Rylee Evans makes her way up the court from her point guard position during a game this past season. She makes an initial pass to a teammate and continues to weave her way through the opposing defense as the rest of the Lady Buffs get into their position. This particular play, drawn up by Head Coach Lloyd Vedder, leaves Evans wide-open in the corner behind the three-point arc with another quick pass coming her way.
Evans made this play, and a handful of others, look simple throughout the entire season. Without her high-scoring ability, the Lady Buffs might have been in for a rough 2019-20 season. Instead, Evans was a consistent scorer that always seemed to be the catalyst to her team’s success on the hardwood. Even though scoring is her greatest skill on the court, Vedder believes that his star player’s greatest quality is the leadership she brings to the squad.
“She’s not only a vocal leader but is also a player that just purely goes out there and does it,” Vedder said. “Her leadership type is defined by her work ethic and ‘Let’s get this done’ attitude.”
The junior guard will move into an undisputed captain role on the team next year and her stat-line from this past season shows just how much she means to the Lady Buffs. Evans averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game while also adding 4.8 rebounds an 3.7 assists per game to the box score. She seems to never run out of energy on the court and consistently outworks her opponent by always moving around and making the opposing defenses uncomfortable. If Evans was double-teamed or did not have an open shot, she had a superb awareness to get the ball to her open teammate. Forsan had a roster full of perimeter shooters this past season and Evans seemed to bring out the best in them all.
“Whenever we do have a scoring run, it always seems to pick up our energy on the court,” Evans said. “If I score, the next time I can dish it to (Kaeli) Woodall and she can score, and we just build off of each other.”
Several publications and online sources have named Evans to their own All-Star teams for her performance during this past season. The Midland Reporter-Telegram named Evans to their First-Team postseason lineup as she was one of the top five performers in the entire area and the best player in the 2A division. It is always easy to tell when a player dedicates more than just the allotted team practice time to improving their skills on the court.
Evans is one of those players.
During the offseason and summer months, Evans can often be found on the hardwood. Whether it is practicing her shooting by herself in the gym or playing in competitive scrimmages, the hardworking junior is always looking to improve her game. Even though she is the most talented member of her team and was responsible for a great chunk of the Lady Buffs’ scoring this past season, Vedder did not want his point guard putting all of the pressure on herself.
“I wanted her to just relax and play and not have the stress of thinking she had to be the one to get it done,” Vedder said.
While she did not feel like she had all of the pressure on her, even though a lot of it was, Evans has done a great job at staying even-keeled and humble. She gives credit to her coaches and teammates and says that she could not have accomplished these feats without them.
The sharpshooting guard will have one year left to make her mark on the Forsan hardwood, hopefully collect a few opportunities to continue her career in college, and solidify herself as one of the best Lady Buffs’ basketball players of all-time.
Shawn Moran is the sportswriter at the Big Spring Herald. To contact him, e-mail email@example.com or call 432-263-7331.