Trailing 6-4, East Elgin Eagles' skip Morgan Kerr scores three on final shot
to win WOSSAA curling gold and advance to the provincial tournament
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
By Rob J. Ross
WOODSTOCK, ON. - Morgan Kerr took her time getting set in the hack, took a few deep breaths and then focused on her shot. The last rock of the eighth and perhaps final end.
Trailing 6-4, the East Elgin Eagles had five stones in the house, but the team's skip needed to remove, or at least tap back, the one rock belonging to the Clinton St. Anne's Eagles, during the Western Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (WOSSAA) girls' curling gold medal game. The possible three outcomes: win, loss or tying the game at six and forcing an extra end.
With senior Caitlyn Evely directing the sweeping, Kerr made a perfect shot to score three, for an Eagles' 8-6 win and a spot at OFSAA.
"It feels pretty great being able to bring my team there (OFSAA)," said Kerr, only in Grade nine. "A lot of deep breathing. I took my time going down there and took my time getting set up."
St. Anne's led the entire game, from 4-0 after two ends, until Kerr made the shot of her career.
"We did really good keeping our heads in the game, keep playing and finally get the opportunities to score some points," said Evely. "(St. Anne's) came out really keen and we were a little slow. We seem to do that a lot, taking the first couple ends to settle into the game."
The Eagles scored two in the third end and pulled to within one in the fourth end. St. Anne's moved ahead 5-3, before Kerr made a draw to the button in the sixth end for one. St. Anne's had a draw on their own to restore their two point lead in the seventh end.
"It was nerve-wracking in the last end for sure. Up to that point I was feeling pretty good. Once we got a couple points in the third end, it got us back in to the game and got us focused and changed the momentum a little bit," Evely said, "A tough last shot for Morgan. A lot of pressure. It looked good coming out of her hand. It came out a little bit wide but she brought it back in. I know she (Kerr) was really nervous going down to throw it. That's why we took the extra time out."
Evely made the WOSSAA final three years ago, skipping the East Elgin team, but settled for silver losing to South Huron.
"Same place, same game, but not the same outcome," said Evely, now in grade 12. "I'm really glad to finally make it to OFSAA. I'm super excited to go."
Evely has skipped the Eagles throughout her high school career, but gave the reigns to Kerr, who may be a freshman at East Elgin, but has seven years curling experience. This year, Kerr curls competitively out of the Kitchener-Waterloo club.
"We knew all along that she was going to join the team," Evely said. "Then we thought it would be a good idea to have her skip because I'm not here next year and she could get more experience."
The Eagles played the second half of the final with only three players, Kerr, Evely and Nicole Mellor, after Talim Warren withdrew due to sickness.
"I felt we'd be ok because we knew she wasn't feeling well today," Evely said. "We were mentally prepared if she did have to step off midway through the game."
East Elgin had played a few regular season games with just three players, so "we weren't rattled by it," added Kerr.
East Elgin beat London Saunders in the semifinals, while St. Anne's defeated London CCH.
Saunders won the bronze medal dumping CCH, 11-8.
In the boys' gold medal game, London Oakridge rocked Exeter South Huron, 12-4. Tillsonburg Glendale took the bronze medal, sweeping aside CCH, 14-3.
OFSAA was set for March 25-28, in the Durham region, at curling clubs in Uxbridge, Port Perry and Whitby. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic OFSAA was cancelled.
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