Trey Lowe moves past a Hopewell player during a February 12 game. Ewing won 72-42.

Ewing High School sophomore Trey Lowe was the lone freshman on last year’s state championship basketball team. He made such an impact on head coach Shelly Dearden that she decided at the beginning of this season to entrust him with a larger, more central role.

Dearden and her coaching staff expected Lowe to fulfill that role, but she said the 6’4” forward has gone way beyond their hopes.

“He’s not only met our expectations,” she said, “he’s done that and more. We knew he was going to have an impact, but he’s really become a major factor for our team and our program.”

Lowe has been a scoring machine for the Blue Devils all season long. He has amassed over 500 points this year alone, bringing his overall total to nearly 700 points—all only two years into his career. He has been at the top of the Colonial Valley Conference’s leaderboards all season.

Dearden saw this coming.

“He’s always been an outside threat with his shot, but he’s improved so much now that he can go right to the basket,” she said.

What Dearden and her staff didn’t foresee, though, was Lowe’s new-found skill on the rebound.

“We thought he was just a shooter last year, but he’s really improved his game,” she said. “He’s really come full-fledged with his offensive rebounding and rebounding in general. He’s doing that really well this year. That wasn’t even a part of his game, so that’s really a surprise right now.”

Lowe said he placed an emphasis on becoming a more well-rounded player during his offseason workouts.

“I’ve always wanted to be a rebounder and play better defense,” he said. “During the summer, I did a lot of work in the weight room. I worked a lot on rebounding and jumping, and it basically filled out.”

Lowe said a lot of his success comes from being surrounded by a core group of talented upperclassmen like Paul Jones and Isaiah York.

“They affected me a lot,” he said. “They teach me a lot on the court and in class, too. I learn a lot from them all the time.”

Dearden said she sees that help going both ways.

“They guide him as well as respect him and his playing abilities,” she said. “He listens to them and the guidance they give him and really looks at the experience they have. They show him what work and experience will get him.”

Experience, Lowe said, is also one of the keys to his triumph on the court. He said playing on last year’s team gave him invaluable insight that made him a more intelligent, developed player.

Dearden said exposure to high-level basketball like the Blue Devils had last year is bound to have a positive effect on all involved.

“It had an impact not only on him, but all the underclassmen and everybody in the program,” she said. “Him having been the only freshman on the team, though, helped him prepare for this year.”

Dearden said younger players sometimes have difficulty level-headed. Not Lowe.

“You have to keep their heads focused every day,” she said. “Even if he has a slightly bad day, you have to keep him in a positive mental state. Being young, sometimes they don’t know how to handle certain situations, but he’s been really good with that. We try to keep him focused on the fact that every day is a good day, and they have been really good for him.”

It’s easy to see that Lowe has a lot to look forward to on the court, and he and Dearden have no doubts.

“If everything keeps going the way it is and he keeps working as hard as he’s working, obviously good things and even better things will happen in the future,” Dearden said.

For Lowe, though, it’s all about the team.

“I think we have a bright future ahead of us,” he said. “Everybody works hard. We work as a team. Everything we do is as a team. We all have a bright future.”