'It sucks to lose'

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -- Once again, the Buffalo gals were buffaloed by a familiar nemesis.

For some strange reason, Manitoba's Jennifer Jones just can't beat Kelly Scott when it comes to critical curling matches.

Scott (nee MacKenzie) dominated Jones in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts semifinal as Team Canada clipped team 'Toba 7-5 at the Enmax Centre yesterday.

Although Jones leads the nation in both earnings and CTRS points, she seems to undergo a metamorphosis when she faces Scott, a teammate when they won the 1991 Manitoba junior title for Jill Thurston (nee Staub) together.

Scott beat Jones in last year's final, then knocked her out of first place late in this year's round-robin. In fact, Scott has won four straight at the last two nationals.

'EITHER WAY'

And, just to rub it in, both Scott and her third, Jeanna Schraeder, were named to the first all-star squad. Then came the semifinal.

"I guess this game could have gone either way," suggested Jones, who shot an uncharacteristic 64% as opposed to Scott's 83%. "I don't think there's anything about that team. It just wasn't our best game (yesterday).

"It's disappointing that we didn't come out and play our best game (yesterday). It was kind of a sloppy game on both sides."

Manitoba third Cathy Overton-Clapham seemed surprised at the suggestion Scott has a psychological edge over Jones.

SAME APPROACH

"I don't know if she has our number," she said. "Has she beaten us a lot? I don't know what we do different. We'll have to go re-group and figure out what we did wrong and figure out what we need to do differently. We just have to be a little sharper."

Although veteran lead Janet Arnott has not perceived anything different in the way Jones approaches playing Scott, she did compare it to the wars she had against the late Sandra Schmirler while playing for Connie Laliberte in the 1990s.

"It's no different than way back when with Con and I with Sandra Schmirler," Arnott said. "It was kind of a back and forth kind of thing. I think Sandra had our number more than we had hers. However, we just knew we had to play well whenever we played her."

But this is almost becoming like the John Morris frustration of trying to beat Randy Ferbey, conceded Canada second Sasha Carter.

"Yeah, it's funny," she said. "It just depends on that game on that day because they can just as easily beat us at any given time."

But, for the second straight year, the Manitoba squad leaves the Hearts with heavy hearts.

"It's disappointing, really disappointing because we worked hard ... sorry," said an emotional Overton-Clapham, who then excused herself.

"It sucks to lose," Manitoba second Jill Officer said as she started to cry. "We just respect each other so much and we feel we're such a great team. So, it really sucks when we come out like that and don't play as well as we can."

Arnott sympathized.

"I do feel for me but I definitely feel for them," she said. "We gave it our best shot and it just didn't work out for us. (Scott) played great and we didn't take advantage of opportunities that came our way, and you just can't do that in the semis or the final."

Jones still has both the Canada Cup and Players' Championship coming up.

"If we can play well in those, then we're sitting in a really good position for 2010 (Olympics)," Officer said.

And Scott won't be at the Canada Cup should she win today.


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