It was quick and to the point.
Six forfeits — all by Missoula Hellgate — and seven pins — four by Flathead — gave Flathead a decisive 60-18 Western AA dual wrestling victory Thursday evening at Flathead High School.
The match opened at 120 pounds and forfeits by Hellgate at that weight class and the next two put Flathead quickly, and comfortably, in front 18-0.
Flathead seniors Jaden MacNeil and Bo Meyer followed with pins at 138 and 145 respectively, pushing the Braves’ advantage to 32-0.
Hellgate recorded back-to-back pins at 152 and 160 and added another pin at 103 to wrap up its scoring.
Senior Sebastian Koch (205) and freshman Cole Eastwood (113) had Flathead’s other pins.
The dual was over in 30-some minutes.
This was Flathead’s final home dual of the season and it was also Senior Night. The Braves had five seniors in the lineup and they posted a 5-1 mark. Seniors Braden Comer (126) and Dominic Battello (126) both won by forfeit.
“It was pretty disappointing,” Battello said of not getting to wrestle one more time before the Flathead fans.
“Senior night, last home dual and you don’t get to wrestle.”
Battello found out Hellgate would forfeit at his weight class during weigh-ins.
“I still approached it like I always do,” he said.
“I have a responsibility to warm-up the other guys on the team that do have matches.”
Battello placed fifth at state last year at 120 pounds, his first year on the varsity.
“It still felt good winning a match even though it was a forfeit,” he said.
MacNeil, a state runner-up in 2018 at 132, left the mat with a pin in one minute, four seconds. He recorded two easy takedowns in the first 40 seconds.
“I was excited and sad because it’s the last time,” MacNeil said. “We don’t get many home matches. I was excited to come out with a quick pin in front of the home crowd.”
MacNeil wrestled Hellgate’s Nick Ramsey, who he pinned at the Bozeman tournament the first weekend in January.
“I try to be more open with my wrestling,” he said of facing someone he has dominated before.
“I try to go for things I usually don’t go for. It gives me a chance to practice in a live situation.”
Flathead (16-4) has just two Western AA duals left on the schedule, at Helena High and Helena Capital on Jan. 26. The Braves are in Great Falls for the AA Duals on Saturday.
120 — Damian Naldrett, F, won by forfeit; 126 — Braden Comer, F, won by forfeit; 132 —Dominic Battello, F, won by forfeit; 138 — Jaden MacNeil, F, pinned Nick Ramsey, 1:04; 145 — Bo Meyer, F, pinned Nate Brown, 2:26; 152 — Hunter Golding, MH, pinned Chance Sheldon-Allen, 5:08; 160 — Bridger Hall, MH, pinned Fin Sullivan, 1:37; 170 — Tanner Russell, F, won by forfeit; 182 — Payton Boyce, F, won by forfeit; 205 — Sebastian Koch, F, pinned Layne Cooney, 1:34; 285 — Aydan Prieto, F, won by forfeit; 103 — Jordan Tack, MH, pinned Asher Rice, 1:19; 113 — Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Jacob Hickman, 3:28.