Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
LATHAM — With 4:39 left in the first quarter of Wednesday’s Division III sectional semifinal at Northwest High School, Western’s Sylvia Evans hit a shot that had been a long time coming.
From the left wing, Evans’ jumper put her Indians up 11-0 over Whiteoak. But that didn’t matter at the time. What mattered was that Evans had just punched her ticket to join Western’s exclusive 1,000 point club, furthering her career legacy while doing so.
“I knew I was close and I tried not to think about it too much,” Evans said of her 1,000th. “When I knew I had it, I felt ecstatic. Not only for myself but for my school and for my mom, because she pushed me to do better.”
Evans’ mother, alongside an entire cast of supporters, are the reason she even recognizes the accomplishment. After all, without their backing, point 1,000 may have never came along.
“The support I’ve received from my teammates, coaches and parents has been incredible,” Evans said. “They are the reason I celebrate reaching 1,000. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Evans, a senior, knew there was a chance she’d reach 1,000 at the beginning of this season. That’s noteworthy, considering the fact that she didn’t even consider herself a shooting threat prior to her junior year.
But last season, something clicked. The Indians’ feisty guard developed into a real scoring threat and hasn’t stopped attacking the rim since.
However, the road to 1,000 has featured its bumps along the way. Evans’ senior year didn’t start off on the right foot. But instead of hanging her head, she chose to rise to the occasion.
“I’ve been eyeing 1,000 since the end of last season. I wasn’t really a shooter prior to that season, so I knew I really had to work to reach it,” Evans said. “The season didn’t start as well as I anticipated, so the pressure has really been on since the second half of the season started. It was a great relief to score it.”
Basketball has given Evans something to look forward to … since she was a kid. Her love for the game started early and it continues to expand each day.
“Basketball just came natural to me and I’ve been in love with the game since I was a kid,” Evans said. “My favorite part about it is that it changed my life, for the better, through its many lessons and it’s given me some of the best memories that I will forever cherish.”
Originally, Evans had plans to leave the game behind when she graduated. While that still may very well be the case, she admits she’d have a hard time turning down a college offer.
“I had plans on leaving basketball in high school and putting my focus into my next chapter. But I’ve grown so much through this sport,” Evans said. “So if a college wanted me to play for them, it’d be hard turning them down. But as of now, after high school, I’m closing this chapter.”
Evans has at least one more game left in her high school career. After helping Western beat Whiteoak by a 57-22 final, the Indians will face Portsmouth Clay in a Division III sectional final at 2:15 p.m., Saturday at Northwest High School.
While she has the chance to further her career scoring numbers, Evans is simply focused on helping her team extend its season.
“I hope to use our hard work and knowledge of the game to win a sectional final Saturday and then go on,” Evans said. “I want this season to last as long as possible.”