"She is the most competitive player I have ever coached."
That is what Lakeview High School varsity girls basketball coach Adam Lewis stated about his standout junior guard Alli Pavlik. The journey to basketball greatness hasn't come easy for Pavlik. In fact, the journey almost never happened.
"In my freshman year I really didn't want to play," Pavlik said. "Then, I fell back in love with the game after playing in the summer leagues."
Her extensive workouts and the will to become better began last summer. Pavlik was motivated to improve her game after what former teammate Ali Gagne was able to accomplish during her senior season in 2011-2012.
"Ali (Gagne) was a big part of our team. Everyone looked at our team and thought of her," Pavlik said. "When other teams doubled teamed her, it was my time to shine. When I was able to step up in those games, it gave me encouragement for next year, thinking, 'Maybe I can be where she's at right now.' "
During the summer, Pavlik and her younger sister Abby, the starting point guard for Lakeview, trained with family friend and coach of the Ursuline boys basketball team, Keith Gunther.
"He has taught me and my sister a ton and has helped us greatly," Alli said. "Training with him has made us shoot better. I got more confidence working with Gunther."
The offseason workouts have paid dividends for Pavlik. Lakeview is 15-5 and 9-1 in the All-American Conference, National Division. The junior averages 24.3 points per game, 5.2 rebounds and accumulates a mind-blowing 5.8 steals a game.
While those are accumulated over 20 games, there are two particular games that stick out from this past season.
On Dec. 13 against Campbell, Pavlik scored 47 ponts - in three quarters. The points were not only a career high, but she broke Gagne's record for points in a game (46) by a Lakeview girls player. Gagne had set the record last season.
"When she (Gagne) did it, that ignited a flame in me thinking 'Next year, I'm going to do the same thing.' "
Pavlik's other memorable feat is an accomplishment that only a few have done at any level in basketball. On Dec. 27 against LaBrae, Pavlik recorded a quadruple-double with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 steals.
"My assistant coach Jason Senedak always entertained the notion of me getting a triple-double," Pavlik stated. "Before the game I whispered to Senedak, 'How about a quadruple-double?' Jason said 'No way!' When people doubt me, it makes me want to do it more. So when I got it, Senedak was impressed."
Lewis acknowledges Pavlik's aggressive style of play to what she has accomplished this season.
"She goes out there and gives 100 percent. She never quits. She never wants to lose," Lewis said.
Though Pavlik is playing sensational on an individual echelon, she has been a prominent teammate as well.
"I try to encourage my teammates," Pavlik said. "When someone is upset about missing a basket, or making a bad pass, or when games are close, I try to constantly pick them up and I try to be the best role model for some of the younger girls. That's something that is really important to me.
"I need game day. When game day comes, I give everything I can in those games because no one remembers who comes in second. My goal is to make our team wins."
As the season is drawing to a close, she said that this is a season she will never forget. Pavlik is looking to add more memories come tournament time.
"Hopefully we get far this year. I think with the team that we have we will," she said. "The coaches are the reason we all stay together. They are each different in their own way, it makes it great for our team. We get excited to go to practice. It's enjoyable with them there. I can't thank them enough for what they have done for us."