One step away

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- Jan Betker is one win away from making people in Saskatchewan awfully happy.

Should Betker win this year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts, her foursome will wear the Team Canada jackets at next year's Hearts, to be hosted in Regina 10 years after she made a triumphant entrance at third for the legendary Sandra Schmirler with gold medals around their necks.

Betker upended Team Canada's Kelly Scott 8-5 in the Page playoff one-two match before 4,540 witnesses -- the largest crowd of the week -- at the Enmax Centre last night.

Betker advances to tomorrow's 12:30 p.m. final for the first time since she won her third Canadian crown with Schmirler back in 1997.

"It just feels really good," said Betker, supported by third Lana Vey, second Nancy Inglis and Marcia Gudereit, who was also the lead on that '97 squad. "It's hard to come to these events and play really well, and we did that. I'm just so pleased with the girls and here we are in the final, it's just great."

Scott was philosophical in defeat.

"We're still basically 10-2 so, we're looking OK," she said. "We started out good, then we got caught on a few shots and we didn't quite have it. We didn't quite have the complete confidence (yesterday)."

Betker goes into tomorrow's final after beating both potential opponents.

"It's nice to know that we can because we've done it before," she said. "I suppose any little tidbit like that helps. But for sure, we know that whomever we play, it's going to be a battle."

Betker plans to throw some rocks and rest today.

"We're a little bit tired and this old dog maybe more than others so, it's kind of nice (to get some rest)," she said.

Betker was also buoyed by the raucous crowd support.

"It's awesome and it's so fun out there," she said. "We kind of feed off that. It's kind of like playing at home with none of the pressure of playing at home so, it's great."


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