Belle Vernon's Billy Korber Making First State Appearance Count with Semifinal Berth

HERSHEY: In a loaded 220-pound bracket, Belle Vernon senior Billy Korber was probably overlooked by the competition and fans.

Korber isn’t a household name with state medals to his credit. In fact, this is the first time he has touched the Giant Center floor in Hershey as a state qualifier.

But Korber’s credentials didn’t matter Friday afternoon. The only thing that was important was the 220-pound senior’s ability to counter in a 5-2 decision over Cedar Cliff stud Francis Duggan, one of the favorites in the bracket.

“This is huge,” Korber said. “I worked for it all summer and throughout the year. I got a couple of big wins this year, and he was just another match.

“The biggest thing is to get the top of the podium. Now, I’m top six, and I just have to work my way up to No. 1. I have to take it match by match.”

Korber jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a Duggan shot. The Leopards ace stepped back, and the Colts junior sprawled. That opened an opportunity of Korber to get on top.

Duggan escaped to close the gap. He later added another escape point in the second period to even the match heading to the final two minutes.

Korber was able to escape and take a lead. Again, Duggan pushed the action, shooting in, only to have Korber score on a go-behind for the final margin of victory.

“He has a nasty single,” Korber said. “I just had to keep my leg back, get the under hook and control the ties. I just had to keep a good stance, and I would get him.

“Scoring first in every match is huge. You score first points, and there is like a 65 or higher percent chance you win the match. Especially in the upper weights.”

Now, Korber is on the medal stand. He faces Upper Darby undefeated wrestler Brian Kennerly in the semifinals to improve his standing.

“I have to take it one match at a time,” Korber said. “This is huge, but I have goals and I just need to stay focused.”

Godzin keeps rolling: Brock Godzin was the first Leopards wrestler to make the semifinals, as he downed Cumberland Valley’s Will Kaldes 6-4 in sudden victory at 152. The win comes on the heels of the junior’s big Thursday win over Coatesville’s Chase Stephens, who entered the match with a 37-1 mark. Godzin will face Cathedral Prep. Zach Hartman was attempting to make it three Leopards wrestlers in the semis, but he dropped a tight 4-3 decision to Pennridge’s Josh Stillings at 160.

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