The Ballenas Whalers girls curling team had a strong finish to their season, placing fifth in the provincials, held at the Parksville Curling Club rink in Community Park.
The top 16 schools in the province converged on Parksville to battle it out for the 2014 Boys and Girls Provincial Curling Championships.
During the three days of competition, each team had a good chance to see what the other teams were about with Delta’s Seaquam taking the girls’ title, and Coquitlam’s Centennial the boys.’
Thursday (March 6) was the opening day of the tournament, which saw Ballenas face Mt. Elizabeth, from Kitimat.
The first game started slow for the Whalers, who found themselves down 4–1 after the first three ends. The Whalers came back and scored three of their own in the fourth and fifth ends to tie it up at four each.
It was back and forth from that point on, as Mt. Elizabeth scored three in the sixth end, only to be matched by Ballenas scoring three in the seventh end. Mt. Elizabeth sealed the deal by scoring one more in the eighth, making the final 8–7.
The second game for the Whalers saw them taking on College Heights, from Prince George. The Whaler girls got their game rolling right off the bat, scoring two in the first end.
The two teams took turns putting up two on the board, alternating ends, until the fifth end when Ballenas took over the game for good. Scoring just one in the fifth end, the Whalers scored three more in the sixth and two more in the seventh end, finishing it off in the seventh with a final of 10–4.
Ballenas finished the first day with one win and two losses, losing their third and final game of the day to Salmon Arm 8–5.
“We had some intense games, that’s for sure. The curlers were polished and they were all well coached,” Ballenas coach Ann Fyfe said. “It was exciting for us though. My girls loved it and they were proud of themselves, as they should be.”
The second day saw the Whalers get off to a great start, beating Prince Charles, from the Kootenay region, 9–0, with the game only lasting four ends.
The Whalers lost a close game against Chilliwack, 8–6, for their second match of the day. In their third match of the day on Friday night, the Whalers took on eventual champions Seaquam and ended up losing 8–3.
In their last game of the tournament, the Whalers faced off against Saint Thomas Moore, from Vancouver. Ballenas took a commanding 4–0 lead in the first two ends and never looked back, going on to score four more times to take fifth place with a final score of 9–4.
“The girls enjoyed the competition and they gained a lot confidence in their own abilities too. They gave every team a good game; even the provincial champs. Being in this tournament showed them what they have to do to get to the top and win it all.”