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Posted On: 03/22/18 4:34 PM
Class of 2019 guard Sam Stichnote of Southern Boone County flourished in his new role of the go-to player during the 2017-18 season.
As the lone returning starter from a team that won a district championship and advanced to the Class 3 sectionals last season, the 6’2″ Stichnote had to play an even bigger role as a prime-time player and team leader. He responded by leading Southern Boone to another 20-victory season while being the team’s top scorer and rebounder. He was also named the the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State Team for his efforts.
“I tried to take it slow at first,” Stichnote said of his expanded role. “It helped that we had some other seniors this year who were also ready to step up and take leadership roles, so it wasn’t all on my back.”
As a sophomore, Stichnote was an impact player as a starter for the Eagles, but he also played alongside a talented group of seniors in the 2017 class that produced nearly 50 victories in two seasons. Although he was the biggest starter at 6’2″ on that team, he played everywhere on the court and he was also entrusted to take some big shots in clutch situations; and he delivered.
“As a sophomore, we had a lot of seniors who had been in those big situations before,” he said. “They kept me calm and it allowed me to relax and just play basketball.”
Stichnote projects to be a shooting guard at the collegiate level, but he has displayed the ability to play any position on the floor for his high school team. He is an excellent ball handler who can really attack the basket and finish in traffic. He’s improved his 3-point shooting and he also rebounds well, having his share of double-doubles during the past season. He added 10 pounds during the offseason, which made a big difference in his physical strength.
“I did some agility work and I worked hard on my jump shot,” he said. “I also worked hard to get my teammates involved. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it all myself, so I worked to integrate my teammates and they did a great job this year.”