Third Kaila Buchy, left, and second Katelyn McGillivray tend to a rock at the Optimist U18 Girls Provincial Curling Championships. (Jodi Brak/Black Press)

Cotter off to New Brunswick

Vernon rink takes B.C. U18 title

Jaelyn Cotter of Vernon iced Jensen Taylor of New Westminster 6-5 in Sunday’s final of the Optimist U18 Girls Provincial Curling Championships at the Salmon Arm Curling Centre.

Cotter, supported by third Kaila Buchy, second Katelyn McGillivray, lead Cassidy Schwaerzle and her coach/father, Jim Cotter, advances to the nationals, April 9-14, in Saint Andrew’s N.B.

The Vernon rink bounced back from a 2-1 deficit after two ends with a key steal of one in the sixth and added a deuce in the eighth and final end.

Taylor’s Royal City/Tunnel Town team, consisting of third Cole Meredith, second Keira McCoy, lead Chelsea Taylor and coaches Brian Cole and Suzanne Malfair, had recorded a deuce in the seventh, but couldn’t hang on. Cotter had also defeated Taylor 7-4 in the Page 1-2 game courtesy of six points over the final three ends, including four points from steals.

Cotter topped the eight-team, round-robin table at 6-1, losing 6-5 to Clare Schmidt of Winfield. Cotter opened with a 5-3 win over Carly Connor of Prince George before grounding Rebecca Douglas of Vancouver Island 7-4 and dispatching Everly Royea of Langley 6-4 and stopping Taylor 7-2.

Cottert rounded out preliminary play by brushing back Gracelyn Richards of Comox Valley 8-3 and bouncing Elizabeth Bowles of New West 4-2. Taylor was second in the round-robin at 5-2.

In the Sunday boy’s game, Dawson Ballard of New West-Coquitlam stopped Matthew McCrady of New West 4-3 and finish 9-0.

Ballard clipped McCrady 5-4 in the round-robin and 5-4 in the Page 1-2 playoff game, but failed to hang on to a 3-1 lead after five ends in the final. McCrady used a three-ender in the fifth to break open a tight defensive game against Ballard.

The third place spot in the boys division went to Team Colwell, a combined team from Vernon and Salmon Arm featuring Erik Colwell, Andrew Cowell, Adam Raber, Ben Morin, Gray Simms and coach Dale Hofer. Team Colwell was putting up a fierce fight for second place throughout the U18 Championships but went down 7-3 to McCrady in the semifinals.

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