Friday April 18, 2014

Curling: Scott DeCap earns spot at provincials

Keith Anderson

Brent Yamada releases a rock to sweepers Lance Yamada (left) and Tyler Klymchuk (right) during the Okanagan playdown on Sunday.

Scott DeCap and his Kamloops rink are off to the provincial men’s curling championship.

DeCap, third Ron Douglas, second Pat DeCap, lead Grant Olsen and fifth John Maskiewich earned the spot by winning the B event at the Okanagan playdown at the Kamloops Curling Club on Sunday. Jeff Richard of Kelowna got the other Okanagan berth for provincials, scheduled for Feb. 5-9 in Vancouver.

DeCap’s rink is the second with Kamloops ties to clinch a spot at the B.C. men’s championship. John Morris’s Kelowna/Vernon rink, featuring Kamloops native Jim Cotter, got in based on its standing in the Canadian Team Rankings System.

The winner of the provincial championship will represent B.C. at the Tim Hortons Brier, scheduled for March 1-9 at Interior Savings Centre.

The DeCap rink — which is skipped by Olsen, who throws first stones — defeated Vernon’s Mark Longworth 8-2 in the B final on Sunday morning. DeCap scored three in the fourth end before stealing a pair in the fifth.

DeCap opened with a 7-6 victory over Kamloops’ Darren Nelson, before edging Kamloops’ Brent Yamada 7-6 in an A semifinal. DeCap dropped his only decision of the weekend in the A final, with Richard winning 8-3.

The loss put DeCap into the B final.

It was a tough weekend for the rest of the Kamloops rinks. Nelson, Russ Koffski, Jared Jenkins, Michael Hiram and David Gore went 0-2, losing to DeCap before falling 7-4 to Longworth.

Brad Thompson, curling with Mike Smith, Brent Thompson and Kevin Wallace, also lost his two games, 8-2 to Longworth and 8-0 to Yamada.

Yamada, after losing to DeCap and beating Thompson, dropped a 10-6 decision to Longworth. The Yamada rink also includes Corey Sauer, Tyler Klymchuk, Lance Yamada and fifth Tobin Senum.

There will be another chance for four rinks to qualify for provincials at an open playdown in January. That open qualifier will determine the final field for the B.C. championship

* * *

It also was a successful weekend for Kamloops’ Karla Thompson, who played her way in the provincial women’s championship.

Thompson won the A event at an open qualifier in Maple Ridge on Saturday. The rink will be one of 10 to take part in provincials, scheduled for Jan. 6-12 in Prince George. Allison MacInnes of Kamloops, who skips a team filled with players from the Lower Mainland, also will be at provincials.

Thompson also curls with women from around the province — Kristen Recksiedler, Brooklyn Leitch and Michelle Ramsay — but the rink came together nicely in Maple Ridge, winning both of its games.

It got a bye into an A semifinal, where it knocked off Qualicum’s Lynne Noble 10-4 thanks to a trio of threes — in the first, sixth and ninth ends.

Thompson and Co. had a harder time of it against New Westminster’s Leanne Andrews in the A final. Thompson scored one in the 10th end to secure a 7-6 victory and earn the trip to provincials.

Tracey Jones of Prince George knocked off Andrews 10-5 in the B final to get the last spot at the 10-team provincials and give it a little local flavour as well.

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