Guard Snyder leads way in Latrobe girls basketball team’s win over Franklin Regional

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Thursday, January 6, 2022 | 9:49 PM


Sophomore guard Elle Snyder knows her role on the Latrobe girls basketball team.

“I am a shooter,” Snyder said with stern confidence.

She was a pace-setter Thursday night, showing her shooting touch in the Wildcats’ 57-29 victory over visiting Franklin Regional in a Section 4-5A game.

Snyder did her damage over two quarters, scoring 12 in the first and 13 in the third on the way to a game-high 25 points. She made four 3-pointers.

Latrobe followed her lead.

“We came out and pushed it,” Snyder said of the early tempo.

Latrobe (6-2, 2-0), the bigger, more physical aggressor as it is many nights, scored the first 16 points and led 19-4 after the first quarter. The Wildcats extended the advantage to 33-15 at halftime before initiating the mercy rule (30-point lead) late in the third.

Franklin Regional, which was coming off a 47-33 win over Penn Hills, dropped to 4-5, 1-2.

“We’re starting to get some chemistry,” Latrobe coach Mark Burkhardt said. “We know what the rotation is.”

A game with few fouls saw Latrobe work on the defensive end, forcing early turnovers that led to points.

But the Wildcats used somewhat of a different approach to claim their fifth win in six games.

Latrobe is known for its halfcourt offense that revolves around its post play with a trio of forwards: 6-foot-2 senior Anna Rafferty, 6-1 junior Emma Blair and 6-0 Camille Dominick.

But the guards are the facilitators who get the wheels turning. Snyder was getting passes from the “bigs” on this night as she rotated around the key and waited for 3-point looks.

“Teams are keying on Anna and Emma, but they’re kicking it back out,” Burkhardt said. “Our guards are getting open and hitting shots.”

Snyder played a part in last year’s run to the WPIAL semifinals. Her role has been elevated, and her importance to the Wildcats’ success this year can’t be understated.

“I worked hard as a freshman and learned some things,” she said. “But I am working even harder this year.”

Burkhardt said Snyder has made significant progress over a year. He sees her as a dual-threat in the offense.

“Especially in understanding the offense and her role within it,” the coach said. “She also has become stronger, which enhances her ability to take the ball to the basket.”

Blair added 13 points and seven rebounds, and Rafferty chipped in eight points and nine rebounds for Latrobe, which had its best defensive game of the season in terms of points allowed.

Dominick had seven points for Latrobe, including a step-out 3-pointer in the third when the Wildcats outscored the Panthers, 22-7.

Franklin Regional has an on-the-rise sophomore of its own in point guard Angelina Brush. She led the Panthers with seven points, and junior Brooke Schirmer had six.

The Panthers have lost four of five.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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