Exeter denies Daniel Boone first division win

BIRDSBORO >> The Snyder sisters have been quite the foundation for the Exeter girls basketball team over the past handful of seasons.

Sammi, following in the footsteps of her now graduated sister, Ali Snyder, is one of just three seniors on an Eagles’ lineup laced with underclassmen. And on Thursday night, she put her experience on display during Exeter’s 37-30 win over Daniel Boone.

“She brings such senior leadership to our team,” said Exeter head coach Charles Truckermiller of Snyder. “She plays with a ton of fire. … She’s such a competitor. She gets after it every night and that sets the example for our other girls to follow.”

Daniel Boone’s Emily Houck (21) plays tight defense on Exeter’s Michelle Mesquita during the fourth quarter of their game on Jan. 12. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Snyder came away with seven points on the night and added a textbook assist to Coryn Uhrig under the basket early on in the fourth quarter as the Eagles began to pull away after leading by just three entering the frame.

The win stands not only as Exeter’s first of the new year, but also their first in Berks Conference I action, where it improved to 1-4 (4-9 overall). Daniel Boone — now in the midst of a five-game losing streak — fell to 0-4 in Berks I and 4-9 overall.

“I try to contribute any way I can,” said Snyder, “whether that means me scoring or just making the right pass for our offense.

“Last year, Ali and Abby (Mengel) really led the team, so we knew we’d need to step it up on offense and find new ways to score. This year, the freshmen and juniors have stepped up and I’ve started to score a little bit more than I did before. We’re definitely getting better as the season goes.”

Exeter’s Michelle Mesquita, left, and Taylor Kerling battle with Daniel Boone’s Emily Scott for a rebound after a free throw during the second half on Jan. 12. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

With Snyder, who was the Berks singles and doubles champion in girls tennis last fall, facilitating the offense, freshman Jordan Davis scored a game-high 13 points with a pair of 3-pointers while Uhrig added 12 as the Eagles never trailed. Freshman Michelle Mesquita had her way on the glass, pulling down nine rebounds and notching four points.

Boasting such a young roster, Truckermiller admits there have been plenty of growing pains getting his team up to varsity speed.

“When you have freshmen on the floor, sometimes they’re going to make mistakes,” he said. “Other times, they’re going to play well. It’s hit or miss, we know that. Of course, we’ve seen a lot of hitting and a lot of missing this year, which is all part of getting them up to speed.”

Daniel Boone’s Madison Willman (55) blocks the shot attempt of Exeter’s Jordan Davis during their game on Jan. 12. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

For Daniel Boone, Sydney Hayes led the way with eight points including a pair of 3-pointers during the second quarter while Kaylie Walker chipped in seven. Sophomore Madison Willman was a presence in the paint where she scored all six of her points while Emily Scott pulled down 11 rebounds.

Still seeking their first Berks I win in over a year, Daniel Boone head coach Ray Cinquanto has maintained a positive approach with his team — both in practice and on game day.

“We’ve got to continue to work hard,” he said. “We try to tell them, ‘Hey, game’s over. We can’t fix it, it’s in the past. All we can do is learn from it and work toward the future game that’s coming up.’ We know how difficult playing in tis conference can be, so we’ve got to continue to work hard both at practice and during the game.”

Finishing Touch

After allowing 60-plus points in four of their last six games, Truckermiller claimed Thursday night as one of the few games he saw the Eagles play four complete quarters.

“We’ve been fighting hard, but we just haven’t been able to finish games,” he said. “To come back here and hold then (Daniel Boone) defensively — that as very important for us. It’s nice to finally get that first win out of the way.”

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