Scott sends a message

B.C. skip Kelly Scott yells to her sweepers during the final of the Manitoba Lotteries Women’s...

B.C. skip Kelly Scott yells to her sweepers during the final of the Manitoba Lotteries Women’s Curling Classic, last night at the Fort Rouge Curling Club. She beat long-time rival and former teammate Jennifer Jones (left) in the final. (Brian Donogh/Sun Media)

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

A re-energized Kelly Scott hopes she sent a message to those who thought she might be winding down.

The transplanted Manitoban skipped her B.C. squad to a 5-4 victory over long-time rival Jennifer Jones of Manitoba in the final of the Manitoba Lotteries Women's Curling Classic at the Fort Rouge Curling Club last night.

"Possibly, I don't know," Scott said of sending a message to those teams she will face in the Olympic trials qualifier in Prince George, B.C., next month. "It's a clean slate when those playdowns hit but it's good for our confidence."

After all, she did just beat Jones, who won back-to-back Canadian crowns, the Players Championship and is heading directly into the Canadian Curling Trials.

Scott, who finished the weekend undefeated, won $15,000.

"We're really happy," Scott said. "It was nice, swingy ice, probably similar to what we'll find in the arena (in B.C.), and we played a lot of the teams that will be at the pre-trials and trials. You want to see where you're matching up against those teams right now so, we're really happy with coming here and getting into those real good games."

Scott, who once skipped a Manitoba team to the junior world title, experienced a letdown after winning back-to-back Canadian crowns herself -- beating Jones in one of those finals. She also took time off to have a baby. But Jacquie Armstrong has since replaced Renee Simons at lead and she is bubbly again.

"We have re-energized and we feel like we're starting a new chapter so, we want to play well for one another," said Scott, also supported by third Jenna Schroeder and transplanted Manitoban Sasha Carter. "So, it's done really good things for our team."

Scott stole one in the fifth end when a Jones draw sailed through the house to take a 4-2 lead.

"That was an exciting game, I'm sure, for everyone to watch and I'm sure it could have gone either way," Scott said. "Jen got back into the game with some real good, quality draw shots and it came down to the last rock, which is exciting."

Scott had a relatively routine hit for the winning point when Jones failed to bury completely behind cover.

"It's good practice for me," Scott said. "We hope to have a lot of games like that coming up in the next month or so, it's good to be in that position and it's good to feel confidence making that (last) shot. What we're really looking for now is gaining some confidence going into the whole Olympic playdown stuff."

Jones, who made it to her third straight World Curling Tour final, pocketed $10,000 after her first loss in three tries.

"We're pretty happy with how we're playing but there's lots of room for improvement so hopefully, we'll keep getting sharper when we play in Saskatoon this weekend," she said.

Jones, who once played with Scott in junior here, downplayed the rivalry between the two.

"No more than anybody else on tour," she claimed. "But the media likes to think so, so you guys can go nuts."

In the semifinals, Scott nipped Alberta's Heather Nedohin 6-5 in an extra end while Jones defeated Northern Ontario's Krista McCarville 4-2. Both McCarville and Nedohin earned $6,000.

In the quarter-finals, Jones clipped Quebec's Marie-France Larouche 7-5; Kelly sunk Saskatchewan's Amber Holland 7-3; McCarville downed Manitoba's Barb Spencer 6-3 and Nedohin beat fellow Albertan Cheryl Bernard 5-3. The quarterfinal losers got $3,700 each.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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