WATERFORD - Waterford senior Emily Brown had reason to be a little confused when the horn sounded after she made the first of two free throws against the Eastern Lady Eagles on Jan. 19.
After all, there wasn't a sub waiting to come in the game and they were motioning for her to come to the scorer's table, which she obviously couldn't do when she had another free throw to take.
But Brown did need to make a trip to the scorer's table.
That's because she had made a trip into the record book.
With that free throw Brown became just the fifth girl in Waterford school history to surpass the 1,000 point plateau for her career.
So the horn wasn't for a sub, but rather to recognize a girl who had become one of her school's best.
"When it happened I thought initially it was just a free throw sub. They were motioning for me. I was like, I can't come out. I'm shooting a free throw," Brown laughed.
Though she had no idea how close she was to the 1,000 point plateau, once she finally realized what the moment meant it was something special for the 5-foot-9 Brown.
"It was a big achievement for me. It was a great feeling," Brown said.
And Brown couldn't really have picked a better game to score her 1,000th point in as it came against Tri-Valley Conference rival Eastern. About the only way the moment could have been better would've been if it could have come against Fort Frye, she joked.
With the Lady Eagles picked by many around the league to end Waterford's streak of TVC-Hocking titles this year, Brown said she was more focused on winning the game and proving the Lady Wildcats' detractors wrong.
"I was more concerned about winning the ball game," she said.
Winning games is the number one goal for Brown, and her team, and she still has on her wish list the dream of all high school athletes - a state title - and she'd gladly trade her own personal accomplishment to get that one for her team.
"Nobody will remember Emily Brown scoring 1,000 points, but everybody will remember that team that won state," Brown said.
The Lady Wildcats have come close to a birth in the state tournament in recent years, but have been eliminated in the regional tournament for the past six seasons, three times losing to the eventual state champion.
Getting to state may be the ultimate goal, but for that one game Brown was the star, and she's enjoyed plenty of those types of games over her career.
This season, in stats provided through nine games, Brown is averaging 19.8 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 3.8 steals a contest.
"I've just got to continue to play the way I've been playing," Brown said.
Brown's style of play assured her of becoming one of Waterford's elite scorers, as she follows former stars Laura Goins, Haley Drayer, Jessi Drayer and Sina King as 1,000 point scorers at Waterford.
During her career, Brown was present for both Jessi Drayer and King's 1,000 point games. She was also on the court when King set the school's all-time scoring record, and being part of those historic moments was inspiring.
And while she might have had a few dreams when Jessi Drayer crossed the mark her freshman year, Brown never truly thought it would one day be her in the spotlight with the scoring milestone.
"Everyone has dreams their first time they step on the floor," Brown said.
Now that dream's a reality and something she hopes to share with as many other players as she possibly can.
"I hope as many people get it as they possibly can. Not everybody can say I achieved 1,000 points," Brown said. The next girl to score 1,000 points at Waterford will likely be Brown's teammate, junior guard Brooke Drayer.
Having three girls surpass 1,000 points in four years and a fourth likely to cross the mark in five years is a testament to the prestige the Waterford program has developed, and something Brown credits to coaches from her high school coach Jerry Close all the way down to the elementary coaches in third and fourth grades.
Those mentors help shape the players not only into superstars on the court, but also transform them from girls into young women, and they deserve much of the credit, Brown said. "It just speaks a lot for how we start at a young age, how we're coached," she said.
A winning attitude is important, and all Waterford players know that they have an important role in the program, whether that be scoring 1,000 points or doing the grind work on defense against an opponent's best player.
"We are always taught if you want to win, you have to play as a team," Brown said.
For Brown, her role for four years has transformed from the third or forth scorer on the team into the go-to girl, and it resulted in a milestone she's delighted to see and share with a dozen other girls in Wildcat green.
"I'd like to thank my coaches and my family and my team," Brown said. "It's fun playing with these girls."