Cleaver earns first-team status on all-state team; Fruehstorfer, Krarup named to third team

Apr. 27—A trio of Lawrence County High school girls basketball players earned high recognition Friday.

Kelly Cleaver, Kylie Fruehstorfer and Lia Krarup received All-State honors for their performances on the hardwood this season.

Union High's Cleaver and Fruehstorfer were named first- and third-team all-state, respectively.

"It's just a great honor for both of them," Union coach Rob Nogay said. "They're two kids that worked their butts off and do everything you ask them to do. They couldn't be more deserving players for those honors. They are the epitome of what an all-state basketball player is."

Wilmington's Krarup was given third team all-state.

"I'm super proud of her," Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said on Krarup receiving all-state honors. "I know earlier in the year she struggled with injuries but the resiliency and the grit that girl brought all season to overcome those injuries to have the season that she had was just spectacular. She's a true warrior, competitor, a great leader and a great teammate. To (get all-state accolades in) back-to-back years is extremely special."

Cleaver, a senior, finished her career with the Lady Scots with 1,408 points. She broke the 1,000-point milestone early on in the 2023-24 season.

"Kelly, again, had a great year," Nogay said. "She's a consistent player and got better every year for us. She was a go-to for us. I was fully confident anytime Kelly was on the floor that she was going to produce on both ends of the court."

Cleaver was a dual threat for Union this season with consistent double-doubles being put up in games.

"The key about Kelly was being six-foot in Class 1A," Nogay said. "I don't think she fouled out except for the game against Bishop Guilfoyle. She's a smart player and played defense the right way and then did the little things like boxing out. She didn't take fouls when they weren't needed and there were no stupid fouls for her."

Both Cleaver and Fruehstorfer helped the Lady Scots capture the program's second consecutive WPIAL Class 1A championship after defeating St. Joseph in overtime, 50-43.

"They're the leaders of the team, no doubt about it," Nogay said. "You're fortunate as a coach to have players like Kelly and Kylie because they make coaches look good and they play at a high level. Both did what I asked them to do, they came to practice every day and played under the weather sometimes. I'm fortunate that I was able to have both of them."

Cleaver will continue to play basketball at Millersville University after graduation. Nogay said Cleaver continuing to play at the next level is "well deserving for her," adding, "She's a hard worker and she deserves everything she's gotten through the years here. She put in the time and paid the price. Millersville is getting one heck of a basketball player and person. I'm sure they know that. She's a heck of a person on and off the court. She's a great player and person."

Fruehstorfer, a junior, has one more season with the Lady Scots. This season, she averaged 13.6 points per game.

"I think the expectations aren't going to change for us. I expect Kylie to play at a high level. We're not going to replace Kelly, but we have some players who will step up and fill those voids," Nogay said. "There's going to be some pressure on Kylie. It's her time to step up. She's done that in the past for us and she's ready for the challenge."

Last season, Fruehstorfer was thrown into a starter position, but this year she was a full-fledge component to the Lady Scots' success.

"I think she works for those moments and she put in the time at practice for us," Nogay said of Fruehstorfer. "She was thrown into that (starter) role quicker than we wanted. She rose to the challenge this year. She did what was expected. She's the type of kid who is even going to put up higher expectations next year. I know she's going to give her best effort and work her butt off in the offseason. I'm fully confident in her being able to lead this group."

Fruehstorfer posted 368 points for Union this season and will enter the 2024-25 season with a career total of 945 points.

Fruehstorfer was a lights-out shooter for the Lady Scots. She led her team this season with 68 3-pointers.

Nogay described Fruehstorfer as a "pure shooter," adding, "Shooters are shooters and they're going to shoot. Anybody that watches her play understands she's a pure shooter and she has that shooter's mentality which is a good thing. If you miss a couple of shots, the way to get yourself out of it is to shoot at it. She's one of the better shooters in Class A, in my opinion, and one of the better shooters in Lawrence County."

Union's season came to an end in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals after falling to Bishop Guilfoyle, 60-43, which went on to take the Class 1A crown that the Cleaver and Fruehstorfer helped the Lady Scots win in the 2022-23 season.

Krarup, a junior, had a slow start to the 2023-24 season while dealing with a back injury and then a sprained ankle. She missed around five weeks of action.

Once returning to the hardwood, Krarup broke the 1,000-point milestone early on in the season.

"That was obviously one of her individual goals to get that out of the way. She did that pretty early, midway through the season," Jeckavitch said. "It was a weight lifted off of her and she could then focus on team wins. That's all she cared about. She did a wonderful job of being a leader. Once she got 1,000, it was full systems go to win that region championship and we did that back-to-back."

The secret was out about the Lady Greyhounds star player at the end of the 2022-23 season.

"What was nice is we had a lot of girls step up. We had multiple girls make all-region teams; Lia put some trust in the girls to make plays. That's what a captain and a good leader does," Jeckavitch said. "We had a fantastic season because of her and the way she led not only vocally but statistically."

Krarup averaged 19.3 points per game and supplied 71 3-pointers for Wilmington. She sits as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,316 points entering her senior season.

"Obviously, she can shoot the ball and score at all three levels," Jeckavitch said. "I thought defensively she stepped up this past season. She led us in steals and rebounds. She doesn't get credit for making plays on the defensive end. She was fantastic in creating turnovers for our team. The style and pace we play, we predicate those points on that."