BVA wrestlers lose in quarterfinals
The news wasn't all bad for Belle Vernon Area in the WPIAL Class AAA team wrestling playoffs Wednesday.
However, it certainly was for Ringgold.
BVA won its first round match against Latrobe at Franklin Regional, 34-30, before losing to the hosts in the quarterfinals, 60-16.
Meanwhile, Ringgold was pinned by undefeated overall top seed Canon-McMillan, 56-9, at Canon-McMillan.
At Franklin Regional, the Leps beat Latrobe as Nathan Russo (132) and Austin Bell (170) won by pins.
Brendan Hasson (126) won a major decision and Mitch Hartman (120) and Derek Verkleeren (145) won decisions.
The Leps (10-4) received forfeits from Milton Kobaly (182) and Adam Nickelson (195).
In the quarterfinals, BVA's lone points came from technical falls by Kobaly (16-0) and Nickelson (15-0) and a pin from Hasson.
The Panthers registered five pins against the Leps.
Franklin Regional (18-1) reached the quarters by beating North Hills, 48-24, in the first round.
“I thought we wrestled really well,” said BVA coach Jack Jolley. “We beat Latrobe and that was good and then we ran into a buzzsaw against Franklin Regional.
“(Franklin Regional) is legit. They are very, very good. yet we made a decent accounting of ourselves. Milton had a nice technical fall in that match and that's pretty good for a freshman. Nickelson also had a technical fall and Hasson had a pin. I thought our kids battled.”
Jolley said he was pleased the way his team bounced back after last week's tough loss, saying, “The kids had a great attitude. Top eight in AAA is not bad for us. We're an up-and-coming program and it's all about the kids. We have great leadership and a lot of hard workers.”
Up next for BVA is the Montour Duals event this weekend.
The Rams' lone winners were Devin Fallenstein (160) and Brandon Heinzelman (145). Fallenstein won by 3-2 decision and Heinzelman picked up a forfeit.
“We lost a couple of really close matches,” said Ringgold coach Bob Bove. “But, really, they are the number one team in the region for a reason. They are very good.”
The close losses Bove spoke of were Taylor Bass (heavyweight), who fell 1-0; Doug Gudenburr (106), who lost 3-1; and Alan Pritchett (152), who dropped a 2-0 decision.
“Plus, Jake Gerard (132) lost to a kid he just beat two weeks ago,” Bove added. ‘It could have been a lot closer.”
Ringgold (12-6) still has three dual matches left, along with WPIAL individuals.
Canon-McMillan (9-0) won its quarterfinal match against Hampton, 46-28.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.