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Three area grads advancing athletic careers at U of S

Three area graduates will continue their basketball careers at the University of Scranton.

Mike Strong, the university’s head women’s basketball coach announced Tayler Pallotta, a 5-10 forward from Dunmore High School, will join the Lady Royals for the 2009-10 season.

Meanwhile, Timothy Lavelle of Clarks Green and Pat Mineo of Scranton, both graduates of Scranton Preparatory School, will join the Royals for the 2009-10 season, said Carl Danzig, head men’s basketball coach.

Pallotta was a three-year letter-winner on a team that went 80-8 and captured three Lackawanna League and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District II titles during this span under head coach Ben O’Brien. She scored more than 1,000 points in her career and capped off her senior year by earning first-team all Lackawanna League. She was also named the most valuable player of the Feldman tournament during the 2006-07 season.

“Tayler represents the epitome of the student-athlete,” Strong said. “Not only is she a good student in the classroom, she’s very athletic, passes well, can score, and runs the court well. She has the opportunity to compete for a starting position vacated by the graduation of Kelly Tratthen. Tayler will be a welcome addition to our program.”

Tayler, a member of the National Honor Society, is the daughter of Cathy Pallotta. She also lettered in volleyball and track and field at Dunmore High School.

Lavelle and Mineo are expected to help bolster a Royal backcourt hit hard by the graduation of first-team all-Landmark Conference selection Ryan FitzPatrick.

Lavelle and Mineo were teammates on a Scranton Preparatory team that went 24-8, won the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District II championship, and advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament in 2008 under head coach Joe Ferguson. The Cavaliers also posted a 15-8 mark last season.

Lavelle, a 5-10 point-guard, averaged 15 points, five rebounds, and nearly eight assists per game in each of the last two seasons. He earned second-team all-Lackawanna League honors.

“Tim is a tough player who has a lot of creativity with the basketball,” Danzig said. “He has a good knowledge of the game, and I look forward to him helping us out at the point-guard position.”

This past season, Mineo, a 6-0 shooting guard, averaged 17.4 points to earn first-team all-Lackawanna League. He set two game records at the Cavaliers’ home court, the Xavier Center, making eight 3-pointers en route to a 30-point performance. His father, Tom, was a four-year letterman for the Royals (1977-1981) and is currently the 27th leading scorer in Scranton history with 1092 points. This past January, he was inducted into the university’s Wall of Fame.

“The thing that we really like about Pat is his ability to shoot it from anywhere on the floor,” Danzig said. “He can score off the dribble, and I think he, along with Farrell and Lavelle, will help fill the void that FitzPatrick left.”

The Lady Royals will open its 2009-10 season against Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, N.J., on Sunday, Nov. 15.

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