Banko and Azzam place for CHS wrestlers

Todd Banko placed fifth and Martin Azzam took eighth to lead a solid effort for the Carson High wrestling team at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic on Saturday.

The event featured more than 70 schools from across the West Coast and also featured one school from Alaska and another from Pennsylvania. Carson coach Tyson Thivierge said he was pleased with his wrestlers' overall performance during the weekend.

"They looked great all weekend," said Thivierge about his wrestlers. "We're wrestling where we need to be right now. It's just another step. They've been stepping up the intensity."

Carson had four wrestlers alive on the final day in Banko (125 pounds), Azzam (152), Junior Valadarez (160) and Garrett Truesdale (215). Valadarez and Truesdale both lost their first matches to be eliminated.

Azzam went 2-2 on Saturday, to finish at 5-3 and in eighth. After winning his quarterfinal match, Banko lost a close match in the semifinals against the eventual champion after trailing 2-1 with about 10 seconds left.

Banko went on to wrestle for fifth against a wrestler from Cimarron-Memorial and beat him 4-3 in double overtime. Banko's opponent scored two escapes while Banko scored a reversal for a 2-2 tie in regulation.

After a scoreless first overtime, Banko scored a reversal to take a 4-2 lead in the second overtime. Banko's opponent scored an escape in the final seconds for the final margin.

"They wrestled identical," said Thivierge about the match. "They're both very solid on their feet."

Next up for Carson is another high-powered event featuring schools from all over the West Coast in the Sierra Nevada Classic, which will be held on Thursday and Friday at the Reno Livestock Event Center.


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