Jones bags Buffalo

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 6:57 AM ET

SOURIS -- Jennifer Jones and Cathy Overton-Clapham officially met for the first time last March.

Now, a mere 10 months later, that meeting has produced a Manitoba women's curling championship.

Jones captured her second provincial Scott Tournament of Hearts title yesterday afternoon with a 5-4 win over St. Vital clubmate Kristy Jenion in front of approximately 1,000 spectators at Murray Arena.

Jones, along with Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Cathy Gauthier, will wear the Buffalo at the national Scott Tournament of Hearts Feb. 19-27 in St. John's.

"I see great things happening," a jubilant Overton-Clapham said.

"I felt like I was in a zone," said the 30-year-old Jones, who won with an entirely different squad in 2002. "I just really wanted this one, and I wasn't going to lose it."

Jones, the third seed, won five straight must-win games in a span of 28 hours, including a 9-6 win over Brandon's Lois Fowler, the top seed and defending champ, in yesterday morning's semifinal.

This winter there were many eyes on Jones, a Winnipeg lawyer, because she had assembled a dream team of sorts after parting ways with twin sisters Karen Porritt and Lynn Fallis-Kurz after last season.

Gauthier, who won three provincial crowns and two national titles with Connie Laliberte in the 1990s, played as a spare with Jones last winter and suggested she talk to Overton-Clapham, another former Laliberte disciple. So Jones and Overton-Clapham got together at a Boston Pizza on St. Anne's Road in Winnipeg.

"I didn't know her from Adam," Overton-Clapham said. "We went out and sat and chatted -- I had never actually had a conversation with her. ... She was keen, we had the same goals, we seemed to be on the same page, and we went with it."

Jones didn't have a hard time convincing Gauthier to come out of retirement and switch to lead, she kept Officer -- a longtime teammate who won her first Scott yesterday -- and they all went to work.

They struggled during the cashspiel season, but those hardships may have led to them being crowned yesterday.

"We learned a lot from it," Gauthier said. "We changed the way that we played, we changed the weights that we throw, we changed when Cathy offers Jen ideas.

"We do a lot of things differently, and it made a difference. We're playing with confidence, and Jen played out of her frickin' mind."

Gauthier's right. Jones made two superb raises in the eighth against Jenion that led to two points and a 5-3 lead. In the ninth, Jenion made her only mistake of the day, and it cost her. She had a chance for two, but she hit and rolled out and had to settle for one.

Jones had a rock ensconced on the button in the 10th, and Jenion, who was appearing in her first Scott final, didn't get near it with her final stone.

Jenion, 25, who plays with Lisa Roy, Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott, had no regrets about her performance.

"I don't know what else we could've done," said Jenion, who handed Jones her only loss of the week in the round-robin. "We made a ton of shots, I made a million freezes and she blasted every single one of them out. What do you do?

"I think Jennifer curled about 150% today."


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