Tonawanda News — The team needed Stone to be himself again, and, as it turns out, he needed his team just as much.
”It’s been tough but the team looks up to you so you have to learn how to lead,” Stone said. “We’re all family, and we are all there for each other.”
Despite all of the off-court distractions, Stone has turned in an outstanding season for the Jacks. He has averaged 9.4 points, a team-best five assists and 3.4 rebounds per game, and has developed a keen sense for exactly what his team needs from him depending on the game and situation.
He led the Jacks in points against Kenmore West (19), Cleveland Hill (18), Niagara Falls (17) and Lockport (23), and also became the facilitator in a number of games where NT scored over 70 points and he hovered around 10 assists.
”He can control a game with his tempo and has become more aware of situations when we need to either keep up the pace or slow it down,” Mountain said. “You see the physical toughness he has on the football field. The mental toughness comes from him having extreme confidence in himself and he’s come a long way with his emotional toughness. Obviously dealing with the issues off the court with his family and his knee, he’s able to control his emotions and show more poise in pressure situations. He leads the team.”
Mountain said since their conversation in late January, Stone has played his best basketball of the season. Stone gives the credit to his teammates. He refused to be photographed for this story without them. The Jacks are hoping their unity will help them advance in the playoffs.
”It’s just one game at a time and we have to play as a team,” Stone said. “Take care of business today and then head to Buff. State, and coach will have us prepared for anyone.”