Todd Banko placed fifth at the high-powered Coast Classic in Scotts Valley, Calif., to lead a solid effort for the Carson High wrestling team this past weekend.
While Banko was the only wrestler to place for Carson, three other wrestlers were able to advance to the second day of the event: Brian Halverson (125 pounds), Garrett Truesdale (189) and Stephen Riemer (171) in the tournament held on Friday and Saturday.
Carson was in 10th place after the first day and ended up in the top 20 in the event that featured 46 teams from mostly the Bay Area and Northern California. The event is considered one of the toughest in California.
The performance was especially impressive since Carson wrestled without a 103-pounder and its top five wrestlers, who will begin competition today in what is considered the nation's most prestigious high school events, the Tournament of Champions at the Reno Livestock Events Center. Kyle Banko (130), Robbie Bozin (135), Travis Lamborn (160), Ahron Osheroff (171) and Jonas Schenzel (189) will compete in the event.
Todd Banko went 4-2 to place fifth at 112 . He opened with a win by pin before losing a close quarterfinal match to Gunn's Kiyoshi Kawano, who advanced to the finals. He went on to pin Los Gatos' Loren Peterson and Bassie Lutsi of Scotts Valley before losing in the consolation semifinals to Newark-Memorial's Phaung Troung 6-4.
With the match tied, Troung scored a reversal at the end of regulation for the win. Banko rebounded to beat Del Oro's Cory Johnson 14-8 for fifth-place.
"A solid performance," Carson coach Casey Schweitzer said. "I'm real happy with the way Todd looked. Todd's getting better every week. He's really adding to his offensive arsenal. His confidence is high right now."
Halverson went 2-2, beating Palo Alto's Cooper Newby 8-4 before losing to eventual finalist Bud Gibson of Rio Linda. Gibson pinned the No. 1 seed in the semifinals on his way to the finals. Halverson also beat Dominic De Garcia of Santa Cruz 5-1.
Riemer went 2-2, beating Cupertino's Steven Gu 4-3 and pinning George Washington's Mitch Coloma. Truesdale went 3-2, opening with a win by pin, beating Harinaer Singh of Wilcox by pin and Harbor's Alonzo Garcia 14-4.
Freshman Brett Allen also went 2-2 at 130, pinning Half Moon Bay's Tony Paulino and Sergio Ochoa of Aptos. Also winning matches for Carson were Aaron Jolcover, who won by pin at 140, and Martin Azzam, who beat Matt Hourigan of Santa Cruz 6-5 at 152. Seven of Carson's 13 wrestlers won matches.
Schweitzer said the tournament was good preparation for the Northern 4A meet, which will also be a two-day event.
"This was a good tournament as a team to learn how to manage yourself for a two-day tournament," Schweitzer said.
"I'm real happy with the team effort this weekend. I think the kids learned a lot. I think all of our guys got better this weekend."
Shane Miller of Douglas emerged as a gold medalist the 189-pound weight class, while Galena's Joey Milegich and Cole Dowty won their respective 152- and 171-pound weight classes at the Lowry Invitational in Winnemucca held on Friday and Saturday.
Douglas - which also got third-place finishes from 112-pounder Nico Barker, 145-pounder Jake Williams, 171-pounder Sean Molina and heavyweight Matt Castro - finished fourth as a team with 188 points. Kuna, Idaho, outdistanced Burns, Ore., by a 261-240.5 margin to take the team championship during competition at the Winnemucca Indoor Events Center.
Two other local teams cracked the top 10 in the 42-team tournament, as Yerington finished sixth with 150.5 points and Galena took seventh with 141.
Miller won his 189-pound title when he pinned Yerington's Sean Watson at 4:23 in the finals.
Galena's two championship round wins came on close decisions, as Dowty outpointed Yerington's Steve Skroch 5-4 and Milegich edged Chris Horton of Kuna 7-5. Dowty and Milegich were both Northern 4A Regional champions and state runner-up finishers last season.
Three other Galena wrestlers placed, including a second-place showing by 160-pound Nick Williams, who lost 11-1 in the finals against defending 3A state champion Justin Grant of Lowry. Shawn Neely also placed third at 189 pounds and Kevin Gerow fourth at 130 pounds for the Grizzlies.
Yerington had two other finalists: Ryan Gilmore at 215 pounds and Tommy Gutierrez in the heavyweight division. Gilmore, a state champion last season, lost by technical fall to Kuna's Kevin Lester, ranked No. 1 at that weight among Idaho 4A schools. Gutierrez was pinned by Kuna's Beaux Clayton (Idaho 4A state runner-up last season) in the heavyweight finals.
Galena will compete in the Reno TOC starting today and the Grizzlies host Fallon in a High Sierra League dual meet on Wednesday.