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Strong start for BVA wrestlers in WCCA

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Belle Vernon's Brendan Hasson (top) takes down Yough's Dante Botti in their 120-pound bout during the quarterfinal round of the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament at Franklin Regional in Murrysville on January 11, 2013. Hasson won by fall at 57 seconds. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Belle Vernon Area coach Jack Jolley hopes he is as happy on the bus ride home today from the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Tournament as he was Friday night.

Jolly saw six of his 13 BVA wrestlers advance to the semifinals of the WCCA.

“I'm pretty happy,” Jolley said. “We would have liked to have one or two more kids get there, but to have six in the semis is pretty good.

“(Today) is the big day because now we want to push them through the rest of the way.”

BVA's unbeaten contingent includes top seed Nate Russo (126 pounds), second seed Adam Nickelson (182), third seeds Brendan Hasson (120), Austin Bell (160) and Nick Mayernik (220) and sixth seed Derek Verklereen (145).

“I thought our kids did a good job,” said Jolley, who noted that “Mayernik really battled well in his two matches. Today should be interesting.”

All six won two matches to reach today's semifinals.

Hasson will face second-seeded Ryan Hardaway of Kiski. Verklereen will also face a second seed, Cole Landowski, also of Kiski.

The other seven BVA wrestlers are still in play in the consolation matches and can finish as high as third place.

Yough, meanwhile, has two wrestlers in the semifinals: fourth-seeded Lucas Richardson (170), and fourth-seeded Christian Williams (195).

Yough's second-seeded Tom Sever (220) was upset by Brett Zanotto of Franklin Regional, 10-0.

Zanotto, a seventh seed, will face the Leps' Mayernik in the semifinals.

The action today begins at 9 a.m. with the consolation matches. The semifinals are set for noon with the finals to get under way at 7 p.m.

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