TRURO - There will be some Colchester County talent at this year's edition of the Canadian junior curling championships and it comes at the expense of a Truro Curling Club foursome.
Hilden's Karlee Burgess, fourth from left, celebrates her Nova Scotia junior girls curling title Tuesday with Chester's May Fay rink at Lakeshore Curling Club. Fay defeated defending champion and Truro representative Mary Myketyn-Driscoll 9-4 in the final. Members of the team are, from left, skip Mary Fay, mate Jennifer Smith, coach Andrew Atherton, Burgess and lead Janique LeBlanc. Submitted photo
Hilden's Karlee Burgess will be headed to Liverpool Jan. 18 to 26 with Mary Fay's Chester rink after winning the Nova Scotia girls title Tuesday at Lakeshore Curling Club with a 9-4 victory over Mary Myketyn-Driscoll, the defending champion representing Truro. Burgess has thrown second stones for Fay for the past four seasons.
"It's incredible actually," Burgess, 15, said Wednesday of winning the crown. "It feels really good. It's just unbelievable, unreal. It still hasn't sunk in yet."
The win was a bittersweet one of sorts for the Burgess family. Karlee's grandfather Jim Burgess, coach of the Myketyn-Driscoll squad, is stepping away from coaching after this season.
"It was a little tough because out of respect for my own team I had to think she was just another player on that team," Jim said of his granddaughter. "But after it was over I was certainly excited for her. They played well and they beat us fair and square."
On the boys side, Truro's Scott Babin, a 20-year-old Halifax resident, and teammates Jonathan Crouse of Stewiacke, Karlee's older brother Andrew Burgess and Fall River's Alex McNeil, lost 8-4 to Windsor's Robert Mayhew in the C bracket final late Monday to end their run at the event.
Babin won the junior title last year with Mayflower's Stuart Thompson and was shooting for another shot at nationals after finishing third last year in Fort McMurray, Alta.
"We were pretty disappointed," Crouse said. "We didn't play as well as we wanted to, but that happens I guess."
Crouse said his team, which finished with a 4-3 record, had trouble keeping momentum on its side.
"We weren't really on our game," he said. "If we gave up a lead, we found it hard to fight back."
In the girls final, Fay stretched out a 3-0 lead after two ends but Myketyn-Driscoll, a 20-year-old Dartmouth resident, scored three to knot the contest in the third.
But Fay answered with three in the fourth end for a 6-3 cushion and never looked back, notching two more in the fifth and another in the sixth to close the game after seven ends. Myketyn-Driscoll could only muster a single point in the seventh.
"Those three points (in the fourth end) really put us in a good place," Karlee said. "After that we just stayed positive, made sure we made our shots and played our game and it worked out."
Fay got to the final by knocking off Mayflower's Emily Dwyer 9-2 in Tuesday's semifinal after a 4-2 run through the preliminary round. Karlee said she's looking forward to playing the best curlers in the country.
"I'm pretty excited," she said. "It's a big event. It's going to be amazing to see all the other curlers.
Myketyn-Driscoll's A bracket win early in the event earned her a berth in the final on Monday after Dwyer beat Lakeshore's Hayley McCabe 5-4 to finish the round-robin.
Myketyn-Driscoll said her group, which includes Hilden's Taylor Clarke, former Truro resident Mackenzie Proctor and Brookfield's Sarah Sears, is disappointed it won't get a chance to improve upon its performance at last year's national, also in Fort McMurray.
"We wanted to go back," she said. "Last year was such a great experience. It's our last junior provincial together so we obviously wanted to go further."
Myketyn-Driscoll said although Fay deserved the victory, she felt her team didn't play up to its potential.
"We battled but we just didn't have it the way we did last year," she said. "We didn't play that well and if we had it might have been a different result and that's what's disappointing. But they played well and dealt with the pressure differently and it helped them come out on top."
NOTE: The loss doesn't mean the end of the season for Proctor and Sears. Both will travel to Fredericton, N.B., Friday for the AUS Curling Championships at Capital Winter Club.
Proctor throws second stones for the Saint Mary's Huskies while Sears is lead for the Acadia Axewomen.
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