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Oley Valley girls basketball enters new season motivated to reach postseason

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That is the difference in District 3’s power rating that separated Oley Valley from making the county and district playoffs a year ago, as rival Brandywine Heights took the Berks IV title by way of the power-rating tiebreaker and the sixth and final spot in the District 3 Class 3A playoffs.

This year, Oley Valley is poised to ensure it continues playing beyond the regular season.

“That’s everything to us,” senior Ryanne Wheeler said. “It’s a little chip on our shoulder to want to get there this year and it’s motivation every single day going into practice.”

Coming off a season in which the Lynx went 9-3 in league play and 15-7 overall — their highest win total since the 2013-14 season — they fell one league win short of a spot in the Berks playoffs. Oley Valley last made the county playoffs in 2019 and last qualified for districts in 2021.

“We have all the elements on our team right now to do that,” Lynx coach Kerry Snyder said about returning to the postseason. “It’s (about) execution.”

Oley Valley returns four starters and its top four scorers from a year ago: senior Morgan Snyder, Wheeler, senior Dana Messner and junior Izzy Buehler. Snyder and Buehler also were teammates on the Lynx field hockey team, which won the PIAA Class 1A title last month.

“Our chemistry is just through the roof, especially the senior class,” Morgan Snyder said. “The chemistry this team has is unbelievable, very similar to our field hockey team.”

A guard and a 2022-23 All-Berks selection, Morgan Snyder led the team with 15 points per game and 22 3-pointers in 19 games last year. Her 80.7 free throw percentage led the team and was second in Berks among players with at least 50 free throw attempts.

“She’s our floor general out there,” said Kerry Snyder, Morgan’s father. “She controls the action, she controls the pace of the game.”

Wheeler, a guard, was second on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game. Messner, a forward, averaged 8.4 points per game and Buehler, a forward, finished at 7.3 points per game.

“They set the tone for everything we do,” Kerry Snyder said about the four returning starters. “They really set that dynamic up and I expect them to take some of this stuff to the next level.”

The Lynx allowed 29.5 points per game last season, just behind county-leading Wyomissing and its 29.4 points. With a wealth of athleticism, Oley Valley will lean heavily on its defense again this season.

“We like to play aggressive, fast basketball,” Morgan Snyder said. “We are a very athletic team.”

The Lynx will open their season with a non-league game at Hanover on Saturday at 5 p.m. Oley Valley’s home opener is set for Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. against Annville-Cleona in a non-leaguer.

“We’re fine-tuning those little details just to make us the best that we can possibly be,” Wheeler said. “The little, little details are what we’re really focusing on.”

Oley Valley will play at Brandywine Heights on Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. before hosting the Bullets on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. The Lynx will host defending county champion Wyomissing on Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.

“They’ve been working up to this,” Kerry Snyder said. “They feel like they have a lot to prove yet.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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