BILLINGS — The Billings Skyview wrestling team felt it had something to prove on Tuesday night.
With that motivation the Falcons started fast, winning the dual's first seven matches, in a 58-12 runaway victory over Billings West in Class AA action at the Golden Dome.
Starting at 138 pounds, Jose Rodriguez and Austin Ketchem scored pins in the dual's first two matches and the momentum propelled the Falcons (12-7) to victory. Skyview senior two-time state champion Brock Bushfield explained the Falcons lacked intensity in losses to Bozeman and Great Falls at the Class AA duals over the weekend. Bushfield said Skyview coach Joe Malchuski had a message for his team before the match with West.
"Coach said we have to pick up the mentality and be physical," Bushfield said. "That was our mentality, to be aggressive and control the match."
Skyview's Gentry Lamb, who won by pin in 3:33 at 103 pounds to give his team a 40-6 advantage, said the No. 5 Falcons were also inspired because they believe they can do better than their sixth-place showing at the Cowboy Invitational Jan. 12-13. West was fourth at the Cowboy.
"They beat us by team points at the Cowboy and that motivated us," Lamb said. "We were out to prove we were better than people were thinking."
Lamb said the opening two pins gave Skyview the momentum.
"Once we get started everyone can hop on the train and have the motivation going," he said.
Skyview notched five pins with Rodriguez (138), Ketchem (145), Bushfield (160), Trevor Dillon (170) and Lamb (103) all recording falls. Brenner Bushfield won by major decision at 182, while Cade Kay (152) and Noah Thomas (205) scored decisions. Skyview won at 120, 126 and 132 by forfeit.
"They were expecting to be in a dogfight," Malchuski said. "I told them there won't be any easy matches. West has been wanting us for a long time."
Brock Bushfield met West's Jace Rhodes, a state champion a year ago and ranked No. 1 in Class AA at 152, in a 160-pound contest. Bushfield is second-ranked at 170 this year, but said his natural weight is closer to 160 and he made weight at 160 because he "knew there was a chance Rhodes would come up and wrestle with me." Bushfield used a cradle to record the pin in 27 seconds.
"It does nothing but to help us prepare for state," Bushfield said of the matchup.
Glory Konecny won by fall for West at 113 pounds. West also claimed a forfeit victory at 285.
"Glory did really well," West coach Jeremy Hernandez said. "She wrestled tough and needed that win."