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BVA reaches team playoffs

Belle Vernon Area's Brendan Hasson (top) was named to participate in the prestigious Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic at the Fitzgerald Field House.

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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, 12:56 a.m.

Belle Vernon Area's wrestlers will be in the WPIAL Class AAA team playoffs for the first time ever next week.

However, BVA coach Jack Jolley didn't sound like a very happy camper after his team split two matches to clinch third place in the Section 2 AAA tournament.

The Leps lost the first match to Peters Township, 34-31, before beating Mt. Lebanon, 42-26, in the consolation match.

Connellsville defeated Peters Township, 48-17, in the championship match.

“We clinched third place in the section, but it is disappointing, especially when you lose on an illegal hold,” Jolley said.

“He put a full nelson on the kid. It wasn't anything flagrant, but he did it.”

Jolley was talking about an illegal hold called on the Leps' Milton Kobaly that resulted in a penalty point with 10 seconds remaining in a 170-pound match against Peters Township. Kobaly lost the match as a result, 7-6.

That proved to be the difference in the match with Peters Township.

Trailing 22-15, the Indians won five of the final seven matches to pull out the win.

Adam Nickelson (182 pounds) and Patrick Mayernik (220) had pins for the Leps, while Derek DeSalvo (195) won a 13-5 major decision and Derek Verkleeren (145) won a 3-2 decision.

In the consolation match, Verkleeren, DeSalvo, Mayernik and Josh Godzin (152) won by pins, while Austin Bell (160), Brendan Hasson (120) and Nickelson won major decisions. Bell won 13-4, Nickelson 13-0 and Hasson 12-4.

Also for the Leps (9-3), Mitch Hartman (113) and Nate Russo (126) won decisions.

“I'm sure we will probably wrestle on Monday (in the WPIAL AAA team playoffs),” Jolley said. “I don't know if we will get a pigtail match or not.”

Nickelson upped his record to 23-1. Hasson is 24-3, Russo 23-3 and Bell is 24-5.

Ringgold makes playoffs

In the Section 2 AAA fifth-place match, Ringgold picked up its playoff ticket with a 39-27 win over Bethel Park.

The Rams (11-5) were bouyed by three pins and three major decisions against Bethel Park (3-3).

Aaron McConville (120), Brandon Heinzelman (145) and Devin Fallenstein (160) picked up the falls with McConville registering his in a quick 1:10.

Getting major decisions were Zac Burger (113) by 12-0, Jake Gerard (126) by 10-2, and Gage Downer (132) by 12-4.

Heavyweight Taylor Bass added a 3-0 decision.

“I was really pleased with the effort,” said Ringgold coach Bob Bove, whose squad advanced to the team playoffs for the third straight year. “It went kind of like I thought it would and we picked up some key bonus points when we had to.

“After the tough loss we had against Belle Vernon, I was worried about how we would come out, but we did well. I was pleased.”

Ringgold will probably wrestle in one of the WPIAL AAA pigtail matches Monday.

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

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