George, Scharf advance to Ontario Scott Jackson, Lee finish at 3-3

After all of the tight games that had been witnessed, it was fitting the Northwestern Ontario ladies’ playdowns, held here last Thursday to Saturday, came down to the last shot.
Tara George (Fort William Curling Club), who had to win to move on to the Ontario Scott Tournament of Hearts, was tied 6-6 heading into the 10th end last Saturday afternoon against Amy Stachiw (Port Arthur Curling Club), who was looking to play the part of spoiler.
If George won, she would be heading to Ottawa in a few weeks along with Krista Scharf (FWCC), who was at 6-0. If she lost though, a seventh end would be needed to decide which team would advance.
“It feels good to just sit back and relax knowing that we’re just waiting to see whose going to be coming with us,” said Scharf, who went to the Ontario Scott tournament last year along with former Stratton resident, Angela Lee (FWCC).
“It’s more of a relief than anything,” Scharf added, as she watched the drama unfold between George-Stachiw.
A misstep by Stachiw on her last throw set up a possible game winning shot for George, who before last year went to the provincials three consecutive years, and would need to hit the button to win and advance.
“It was very exciting, because it was a very close game. It was back and forth and it could’ve went either way and there was a lot riding on it,” said third Andrea Lee of the Lee rink, who along with Kathie Jackson (Fort Frances), and Michelle Boland (FWCC) were at 3-3 and needed George to falter to have any chance of moving on.
George didn’t falter, but rather succeeded as she nailed her shot to win 7-6.
“Of course it had to go to the last rock,” George said with a smile, as she held her three-month new born Micheala.
“That’s the part of skipping I enjoy the most, because of the adrenaline and just being out there and having to make the pressure shots,” added George, whose lone loss came against Scharf.
Even though they didn’t advance, the Fort Frances rink of Jackson, which also included third Colleen Scrimger, second Charlotte Bazylewski, and lead Stacy Beacham, did exceptionally well in finishing 3-3 as they assembled the team only three days before Thursday’s start.
“There were no goals or expectations. We just wanted to go out and play our best and just have a good time. We didn’t set any goals for ourselves, because how can you when you put your team together three days before the event,” said Bazylewski.
Added Jackson: “Granted the other seven teams here play together all year and play in cashspiels. They are here to win, and not that we’re not here to win, but we’re more here to try our best and give Fort Frances someone to watch.
“Most of the people around here may not know the other teams for whatever reason, so they have someone to cheer for and come out and they then get to know who the other teams are,” added Jackson, who went to four straight Ontario Scotts between 1998 and 2001 (Beacham was a lead with her for the 2001 appearance).
Rounding out the standings was Christine Eby (FWCC) at 2-4, Stachiw at 2-4, and Dawn Sauve (Dryden) at 0-6.
“We came in not knowing, and we didn’t know if we were going to be competitive,” said Scrimger. “We didn’t know if we were going to be to the calibre we needed to be, and after the first day we knew that we were up for this, and now if we can win some games then let’s make people think twice and make people play hard, and that’s what we did.”