Balance and depth have been key strengths for the boys basketball team at Foss High School the past few seasons.
Contributions up and down the roster have helped the Falcons remain among the elite Class 3A Narrows League teams.
But the emergence this season of senior forward Dezmyn Trent has nearly made that formula obsolete.
“This is all kind of new for me,” Foss coach Mike Cocke’ said of the change in team dynamics for the Falcons.
But that’s not to say the new formula with a bit less balance hasn’t resulted in similar success.
Trent is averaging 25 points per game — including a 40- and a pair of 35-point outbursts this year — as Foss entered the week ranked No. 6 in 3A with a 9-3 record.
“He’s doing a really good job of finding ways to score,” Cocke’ said of his 6-foot-4 forward.
Trent’s breakout season is the result of comfortable surroundings, hard work and a determination to embrace his role as a team leader. After playing his freshman season at Lincoln on a roster full of blossoming stars, Trent decided to transfer to Foss.
“I thought about (the transfer) as it was going to be a better (situation) for me,” Trent said. “I feel like everything happens for a reason.”
After playing one season at Foss in a system where he could be one of many options when the Falcons needed a basket, Trent began to step out last season, sharing the 3A Narrows League MVP award with former Lincoln teammate and University of Colorado recruit Tre’Shaun Lexing (now Tre’Shaun Fletcher). This season, Trent has transformed into the alpha dog, the culmination of years of maturation and polishing of his game, Cocke’ said.
“His role within our team has forced him to grow up,” Cocke’ said. “It’s been a tremendous transformation.”
On the court, Trent has worked hard to improve his ballhandling skills — giving him the ability to play all five positions.
“He’s a hybrid guy who just finds ways to score,” Cocke said.
Trent’s court vision and his basketball IQ have also improved, meaning he doesn’t have to work so hard for his points.
“I know I’m never going to be wide open, so I like to move more without the ball,” Trent said. “A majority of my points have come on cuts to the basket.”
Trent’s teammates see that hard work and know that the offense often flows best when it goes through him.
“We realize he’s our best scorer — everyone on our team recognizes that,” said senior point guard Noah Hunthausen, who has played for three seasons. “We’ve had a couple games where teams pay too much attention to him and it opens things up for other people.”
But this season is about more than just the big games for Trent. It’s about him realizing that leaving one situation eventually brought out the best in him as a player and a person.
“(The transfer) made me tougher and smarter,” he said.
Trent has embraced what he’s leaned and applied it to his new role as a leader.
“He’s definitely stepped up to the challenge,” Hunthausen said.
“I’ve been trying to play in a way that makes our team better,” Trent said. “(It’s about) getting everyone to care and be on the same page.”
Despite suffering a 66-57 loss on the road to top-ranked Lincoln on Jan. 4, Trent said his team has what it takes reach the state tournament after coming up short last season.
“It’s just more motivation,” Trent said of the loss to his former team.