By Darren Lum
There were wide smiles beaming eyes and outstretched arms raised high above their heads in jubilation by the Red Hawks girls’ curling team of Alyssa Denyer Tori Hawley Alanna Casper and Emily Parish after winning the 2016 Gore Mutual Schoolgirl Provincial Championships with a steal of the winning point in an extra-end stunner.
In an email message Denyer said the team’s confidence is very high after the 4-3 win over St. Patrick’s High School of Ottawa on Saturday Feb. 20 in Tweed.
She said they expect to carry this great play into the high school competition and believe they have a chance to not only earn a berth but win it all at the all-provincials.
Success at the Gore’s wasn’t certain when the team began its run to the final.
In the team’s first game against Parry Sound the Hawks shot poorly. Denyer figures the team only made 20 per cent of its shots resulting in the 9-3 loss. Despite the lack of efficiency the team remained close until the seventh end when it surrendered four points.
That was the wakeup call the team needed.
“After that a completely different team appeared the team we normally are. We upped our shot making percentage to 80s and 90s [per cent] and managed to go undefeated after that” she said.
The Hawks finished its round-robin with the loss and two wins (11-4 over Perth and 10-3 over Waterdown). Since they were in a three-way tie with Waterdown and Parry Sound the Red Hawks needed to play a tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker against Parry Sound the Hawks avenged their opening loss beating them 6-4.
The team rolled on and carried its momentum into the semi-finals downing Alliston 7-2 to earn the berth to the final where it won dramatically.
Denyer said the poor start at the Gore was “because we were excited to be at provincials and didn’t realize the potential we actually had to win.”
When “we realized we could win we wanted it more than anything” she said.
Kawartha win before Gore event.
A week earlier at the Kawartha Championship the team was dominant on their way to the A final outscoring Brock High School and I.E. Weldon Secondary 24-4.
In the A final Haliburton was edged out 7-6 by Fenelon Falls Secondary School.
Denyer’s rink recovered and handily beat the Weldon in the B final 9-3 for a berth to play at the Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics championship this Wednesday at the Haliburton Curling Club.
The top team from COSSA will advance to the allprovincials also known as OFSAA (Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations).
COSSA will be a three-game round-robin. format. Haliburton plays at 8:30 12 and 3 p.m.