Coming out of the locker room for the third period of a Jan. 10 Brookfield High School basketball game, Donovan Pawlowski needed seven points to reach 1,000 for his career.
He hit a three-point shot. His parents were letting him know how close he was, and he hit another trey. He needed one more point.
“I remember Matteo (Fortuna) had the ball on top and I was on the wing, and my heart was just racing,” Donovan said. “He drove, kicked it to me and then I went to a lane and I saw that they were doing helpside defense, so I just pulled up for a little jump shot, and I shot it, and when I shot it, I was like, ‘Well, that might have been off.’ Whenever I saw it went in I was kind of shocked. It was a great feeling.”
Prior to 2022, only seven Warriors had topped 1,000 career points on the hardwood. Three others have been added to that list, all Class of 2023 members who achieved it within one calendar year.
Sophia Hook reached the milestone on Feb. 7, 2022, and Isaiah Jones topped it on Jan. 17.
“Not a lot of people do it, but to have three in our class, I feel like that’s pretty exciting,” Sophia said. “I feel like our class has always been athletic.”
Donovan said the runup to 1,000 points was nerve-wracking, and Sophia said the pressure had put her off her game. Isaiah embraced the moment, scoring 32 points on the night he eclipsed 1,000.
“Isaiah had a really good game to get his,” Sophia said. “I thought that was impressive.”
Isaiah said he had incentive to hit the milestone that night,
“My grandmother (Liz Shaffer) was leaving for California,” Isaiah said. “She wanted to see me hit it before she went to California. I wanted to do it for her. It was just a very exciting moment.”
Isaiah said reaching 1,000 points was a goal he embraced thanks to his grandfather, Bill Shaffer, who would take him to high school games and show him the list of 1,000-point scorers displayed on the wall of the gym.
“My grandpa told me, when I first came to Brookfield, ‘You’re gonna be one of those 1,000-point scorers,’” Isaiah said. “I’ve always trained and worked and strived to get my 1,000. My grandpa’s always had my back, like, ‘You’re gonna get it. Just keep doing what you’re doing.’”
Donovan also set the goal of scoring 1,000 early on.
“My drive is to be better than everybody else,” Donovan said. “I don’t mean to seem cocky, but I always have to be the best in everything that I do. That also comes from my parents (Dave Pawlowski and Nadine Bayus) because I’ve been competitive my whole life, ever since I was a little kid. Just knowing that I’m better than the person next to me means everything to me. I’m gonna work harder than you no matter what.”
Isaiah said he is proud his name will be listed with Donovan’s.
“Me and Donovan, we’ve always had that connection with each other,” he said. “We’ve always been best friends in and out of school. It’s like a big thing for me and him.”
Donovan said his next goal is besting Jeremy Quinlan’s all-time boys record of 1,219 points. As of Feb. 7, he was at 1,115, according to records released by school Athletic Director Tim Taylor. Isaiah has 1,135.
Bailey Drapola owns the girls record with 1,644 points.
“That’s a lot of points,” Sophia said. “I’m not even gonna think about it. I’m just gonna play, see what happens.”
As of Feb. 7, Sophia had 1,490 points.
Isaiah said his next goal is to grab 1,000 rebounds. As of Jan. 23, he was about 135 away. Official records were not available.
“It’s gonna take a lot, but I can get it, because we have tournaments still,” Isaiah said. “That’ll be a really huge goal for me, if I can get that.”
Taylor said the school does not keep an all-time list of rebounds.
Isaiah said he also wants to help bring Brookfield a conference championship.
“We haven’t had something on that board … it’s been a while,” he said of the gym banner that lists school playoff teams. “I want to get something on that board and leave my mark for basketball just like I did football.”
Isaiah is committed to Ashland University to play wide receiver in football, and plans to major in business.
Donovan, who was named Trumbull County Offensive Player of the Year for his play as the school’s quarterback in football, said he also wants to leave his mark on Brookfield athletic history.
“Just knowing that everybody in Brookfield will see my name up there and hopefully I can inspire others and make that change in people’s attitudes and lives,” he said.
Donovan, who also plans to play baseball and run track in the spring, has signed to attend the University of Mount Union to play football and study sports management.
Sophia, who also plays soccer and softball, said she has not settled on a college, but hopes to play basketball and study accounting and sports management.
Sophia said she believes it’s going to be a while before anyone else hits 1,000 points.
“You have a lot of kids that aren’t coming out for sports,” she said, blaming technology for hurting athletic involvement and turnout at games. She encouraged young people not to forget the benefits of face-to-face interaction.
“I feel like it’s important to still make sure you’re spending time with your family, your friends,” she said. “You talk to your friends online – you can still go see them in person. You get more out of it hanging out in person than face timing or anything like that.”
Brookfield High School basketball players who have scored at least 1,000 points in their careers are:
Jeremy Quinlan, Class of 2013, 1,219 points.
Isaiah Jones, Class of 2023, 1,211 points.
Donovan Pawlowski, Class of 2023, 1,186 points.
Paul Guin, Class of 1967, 1,112 points.
Conner Stevens, Class of 2020, 1,093 points.
Brian Hiner, Class of 2017, 1,060 points.
Bailey Drapola, Class of 2019, 1,644 points
Morgan Bonekovic, Class of 2008, 1,636 points.
Sophia Hook, Class of 2023, 1,567 points.
Susan Dobosh, Class of 1983, 1,102 points.