Kylie Fruehstorfer Leads Union to 52-35 Championship Win Over Aquinas
Kylie Fruehstorfer had 20 points as Union defeated Aquinas, 52-35, to win the 2023 Girls 1A WPIAL Championship. Union used a strong fourth quarter to turn a tie game into a comfortable victory.
Union scored first on foul shots from Kylie Fruehstorfer and Kelly Cleaver making it 3-0 as both team’s defenses caused problems for their opposition’s offense. The first basket from the floor didn’t occur until about the four-minute mark by Aquinas’s Victoria Taylor, making it 3-2.
That started to open things up as Union’s Kayla Fruehstorfer hit a three-pointer from the right side to extend their lead 6-2. A basket from Tess Duer made it 6-4 and that’s where the score remained to end the quarter.
Union started off the scoring in the second to go up 8-4 before the team’s started trading three-pointers with Aquinas’s Ellie Junker hitting a pair to cut the lead to one at 11-10.
Junker hit a layup with about 3:30 left in the first half to give Aquinas their first lead of the game at 12-11 and followed that up with another three-pointer about two minutes later. It was an 11-3 run for Aquinas, with Junker having scored all 11 of her team’s points.
Both teams did find success shooting in the half’s last minute and, all of a sudden, after trailing for most of the game Aquinas went into halftime up slightly, 17-16.
It took Union three-minutes to score their first point of the second half as Aquinas extended their lead to 20-16. When Union did score though, first on a foul shot, they followed it up immediately with a Kylie Fruehstorfer three-pointer to tie things up 20-20.
Aquinas scored again, but a three-pointer from Kylie Fruehstorfer gave them a 23-22 and forced an Aquinas timeout. The timeout led to a three-pointer by Duer, and Aquinas had the lead back at 25-22 with less than three-minutes to go in the third quarter.
Union tied things up at 25-25 as the two teams started to trade shots. They’d go into the final quarter with the score tied at 29-29.
A three-pointer by Kylie Fruehstorfer gave Union a 32-29 lead to immediately start the fourth quarter. A three-point play off coast-to-coast basket and foul shot by Cleaver gave Union a six-point lead at 35-29, the largest of the game at that point.
Those plays also started a 10-0 run in just a two-minute span that ended when Aquinas hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to eight, 39-31, with a hair under five minutes left in the game.
Union did not let up in the game’s last five minutes and outscored Aquinas 23-6 in the fourth quarter en route to their 52-35 championship victory.
Kylie Fruehstofer finished as the game’s leading scorer with 20 points and her sister Kayla contributed six points, six rebounds on the night. Union’s Zoe Lepri finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Cleaver came close to one with 14 points and nine rebounds but also added six assists and three block shots in the game.
Duer (15) and Junker (14) led Aquinas in scoring while Violet Johnson led the team in rebounds with eight. Johnson also had a pair of blocks.
Both teams seasons will continue in the PIAA state playoffs with their match-ups yet to be determined.