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3 area wrestlers will win medals

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Saturday, March 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

HERSHEY — A trio of Mon Valley wrestlers have earned medals at the PIAA Championships.

Now Belle Vernon Area senior Adam Nickelson, Charleroi junior Nick Gavazzi and Bentworth junior Jake Rothka will be trying to see how high on the podium they will get. They are out of the running for state titles.

Nickelson continued his run in the consolation round Friday after an opening night loss in Class AAA. He used a takedown in overtime to rally for a 4-2 win against Parkland junior Nezar Haddad.

He'll face North Allegheny senior Alex DiCiantis, who beat Nickelson 7-2 in the 182-pound WPIAL finals last week.

“When I saw the kid get his butt kicked, I knew I'd have a tough match,” Nickelson said. “I surprised him with the low single in overtime.”

Haddad was ranked third in the state by PA Power Rankings.

Nickelson gave up an early takedown, but he tied the match 2-2 with a reversal in the second period.

“I was able to hold him down for two periods,” Nickelson said. “I'm looking forward to the rematch. It's going to come down to who gets the first takedown.”

The loser of the match will wrestle for seventh place.

“This is getting fun,” Belle Vernon coach Jack Jolley said. “We have to keep it going.”

After pulling off the biggest upset on Day 1 of the tournament, Gavazzi gave up a takedown in overtime and fell to Line Mountain senior Seth Lansberry, 3-1, in the 145-pound quarterfinals.

Gavazzi won two consolation matches and then fell to Brock Zachel of Brookville, 3-1. Gavazzi got hit in the nose and had to take a blood timeout during the match.

“The last match I got popped pretty good,” Gavazzi said. “I figured the final match would be low scoring. He just got a takedown.”

He'll wrestle for fifth place.

Rothka will wrestle for seventh place after falling to Tri-Valley sophomore Caleb Bordner, 5-0.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at




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