New confidence makes Stamm asset for CatsDecember 19, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
JASPER — Carter Stamm is playing ball with a new lease on life. The Jasper senior guard is averaging a little less than 14 points a game, which includes 20-point outings against Evansville Memorial and Reitz, while shooting 60 percent from the floor and more than 80 percent from the free throw line. He recognizes the expectations that come with being a senior, and is doing everything he can to rise to the occasion.
“Now that I’m a senior, I just try to be a leader out there on the court,” Stamm said. “I try to work hard every time I’m out there and lead by example.”
It’s a far cry from last season when Stamm struggled with his confidence and couldn’t quite find his place on the floor for the Wildcats.
“Last year as a junior, we expected him to play some varsity minutes,” Wildcats coach John Goebel said. “After the first couple of games, we started giving him some JV minutes, and by the end of the year, he was full-time JV. It wasn’t because of a lack of effort. He just didn’t play with the confidence we needed him to play with.”
However, Stamm came into this season determined to flip that around. He first committed himself to becoming the best defender he could be, and figured the rest of his game would fall in line from there.
“My best attribute is defense,” he said. “With that, the offense is going to be created. I just try to hustle at every defensive opportunity and try not to let my guy score. I just need to play my best defense, and if I do that, it’s going to help the offense.”
Goebel has watched Stamm grow up through the local youth programs, and always thought he had the raw tools to be a difference maker for the Wildcats. He said Stamm has one of the better noses for the ball on the team, almost like a ball-hawking defensive back on the football field.
“He’s got these long arms and good lateral speed,” Goebel said. “He sees the floor real well, and anticipates well. He jumps the ball, gets in the passing lanes and comes up with steals. He does a tremendous job off the ball for us.”
Stamm also makes the most of his opportunities once he gets the ball on offense. His best showcase in that area came in the Wildcats’ win Dec. 13 against the Tigers, where Stamm scored nine straight points to start the fourth quarter, and helped secure the win. He wound up scoring 15 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth frame. He credits getting physically stronger and working on his shot with contributing to the added offensive production he’s experiencing so far.
“Shooting — I work on that in practice a lot,” he said. “Driving to the basket, I’ve gotten a lot better at that. I feel like I’ve gotten stronger, and that helps me do that.”
Goebel is happy to see Stamm has gotten his edge back and worked his way back from obscurity to become one of the leaders in production for the Wildcats. The confidence that has come from his hard work has turned Stamm into a pillar the team looks to in order to be successful on a consistent basis.
“Since Day One, he has worked tremendously hard and has shown a great deal more composure and understanding of the game. Right now, he’s playing at a level we need him to keep playing at to be successful. He went from a guy that we couldn’t find any varsity minutes for to a guy we can’t afford to take off the floor.”
Stamm only wishes to continue growing on both fronts so he can help Jasper get another sectional title before he laces up his shoes for the final time.
“I just want to help my team the best I can,” he said. “Getting another sectional championship would be nice, that’s one of our team goals.”
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