Huskies down Littleton, 11-3; Dawson next | VailDaily.com

Huskies down Littleton, 11-3; Dawson next

Battle Mountain's Cole Delain (29) scores the first of his hat trick during an 11-3 playoff win against Littleton on Tuesday in Edwards.
Rex Keep | Special to the Daily |

EDWARDS — On to Friday.

Battle Mountain boys lacrosse did what it needed to do in its first-round, state-playoff game on Tuesday, dispatching Littleton, 11-3, in battle of the nos. 4 and 13 teams in the state.

“Feels great,” junior Cole Delain said. “We were pretty nervous. We didn’t know much about the team.”

Delain was one of many getting comfortable with a hat trick, and the Huskies certainly know their next opponent. On Friday, for Round 2, Alexander Dawson is coming to town.

Good start

Playoff openers are difficult. High seeds like Battle Mountain are meant to win.

The Huskies (12-4) came out very crisply with five goals in the first frame. Wyatt Dilling started it, followed by Mac Kelsall, Clayton Davis, Mike Lange and Delain.

Most of the above are the usual suspects. Kelsall, however, is a middie. This has been a point of focus all season for the Huskies — getting midfielders into the offense. Kelsall had one of five goals scored by the midfielders.

Adam Jones, a middie, scored the Huskies’ only tally of the second quarter. Jack Nichols scored in the second half.

“The middies are not usually producing in the offense,” Nichols, the senior midfielder, said. “So we’re getting a more balanced offense.”

Battle Mountain did not put the visiting Lions down for the count in the third, though. Charlie Morrow, yep, a middie, gave the Huskies a 7-1 lead.

Littleton’s Donovan Crabtree and Morgan Harris scored the next two, and that margin was down to 7-3 in the fourth.

Nichols and Delain shut the door with two goals each.

What’s really funny is that while Nichols the midfielder is scoring, coach Jerry Nichols doesn’t really know that his son has scored.

“You can ask the boys here, but I’m so focused on the game I rarely end up seeing who scores,” the coach said. “I’m talking to the guys on the bench, seeing who’s coming in and out of the box. We’re talking to the defense. But, yeah, sure, it’s fun to see that happen.”

Meanwhile, Delain has gone from a nice young player who’s a complement to the offense to being vital cog of the attack.

“It’s just big to prove myself out there,” Delain said. “We’ve had a few injuries, so I’ve had to step up and play. It’s great.”

Dawson … again

The Huskies defense and Max Schramm were stout against Littleton and they’ll need that and more as Dawson comes to town.

The Mustangs have scored a whopping 235 goals in just 16 games, including a 20-5 pasting of Summit County on Tuesday in their first-round game. By comparison, Battle Mountain, a very solid offensive team, has 168 and No. 1-ranked Aspen had 218.

Battle Mountain and Dawson met back in March down on the Front Range with the Huskies overcoming a 10-4 deficit for an 11-10 overtime victory.

“It’s a classic high-powered offense vs. a tight defense,” coach Nichols said. “I like our chances. We’ve seen them before. We know what they can do. We know they can score. We know we can stop high-powered offenses. It’s going to be that classic matchup.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.