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Ringgold, BVA wrestlers win to set up showdown

Ringgold's Devin Fallenstien takes control in his match against Elizabeth Forward's Colt Belardia in a 120-pound ,match. Fallenstein won a 3-2 decision. Photo by Rich Downer.

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Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Ringgold and Belle Vernon Area stayed tied for second place in Sec. 2 AAA wrestling Wednesday with contrasting wins as the Rams beat Elizabeth Forward, 42-21, and BVA shut out Albert Gallatin, 69-0.

The Rams (10-4, 3-1) and Leps (7-2, 3-1) meet Wednesday at BVA, with the winner earning second place in the section behind frontrunner Connellsville. The top three teams in each section advance to the WPIAL team playoffs.

“It should be a good match,” said Ringgold coach Bob Bove of Wednesday's battle with the Leps. “There is definitely a lot riding on it.”

“We're looking forward to that one,” said BVA coach Jack Jolley. It should be a good one and it certaily is good for Valley wrestling.”

At Ringgold, the Rams won by a larger margin than Bove had expected.

“It probably could have been a closer match, but we won all the close matches and that helped,” said Bove. “I thought we did a good job overall.”

Winning by fall for the Rams were Doug Gudenburr (106 pounds), Adam McConville (120), Gage Downer (132), Brandon Heinzelman (145), and Taylor Bass (285).

Winning decisions for Ringgold were Zac Burger (113), Alan Pritchett (152), Devin Fallenstain (170), and Rich Heinzelman (220).

EF got pins from Luke Fornier (182) and Brandon Janicki (195) while Luke Etzel (126), Jake Terrick (138) and Gavin Carnahan (160) won by decision.

For the season, Fallenstein is 21-2, Gudenburr is 20-2 and Brandon Heinzelman is 20-3.

Up next for Ringgold Friday and Saturday will be hosting the Tri-County Athletic Directors Association Tournament. Eighteen teams will participate in the two-day event.

For the Leps (7-2, 3-1), getting falls were Nathan Russo (126), Niko Tasser (132), Cameron Evans (138), Josh Godzin (152), Austin Bell (160), Milton Kaboly (170) and Pat Mayernik (220).

Collecting decisions were Brendan Hasson (120) and Derek Verkleeren (145) while Mitch Hartman (113) took a major decision.

“Shutouts are rare but all of the kids are doing well, from the youing ones to the old ones,” said Jolley. “They are working hard and its really nice to see.”

Adam Nickelson (182) won by forfeit to up his record to 17-0.

Hasson and Russo are both 16-2, while Bell is 18-3 and Hartman is 11-3.

Nickelson and Russo both have more than 100 wins for their careers.

BVA will participate in the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament Friday and Saturday at Franklin Regional.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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