Carson wrestling wins zone title
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – First-year Carson wrestling coach Tyson Thivierge has preached all season about how tournaments are won not just in the championship rounds, but in the consolation rounds as well.
The Senators followed that philosophy Saturday and captured the Northern 4A regional championships at Hug High School. Carson finished with 187 points, followed by Douglas (175.50), Damonte Ranch (172.50), Fallon (144) and Galena (143.50).
Carson senior Kyle Banko scored an 18-5 major decision over Bishop Manogue’s Gary Albright to win the 130-pound division – it was Banko’s first regional title – and Travis Lamborn pinned Douglas’ Jake Williams at 5 minutes, 21 seconds of their match to claim his second consecutive regional championship at 160 pounds and give Carson all the points it would need for the team title.
Including Kyle Banko and Lamborn, Carson placed seven wrestlers in next week’s Class 4A state championships at Spanish Springs High School. The top three wrestlers in each of the 14 weight divisions from the North and as well as those from the Sunset Region and the Sunrise Region from the South qualified for the tournament.
Owen Craugh (112 pounds) and Martin Azzam (145) each finished second for Carson and Todd Banko (119), Robbie Bozin (125) and Adam Carmazzi (135) each placed third.
Carson also got help in the consolation rounds from Matt Heath (171) and Garrett Truesdell (189), who both placed fourth. Derek Giurlani, a non-scorer, upended No. 1 seed Cody Spates, of Douglas, in Friday’s championship quarterfinals.
“It feels good, nice,” Thivierge said of winning Carson’s first zone championship since the 2003-04 season. “They made huge strides tonight. I’m at a loss losing Matt Heath. My heart just sunk when he took fourth. He worked hard and deserved to go (to state).”
Reed’s Brandon Gebhardt pinned Heath (3:10) to claim third place.
“Carmazzi stepped up,” Thivierge said. “I feel for ‘Gurgles’ (Giurlani) tremendously. It was the first time he wrestled at zone and he made a good push (he lost 8-6 to Albright in the semis and Mitchell Payne, of Reed, in the consolation bracket). All the guys who finished fourth made (the team) proud.
“Look at Truesdell and Heath. They lost their first match and had four straight victories to finish fourth. They did us a huge favor. They never gave up for one second.”
Another one of the Senators who has refused to buckle under is Carmazzi. The senior had lost to Nick Hassett, of Damonte Ranch, three times this season – the first by a 30-second pin, the second via a 15-0 technical fall in Las Vegas and the third in overtime at the Sierra Nevada Classic.
“It’s all about the coach,” Carmazzi said of his ability to persevere and come back in his fourth meeting to take a 9-0 major decision over Hassett. “He really helped me. He talks to me before matches. He gets my mind into it. He has a great personality.
“He tells me to go out there and be physical. He says if I believe in myself, I can beat anybody. Each loss gives me more determination to win. It makes me mad to lose. It makes me train.”
Carmazzi has accepted a $14,000 scholarship at Embry Riddle, in Daytona, Fla. He said he plans to transfer to Prescott (Ariz.) if he could wrestle for its team.
Another Senator weighing a college wrestling career is Lamborn, who wants to be either a firefighter or paramedic. He said he is looking at possibly going to William Penn (Iowa), but is focusing on finishing strong at state.
“It feels good,” Lamborn said. “Being this is my senior year, I want to go out with a bang. There’s one more tournament left to make it a perfect senior year. I’ve been thinking about it. It’s stressful, wondering if I’m doing everything right and preparing right to win. It’s gonna take an All-American effort.”
Kyle Banko finished second last year in regionals and at state and since he’s not planning on wrestling in college, he said he’s going to give it his all in his final tournament.
“It takes a lot of effort, hard work and dedication,” he said. “I’m just excited. I want the state championship. I want to win it and take first. On a scale of 1 to 10, like a 10 or 11.”
Although he also wants to win a state championship, Bozin was busy praising his teammates as they passed by, crediting them for Carson’s team victory.
“There’s one who won it for us,” Bozin said, pointing to Heath. “Giurlani didn’t score any points, but he was huge. Azzam making it to the finals…Carmazzi taking third.”
As for his performance?
“Absolutely terrible,” Bozin said. “I beat (Galena’s Jeremy) Wilson (who took a 4-3 decision over Bozin in the semis), 13-3, in the beginning of the season. I took him too lightly. He was better than me. He was ready. I wasn’t.”
Bozin said he’s prepared to go all out for a state championship.
“I’m excited. It’s a whole different level for me,” Bozin said. “It’s day and night. I’m going to step it up there. I’ve got a fire underneath my butt to win. This is my year. Nothing will stop me now.”
Azzam, who was pinned by Fallon’s Trevor DeBraga (1:22), said his team will be in for a hard week of practice – mentally and physically – for state.
“Mindset is so important,” Azzam said. “I think I’m better, more mental than before. I’m excited. I did pretty good. I made state. Coach works us really hard. His and our work ethic paid off.”
Asked what he thought his team’s chances were at state, Thivierge was optimistic.
“You always have a shot,” he said. “We have seven kids that have a shot to win the state title. You put seven kids in the finals, you have a chance to be at the top. It’s going to be like this weekend. I feel like we have a good shot at state. We’re not out of it with seven guys. Our mission ain’t over yet.”
In other championship finals matches:
103 pounds: Todd Pearson, of Spanish Springs, pulled out an escape and followed it with a takedown with 4 seconds left to take a 13-10 decision over Galena’s Jake Gunzel.
112: Damonte Ranch’s Jordan Oneal defeated Carson’s Craugh, 11-5.
119: Galena’s Doug Del Porto notched a 6-4 overtime decision over McQueen’s Justin Lee.
125: Galena’s Jeremy Wilson took a 4-3 decision over Wooster’s Ryan Williman.
135: Fallon’s Trevor DeBraga captured a 14-4 major decision over Galena’s Kevin Gerow.
140: Damonte Ranch’s Brock Frank pocketed a 13-5 major decision over Douglas’ Devon Barker.
152: Damonte Ranch’s Trey Edmunds scored a 9-3 decision over Douglas’ Ryan Pruitt.
171: Douglas’ Tony Ferris outlasted Micah Chalk, of Damonte Ranch, for a 12-9 decision.
189: Douglas’ Sean Molina rallied to take an 8-6 win over South Tahoe’s Miles Wallace.
215: Galena’s Nick Williams pinned Hug’s Steven Price in 1:22.
285: Fallon’s Lyle Gardner pinned McQueen’s Karrington Armstrong in 1:15.