EVANSTON — As a junior for the Evanston High School girls’ basketball team, guard Amber Lowe was often the first player off the bench for a team loaded with senior talent. Though she only averaged 2.5 points per game, she was second on the team in 3-pointers and learned how to run the Lady Devils’ offense.
“She [Lowe] got quite a few minutes for us at the guard position last year, so she knows what she’s doing,” said EHS head coach Jeremy Fessler.
Now six games into her senior season, Lowe is a starter and a team captain, and has guided the Lady Devils to a 3-3 record heading into 2020. Evanston dropped all three games at the RE/MAX Invitational in Gillette to open the season, but any doubts prognosticators may have had about the team’s talent were erased the following weekend with a 3-0 record at the Flaming Gorge Classic.
“I’m definitely proud of how we played at our last tournament,” Lowe said of the Flaming Gorge Classic. “I’m excited to see how we’re going to play against the top teams in the state this week.”
Lowe started playing basketball in Junior Jazz, graduating to traveling teams and eventually working her way up through the ranks at the high school level. She made varsity as a junior, and called the experience “fun and exciting.”
“I really enjoy being with my team,” she added. “We’re having a lot of fun.”
The Lady Devils will face their toughest test yet this weekend, as they travel to Cheyenne for the Taco John’s Invitational Thursday through Saturday. On the schedule are contests against all three Cheyenne teams, including No. 1 East and No. 3 Central.
“We’ve been practicing really hard over the break, so I think we’re ready for it,” Lowe said. “I like how well we’ve been able to work together — we just know each other really well, what each of us is doing on the floor.”
Lowe is second on the team in scoring this season, averaging 7.8 points per game and tied for the team lead in 3-pointers with fellow senior Taryn Wagstaff with four apiece. But it’s her leadership on the court that Fessler said he’s most impressed with.
“The other girls look up to her for her leadership,” he said of Lowe. “Amber is the one who will say what’s on her mind in team meetings — last night, she was the one who stepped up and said a few things — she always has a comment when we’re struggling at practice to try and pick the team up. She’s a captain this year, so she’s definitely taken that role over for us.”
Lowe also put in the work during the offseason, working with Fessler several times a week to improve her game.
“Amber has put a lot of time into basketball on her own,” he said. “She came in all spring and all fall — two days a week she’d come in before school started, and I’d work with her. She loves basketball. She’s not a very tall girl, but she’s athletic and a very smart basketball player.”
Though the Lady Devils failed to make it to the 4A state tournament last season, Lowe said the experience of her first year on varsity was a memorable one. One game in particular sticks in Lowe’s mind the most, a dominating 32-15 win over Cody in the 4A West Regional Tournament.
“Our win against Cody at regionals was pretty special,” she said. “Especially since we beat them on their home floor.”
As for what she hopes to see the team accomplish this season, Lowe said a trip to state and winning a conference championship would be an excellent way to finish her senior year.
“I definitely think we have the talent on the team to do both,” she said.
After graduation, Lowe, who will also run track this spring, said she plans to attend Dixie State University in Utah on an academic scholarship. Asked what she’ll miss the most once she graduates, Lowe said her team tops the list.
“I think I’ll miss my team, just being with them,” she said.
Fessler said he’ll miss Lowe’s energy and enthusiasm next season, though he’s confident she will continue to excel at whatever she puts her mind to.
“I’ve really enjoyed coaching her, she’s just the nicest kid,” he said. “She works hard on and off the floor. She comes from a good family — I know without a doubt that whatever Amber chooses to do next, she’s going to be successful at it.”