HELENA — Helena Capital High heavyweight wrestler Josh Lee knows there were three goals at the start of the wrestling season.
Lee and his teammates achieved one of them with a 51-24 win over crosstown rival Helena on Tuesday night at Capital's gym.
"It feels amazing to sweep Helena High and what a great night," Lee said. "I love wrestling and these guys are an awesome group of kids. We had a lot of focus headed into practice and one of our main season goals was to sweep the Bengals. You've gotta whoop them. The other goal is to get 10 placers and take some hardware home at state."
Lee said the electric atmosphere of crosstown helped catapult his team to the decisive victory.
"It's huge for our confidence," Lee said. "We have to keep the momentum going through this weekend and right on into state. It's a great experience for us being able to perform in front of a crowd."
Bruins coach Jeff Mahana and his team gained the momentum early in the dual, which they never relinquished.
"Starting with our 205-pounders, winning was a nice way to start the match because Lee stepped up, had a pin and got us on a good run," Mahana said. “You know the kids were able to focus even with a lot of hype with crosstown and semester tests week. They came out and battled pretty hard and wrestled for a bonus point. Tonight we were able to do that."
Bengals first-year coach Sam Bogard said he and his young team have a lot of potential, and still a lot to learn moving forward.
"We have to learn to overcome adversity because if you can't do that in wrestling, that is a huge problem," Bogard said. "We have to be more prepared mentally because our team is physical. Once we get our mindset right, I think we can beat anyone in the state."
Helena wrestler Colby Howell, who wrestles at the 152-pound weight class, said he enjoyed the atmosphere of crosstown.
"It's entertaining with the lights off," Howell said. "We have mostly freshmen and sophomores on our team, and it's just fun to compete."