Bowman County's game in Beach last Thursday. She knew that she was on the brink of surpassing 1,000 career points in her high school basketball career and didn't want to let anyone down. But as she stepped onto the court, the chaos in her mind cleared and she was ready to make history.

With a drive to the right side of the paint, Powell executed a spin move to her left hand and scored the basket that would break the 1,000-point mark. Her team rushed her in celebration and head coach Jaci Mrnak called a timeout to embrace Powell with a hug.

"It was honestly just a surreal feeling to have the entire gym cheering for me and the signs that my teams made for me," Powell said. "This season has definitely been a lot of fun. We have a great team and a great team chemistry and we are all just really excited for each other, so I am just glad that I got it this year with this team."

The moment was equally special for Mrnak, who has coached Powell since her seventh-grade year. With the entire Beach gymnasium cheering for the Bulldogs, Mrnak fought back tears.

"That moment that she came to give me a hug [right after] was a moment that I will never forget," Mrnak said. "I made the comment to her, 'You realize I have been there for every single one of those points and I have seen you score every single one of them?' It just means a lot to me as a coach."

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The Region 7 leaders, the Bowman County Bulldogs, went on to beat the Buccaneers 67-34 and with only one loss out of 11 games this season, the team and coaches are eager for the regional tournament. Mrnak said that these achievements are huge for the program and important for their young fans.

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Ellie Powell (24) being a towering presence inside the paint.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

"I always tell the girls that there are little eyes always watching and looking up to you. Always staying positive, always showing how to be a great teammate and being confident is huge right now for them," Mrnak said. "We are coming together, we are getting better every single day, we are finding our rotations. Things are clicking on all levels."

Powell is a three-sport athlete, and has achieved a list of accolades including breaking Bowman County's career record for kills in volleyball with 1,135, holding the long jump record in field and track and breaking the 1000 points in basketball.

"I am reaching most of my goals I've set in high school, so knowing that I can reach them I will be setting harder goals for myself in college," Powell said. "To keep myself motivated."

Powell is grateful for the support and honesty of her coaches, teammates and family. After stepping off the court, she knew that it has been a long time coming and she is excited to move on to the next chapter of her basketball career.

After her time at Bowman County comes to an end, Powell’s athletic career will continue at the next level as she will compete at the collegiate level at Valley City State University in both women’s basketball and the track and field programs

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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