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Okanagan teams victorious at B.C. Stick Curling finals

Hometown duo win Open Division at Armstrong Curling Club; Kelowna pair take Women’s Division
Derrell Sears of Armstrong pushes a rock at the B.C. Stick Curling Championships in Armstrong, playing against a Prince George duo Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. Sears and partner Jack Campbell captured the Open Division championship. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Home ice advantage paid off for Armstrong’s John Campbell and Derrell Sears.

The duo scored two in the seventh end with the hammer to snap a 2-2 tie, and ran Prince George’s Jamie Mould and Gary Shalansky out of rocks in the eighth and final end to score a 4-2 win, and capture the B.C. Open Division Stick Curling Championship at the Armstrong Curling Club Sunday, Feb. 19.

Campell/Sears qualified for the playoffs of the seven-team tournament by winning the B event with a 3-2 decision over Mould-Shalansky, easily the hard-luck pair of the provincials.

The Prince George squad lost the A qualifier to Armstrong’s Bill Fowler and Wayne Heinrichs, 4-3. Mould-Shalansky had defeated Sears/Campbell 4-3 in the second round of the A event.

Mould-Shalansky joined Vernon’s Jack Prokopetz and Al Wejr in qualifying for the playoff round out of the C event.

In the playoffs, the Page format is used where A plays B winner – the victor moving directly to the final, the loser dropping into a semifinal to play the winner of the two C qualifiers.

Campbell/Sears moved straight to the final with a 4-3 win over Fowler/Heinrichs, while Mould/Shalansky defeated Prokopetz/Wejr 5-3. In the semi, the Prince George rink scored a 2-1 decision over Fowler/Heinrichs.

There were nine teams competing in the Women’s Stick Curling Provincials in Armstrong, and a Kelowna entry took the long way to the B.C. title.

Marion Radcliffe and Kerrylyn Richard blanked the Enderby duo of Sandra Farynuk and Betty Zarowny 9-0 in the provincial final, stealing all nine points. The teams shook hands after just four ends.

Farynuk/Zarowny won the A event, beating Armstrong’s Louise Burton and Kathy Saul-Fowler 5-1. The B event went to Enderby’s Carole Knopp and Evelyn Tattersall, who defeated Kelowna’s Pat Jeffrey and Terri Palmer 4-3. Burton/Saul-Fowler and Radcliffe/Richard qualified for the Page playoffs out of the C event.

The all-Enderby playoff matchup went to Farynuk/Zarowny, who defeated Knopp/Tattersall 6-3 to advance directly to the final.

Radcliffe/Richard blanked Burton/Saul-Fowler 5-0, made it to the final with a 3-2 win over Knopp/Tattersall.

Nanaimo will host the 2023 Canadian Stick Curling Championships March 30-April 2.

This is the third time Curl BC has put on a Stick Curling Championship, and event manager Will Sutton said there’s no better place to hold the games.

“Armstrong really is the home of stick curling in British Columbia, there’s a tonne of stick curlers here along with many other regular style of curlers here in the city,” Sutton said. “It’s really exciting for us to come here.”

Armstrong Curling Club manager Steve Gunner said 60 per cent of the club’s 240 members are stick curlers.

“We value stick curlers, we look after them and we treat them very well,” he said.

Gunner guessed it’s been about 20 years since the curling club hosted a Curl BC sanctioned event.

“I’m happy for it, it shows a certain confidence in our club, and our volunteers have been really happy and excited to respond. We think we’re putting on a good event.”

For the full tournament results, click here.

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Brendan Shykora
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