Scott’s strategy sends B.C. to Scotties final

British Columbia skip Kelly Scott went on the attack early and the aggressive style paid off in Friday night’s 1-2 Page playoff game of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

British Columbia skip Kelly Scott went on the attack early and the aggressive style paid off in Friday night’s 1-2 Page playoff game of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Scott’s foursome had Jennifer Jones and her Manitoba champions on their heels for much of the contest, which ended with Scott coolly drawing the eight-foot with her final stone of the 10th end to seal a 7-5 win before a crowd of 5,354 at the Centrium.

The B.C. crew advanced directly to Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. championship final.

Jones will face the winner of today’s 11 a.m. 3-4 game — featuring Alberta’s Heather Nedohin versus Marie-France Larouche of Quebec — in the semifinal, set for 4 p.m.

“It feels so good. We’re right where we want to be,” said Scott. “It’s a real comfort feeling.”

Scott last won the Canadian title in 2007 and now she’s just one win removed from capturing her third national title.

“It’s been a few years since we’ve been in this position but it somehow feels like yesterday,” she said. “We’re embracing it. We love it.”

Jones faced three B.C. counters when she delivered her final stone of the opening end and put her draw on the button for a single point.

Scott, in one of the few instances she was under pressure, drew the pot for one in the second end, and after Manitoba took one in the third when Jones hit against three opposition stones, the B.C. skip drew the four-foot for a pair in the fourth and a 3-2 lead.

Then came the fateful fifth, when Jones missed a double kill attempt and left a steal of two.

“We were a bit fortunate to get the steal (in the fifth) but I’m very happy with our performance tonight,” said Scott.

“Our team came to play tonight, they had their game faces on. Their focus was great and so was their concentration. We were ready to play.”

Jones took one back in the sixth end and stole a point in the seventh to cut the deficit to 5-4, and was setting up for another swipe in the eighth when B.C. third Sasha Carter, who missed games earlier in the week with a bout of the flu, came through with a run-back double to get her team out of trouble.

“That was all-star stuff,” said Scott of her third. “I was very proud of her. Sasha sat out in the middle of the week and she’s making up for it now.”

B.C. eventually scored one in the end for a 6-4 lead and Manitoba had to settle for a single in the ninth.

A pair of soft removals by B.C. lead Jacquie Armstrong on the guards placed by Manitoba to open the final frame left Scott with the luxury of simply peeling front stones the rest of the way.

“We just have to be a little sharper (in today’s semifinal),” said Jones. “I thought we caught on to the ice better in the second half of the game tonight and we get to go back on the ice tomorrow.

“If you win that semifinal then you have some momentum heading into the final.”

Scott’s crew had higher shooting percentages at three of the four positions. Manitoba lead Dawn Askin was 90 per cent as compared to 80 for Armstrong, but Dailene Sivertson outcurled Manitoba second Jill Officer 80-65, Carter was 86-81 over opposing third Kaitlyn Lawes and Scott outcurled Jones 83-76.

Friday’s attendance brought the total count to 73,336 through 18 draws.

• Stettler mayor Dick Richards won the 50-50 pot of just over $16,000.

gmeachem@bprda.wpengine.com

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