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Boys basketball: YME Sting star is building a future

Yellow Medicine East senior Bryce Sneller, fresh off a school-record 40-point night, wants to help the Sting to their best season in a while, then pursue a carpentry career

YME senior Bryce Sneller, 51, blocks a layup attempt by RCW's Jack Wertish during a Camden Conference game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
YME senior Bryce Sneller, 51, blocks a layup attempt by RCW's Jack Wertish during a Camden Conference game on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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GRANITE FALLS — Bryce Sneller is interested in building things. And for the Yellow Medicine East senior, that's not just about helping to turn around the fortunes of the boys basketball team.

Sneller is interested in going into carpentry after he graduates from high school.

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"I just really enjoy building things. It's kind of my thing," Sneller said. "I like welding too, but I think carpentry is more of the path I want to go."

A three-sport athlete that also competes in baseball and football, Sneller does not have any intentions on playing sports after high school.

"My coaches for all my sports have really tried to get me to play a sport after high school in college and it's like, 'I want to, but school.' I just want to get done with it, Sneller said. "It would be super cool to play a sport in college. I would pick between baseball and basketball. I play defense in football, but basketball and baseball are my two favorites out of the three."

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YME senior Bryce Sneller receives a pass during warmups on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
YME senior Bryce Sneller receives a pass during warmups on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

Sneller does have a few goals on his mind about the basketball program.

Sneller wants to help YME finish the season with at least a .500 record in hopes of proving to the community the team has the ability to win and compete with other "really good teams."

"We just want to put a statement out there that we are better than you think," Sneller said.

Sneller has helped the Sting to a 4-4 overall record. YME's four wins ties their win total from last season when it went 4-20.

Sneller, listed at 6-foot-6, wants to average at least 20 points per game. Over YME's last five games, he is averaging 23.4 points per game and 12.8 rebounds. He has tallied three double-doubles over that stretch.

YME senior Bryce Sneller wins the opening tipoff in a Camden Conference game against RCW on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
YME senior Bryce Sneller wins the opening tipoff in a Camden Conference game against RCW on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune
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"I really like to get the ball down low and use my size to my advantage. Everybody thinks that I am going to lower my shoulder and go to the hoop, but I've really practiced a pump-fake or a side-step and bank it in," Sneller said. "I've added a bunch of moves into my paint game, so I think that's really helped me this year."

Sneller also also wants to put his name in the Sting record books by recording the most rebounds in a single-season and in a game this year. He currently has 93 rebounds through eight games with at least 17 games remaining this season.

The most rebounds by a YME player is 290 by Nate Lukken, which came in the 1994-95 season/ In YME's 61-52 victory over Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart on Dec. 29, Sneller grabbed 22 rebounds to tie Kenton Johnson's program record for most rebounds in a game dating back to 2006.

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"For rebounding, I thought I had to be more aggressive," Sneller said of improving his rebounding coming into the season. "Like, 'I got to go up and get that ball,' and one offensive foul here and there is alright."

One YME record Sneller no longer has to chase is the most points scored in a game.
Sneller, using his size to his advantage, notched a program-record 40 points on Jan. 5 against in the Sting's 80-52 victory over Ortonville. He shot 16 of 18 from the field and made eight of 11 free throws.

YME senior Bryce Sneller lines up a free throw during a Camden Conference game against RCW on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
YME senior Bryce Sneller lines up a free throw during a Camden Conference game against RCW on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 at Renville.
Joe Brown / West Central Tribune

"It was so cool. My adrenaline was just going crazy," Sneller said. "I'm not a big crier but it almost brought a tear to my eye. It was cool to me and it meant a lot."

While talking about his big performance, Sneller turned to the future of the program and the benefits his performance could possibly bring to it.

"It's super nice because it sets a goal for these younger kids that have been watching me play. I feel like they are going to be like, 'I got to beat Bryce Sneller's record. I want to be better than him.' I think it will be cool for the rest of the years coming up.

"It'll be like, 'Wow. I talked to that guy and now I want to beat his record.' I think that's really cool."

Related Topics: BOYS BASKETBALLYME STING
Michael Lyne joined the West Central Tribune as a sports reporter in May 2022, following his graduation from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he graduated with a bachelors degree in journalism and a minor degree in Spanish studies.

You may reach Michael at mlyne@wctrib.com, or by calling (320) 214-4345.
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