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Teams Ballard, Cotter claim Optimist BC U18 championships

Team Ballard came through with steals of one in each of the final two ends to edge Team McCrady 4-3 to claim the Optimist BC U18 Boys Curling Championship in Salmon Arm on Sunday afternoon.

Skip Dawson Ballard’s split Royal City/Coquitlam team, which consisted of third Hayato Sato, second Joshua Miki, lead Troy Chong and coach Bryan Miki, now advances to the 2018 Canadian U18 Boys and Girls Championships slated for April 9-14 in Saint Andrews, N.B.

Joining Team Ballard out east will be Team Cotter, which claimed the Optimist BC girl’s crown with a similarly tight 6-5 win over Team Taylor on Sunday at the Salmon Arm Curling Club.

Skip Jaelyn Cotter 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 to give her and her Vernon Curling Club teammates of third Kaila Buchy, second Katelyn McGillivray, lead Cassidy Schwaerzle and coach Jim Cotter the victory.

Jensen 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.

In the Sunday boy’s game, Matthew McCrady looked to be in a good position to avenge a pair of 5-4 losses to Ballard in the round robin and Page 1-2 playoff games, but failed to hang on to a 3-1 lead after five ends.

McCrady, third Branden Reimer, second Jacob Umbach, lead Brenin Moore and coach Will Sutton – of the Royal City club – used a three-ender in the fifth to break open a tight defensive game against Ballard.

McCrady then forced Ballard into a single in the sixth end for a 3-2 lead, but the undefeated Ballard team then stole its way to the title. Attempting to get through a small port to eliminate a Ballard stone with his last, McCrady’s offering clipped a guard out front.

Final standings and results for the boys can be found here: http://bot.curlbc.ca//web/CompRR?compid=2708

Final standings and results for the girls can be found here: http://bot.curlbc.ca//web/CompRR?compid=2709

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