Riverside girls captured the championship of the Taylor Lions Club Tournament behind the play of Kylie Lavelle. The sophomore totaled 63 points, 19 rebounds and nine steals in victories over Nanticoke and West Scranton to earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors. The highlight was a career-high 41-point performance in the semifinal win over Nanticoke.
Here is more from Lavelle’s Athlete of the Week interview:
Family: Father, Tim; mother, Tara; brothers, Timmy, Pat, Brady
Favorite teams: Villanova basketball, Notre Dame football, Brooklyn Nets, Oakland Raiders
Athletes I admire: LeBron James. He has a very good basketball IQ. He knows a lot about the game.
Favorite food: Tacos
Superstitions and rituals: I wear the same socks. For away games I wear red with blue stars. For home game they’re opposite — blue with red stars. I also eat a pack of Skittles before every game.
What did you get for Christmas this year? Air pods. A couple pairs of shoes and clothes.
Three people I’d like to have dinner with: LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving
Against Nanticoke, you scored 15 points in the first quarter. What was the key to the fast start? Our team actually had a slow start in the beginning; no one was really shooting much. Nanticoke started pressing us and that’s when we started getting the basketball forward and we started getting layups. That’s where I got most of my points from.
You then had 14 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the win. We were playing real good help defense, which made them turn the ball over most of the time. And they would attack the ball forward and they couldn’t get back fast enough to stop us.
In the final against West Scranton, you got in a bit of trouble in the first half with two fouls. The first foul was kind of stupid. I just went up and literally ran into the girl. The second one, I think was a girl shooting a layup, I tried to block and they called a foul. I think (coach Jack Mekilo) took me out for like a minute. Then we went into a zone (defense) so I wouldn’t get anymore fouls.
The team is off to a 7-0 start. What have been some of the keys and reasons why? I feel like the defense is the strongest part of our team. We have more height than a lot of teams so we’re able to get boards. We can see up the floor easier, so we push the ball up the floor and get layups.
Post-graduation plans: Probably be a medical major. I’d like to play basketball in college.
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter