Vernon rinks fall short at provincial curling playdowns

Vernon entries miss playoffs in Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Parksville.

All three of Vernon’s entries in the Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championships headed home from Parksville empty-handed Saturday.

Skip Trevor Perepolkin made it the furthest, falling 7-6 to Kimberley’s Tom Buchy in one of two C bracket finals Friday night.

Perepolkin, backed by third Tyler Orme, second James McKenzie and lead Chris Anderson, had won three straight heading into his final game. A financial advisor by trade, he brushed back New Westminster’s Ken McArdle 9-3 Thursday afternoon, outlasted Vernon’s Mark Longworth 6-5 Friday morning, and earned the C final appearance with an 8-5 decision over Victoria’s Neil Dangerfield in the afternoon.

“We had a really good game against Longworth,” said Perepolkin, who has been to six provincials. “We were solid all the way through the lineup.”

Buchy ended Vernon skip Jim Cotter’s run in the 16-team, triple-knockout spiel Friday afternoon, brushing back the defending B.C. champ 9-5.

The Cotter crew – third Jason (Gunner) Gunnlaugson, second Ty Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky – iced Jay Wakefield of New Westminster 6-1, and Longworth 8-3 in B bracket action Thursday. They dropped to the C pool after a 7-4 loss to New Westminster’s Andrew Bilesky Friday morning.

Longworth, supported by third Jamie Sexton, second Hugh Bennett and his son, Michael, at lead, also won both his Thursday tilts, gonging Abbotsford’s Dean Joanisse 10-6 and Victoria’s Jason Montgomery 9-5.

Against Cotter, Longworth said: “We had a tough game and were a little low on gas. We didn’t play enough games together.”

Longworth has coached Michael at junior provincials, but the two have never competed together at this level. He said it was a memory he will always cherish.

“It was a terrific experience and it’s one of the reasons I still play,” said Longworth.

The B.C. champ will represent the province at the Tim Hortons Brier, March 2-10, at Rexall Place in Edmonton.