‘A leader on and off the court,’ Pikeville’s Trinity Rowe is in it for the long run
If you were to make your way to Pikeville to see the high school girls’ basketball team play, it’d be difficult to ignore the gritty 5-foot-7 point guard running the game.
Trinity Rowe, a junior, has started for the Panthers (19-5) since she was a seventh-grader. She has since collected more than a dozen college offers and a whole lot of admiration from her coaches, teammates and community.
She has led Pikeville in scoring since her freshman season and recently broke the program record for made three-pointers in a career. But if you have the opportunity to speak with her about her game, she’ll first give credit to those around her.
Congratulations to Junior Guard, #11 Trinity Rowe, for surpassing the Pikeville High School Girls’ Basketball Record for Made 3-pt FGs in a Career this week in Tennessee!
She surpasses the mark of 180 previously held by Rachel Potter. pic.twitter.com/2jV5Zrm3Ck
— Pikeville Girls’ Basketball (@PikevilleB) December 31, 2022
“I just have confidence in me and my teammates,” Rowe said. “‘Cause I know we have chemistry on and off the floor, so I know goin’ in there we can really compete against anybody. And I just have trust in my coaches, our fans, everyone. It’s so fun out there. I just enjoy playing basketball. I love it so much.”
Pikeville hasn’t lost a 59th District championship game or 15th Region tournament title since Rowe’s initial season in 2018-19.
Pikeville girls’ basketball coach Kristy Orem, who was hired prior to the 2016-17 season after leading Fleming County to six district titles, said Rowe’s character and approach set her apart.
“I think the difference between Trin and most other point guards is that she’s a leader on and off the court,” Orem said. “You watch her when she’s out on the floor, she’s pointing, she’s talking all the time, she’s telling everybody where to go. She’s an extension of me on the floor.
“There’s a lot of times I let her decide what offense we’re gonna play, what defense we’re gonna play. Because she watches the game, she understands the game. What Trin does on the basketball court is very special, but who she is off the court is even more. She makes me a better person every day. I mean, she really does. She does things the right way.”
Several members of the Panthers’ roster have played together since elementary school, and their chemistry on the court is easy to see. Rowe, who’s proud of how she and her team share the ball, has played with Kylie Hall, Leighan Jackson, Rylee Theiss and Kristen Whited for years.
we’ve been doing this for a little while now @Hall3Kylie love you forever pic.twitter.com/uNzkU465Xi
— Trinity Rowe (@Trinity_Rowe11) January 10, 2023
“Havin’ that kind of chemistry together, I know where everyone is,” Rowe said. “‘Cause, I feel like, when we practice, we practice. After state, we’ll take a week off and we’ll get back at it. So, just having that fluid ball movement and knowing where everyone is, it’s really fun. They make my job easy.”
Rowe is also close with the Panthers’ second-leading scorer, Kyera Thornsbury, who arrived at Pikeville by way of Belfry ahead of the 2021-22 season.
“First, she is my best friend,” Thornsbury said. “And I love her. She has the best point guard court vision I’ve ever seen in Kentucky. She could be a mile away, and she will pass it to you like behind the back, no look, and like sometimes you just gotta be ready for it. And I always know she’s gonna pick my head up and I’m gonna pick hers up. And her being my best friend, it just helps a little bit more. So, I know she’s gonna score her points, but she’s gonna get other people open, too. It helps a lot.”
A common saying among the team is “Trin is Trin,” meaning that you always know what you’ll get from the accomplished, self-motivated point guard. Her reliability as both a talented player and supportive teammate was on full display during Friday morning’s 61-38 victory over Danville at the All “A” Classic in Richmond.
Rowe, who also runs cross country, was a hustling force all over the floor. She scored 19 points and dished out 10 assists, but her communication stood out. She was vocal for the entire game, constantly calling out to her teammates and ensuring that they were in a position to impact the game.
“She does [know where her teammates strengths are],” Orem said. “And she knows where their weaknesses are. We talk about it all the time, we have to put our teammates in position to succeed. We know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are. They’ve played together, most of them, their entire lives. So she’s really good at making sure she puts them in the right position.”
Rowe is one of six juniors for Pikeville, which went on to lose 48-32 to Covington Holy Cross in Saturday’s All “A” Classic semifinals. The Panthers do not have a single senior on the roster, but they do not lack leadership. According to Orem, Rowe’s influence sets quite the example.
“Our team, I’m telling you, they want to be good for Trinity,” Orem said. “… A lot of times, people look at Trin and talk about her size and whatever. But there’s not a point guard out there that can control a game like she does. I don’t care what level we talk about. She’s just special.”