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

Kylie Lavelle, Riverside basketball, athlete of the week for Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.
Christopher Dolan / Staff Photographer

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.