Tonawanda News — Coach Hughes agreed that the North Tonawanda game was definitely Ben’s coming out party that set the stage for an amazing career.
“Obviously there was much more to go in his career and he did a lot of other good things. But that’s when I could really tell that he wasn’t afraid of the spotlight or the pressure of a big game and big situations,” Hughes said. “And only (being) a 10th grader, he did an outstanding job. That’s when I could tell that he’d be a starter for me for years to come.”
Serving as the Warriors point guard, Stich was filling extra big shoes because he took over the job his older brother, Steven Stich, held for three seasons. Inspired by his brother, Ben was definitely grateful to have a supportive older brother who pushed him to be his best.
“I definitely learned a lot from him,” said Stich. “Watching him play for three years, I learned not to be a selfish player. I’m more of a shooter than Steven was, but I definitely learned how to dribble with him out in the driveway and how to pass the ball better. Steven got to go to Buff St. (for sectional semifinals). He was (ECIC IV) first team. I definitely learned a lot from him, like not to be nervous in big time moments.”
But Ben added it was also a proud and satisfying feeling to know that he was able to emerge from Steven’s shadow to be his own person and his own player. And not just “Steven’s little brother.”
Scoring 13.6 points per game, Stich also had 4.5 steals and 4.5 assists per game. Deadly from outside, Stich had 53 buckets from three-point range. But when you take stock of Ben Stich’s senior year, it’s not his numbers that stand out, but rather the way he matured into the role of a leader.