It's safe to say Lowell's girls basketball team has been a bit of a surprise this season.
After all, this is a program that has won 16 games in the past four seasons and last posted a winning record of 15-7 in 2005-06. At 8-2 this season, the Red Devils have started to turn things around.
Sophomore forward Katie Bobos has been the offensive focal point this season for Lowell -- a key cog in the program's resurgence this season. Her 15.6 points per game leads the team.
"It's been a pretty good experience," Bobos said of her team's success this season. "We're doing a lot better than the past two years combined. We lost to Crown Point and Munster, but we've learned a lot since then."
These new-look Red Devils had their early-season growing pains, but first-year coach Katie Antcliff has started to see the hard work pay its dividends. Bobos, she says, has emerged as a leader for Lowell, which has only one senior in Carissa Thiel.
"There was definitely an adjustment period, but Katie has done a good job in trying to do implement what we've been trying to do as a coaching staff," Antcliff said. "Without her teammates, she's not the player she could be. She's starting to realize that and is taking a positive approach to this season. She's always looking to improve day-to-day."
On Saturday, Lowell captured the Carroll Tournament in Flora with wins over Clinton Prairie and Carroll. Bobos combined for 35 points in the two games, including 22 against Carroll.
"She's done a really good job of trying to create her own shot," Antcliff said. "She's done a really good job of trying to incorporate one-on-one moves into her play on the court and not just in practice. She's one of those kids that if we don't do enough running in practice, she'll stay after to run. There is no stopping to her."
Bobos, who also plays volleyball and softball at Lowell, said she has received a great deal of inspiration from her father, Kevin. Although Bobos has only been playing basketball for about five years, her development up to this point confirms her unwavering desire to improve.
"(My dad) has always helped me through everything," Bobos said. "He helps me with my shot and tells me where to drive, and what's open."
Lowell is in the midst of nearly a three week layoff, with its next game against Boone Grove in the Region Roundball Rumble on Jan. 1. The Red Devils will then dive headfirst into a tough stretch of games against Merrillville, Hobart, Lake Central and Griffith.
"We're going to watch some film on them and stop their big players on defense," Bobos said. "Those are big games. If we can beat them, it'll boost our confidence going into sectionals."