In a tough field, the curling team skipped by Tom Buchy squeaked into the playoff portion of provincials, but fell in the quarterfinal to the eventual winner of the whole event.
The foursome of Buchy, Dave Toffolo, Dave Stephenson and Darren Will, played eight games with five wins and two losses before the playoffs, began, but Buchy’s team ran into Andrew Bilesky in the quarter final and lost 8-3.
Bilesky ended up winning the whole tournament, going through Sean Geall in the semifinal and Brent Pierce in the final to earn the B.C. berth into the Tim Hortons Brier.
“The guys played really well,” said Buchy. “Of course, we ran into Bilesky, who was hot, and they played very well the last game and we got down early and couldn’t get it back.”
Deane Hornig’s team, the other four representing the Kootenay region out of Castlegar, finished with three wins and three losses.
Team Buchy opened their provincial run last Wednesday with a 8-2 loss to Team Montgomery out of Victoria, but responded with an emphatic 10-4 win over Brent Yamanda.
“We managed to get a feel for the ice and the rocks in that second game real quick, and we just didn’t have that in the first game,” said Buchy. “I certainly didn’t.”
Buchy followed that up with a 9-4 win over Trevor Perepolkin and an 8-6 loss to Neil Dangerfield on Thursday.
“We had a really good game against Dangerfield, he ended up beating us,” Buchy. “He made a good shot to beat us in the last end, we were laying two in the four-foot and he made a nice double and stuck.”
“Then we had to win three in a row on Friday and we managed to do that.”
The team started with a 9-4 win over Richard Brower in the morning, and followed up with a 9-5 win over Jim Cotter—the two-time defending champion.
A third win in a 7-6 rematch against Perepolkin put the Buchy team into one of the qualifying position for the page playoffs, which set them up against Bilesky.
“They were down to Cotter—in their second game—they were down 5-1 after four ends and they came back and won 8-5 and that kind of got them rolling. They stole three in the last end,” said Buchy.
“They got on a roll and they played very well throughout the whole week.”
Buchy said the way his team recovered from their initial loss to Montgomery was good to get the team rolling, especially since the four hadn’t curled together since regional play downs.
“Winning three in a row on Friday was good, because losing any one of those games and we’re out,” Buchy said. “We ended up playing Jim Cotter in the afternoon game in kind of a do or die situation for both of us and we won that one and it was nice to pull that one off.”
Even though the team lost in the playoffs, everyone was happy with making it in, because anything can happen, especially in tight field of teams, Buchy added.
Finishing fourth in the province is pretty respectable, but everyone will take some time to see what the future holds, as Will resides in Fernie and Stephenson calls Kelowna home.
“All of us will have to sit and talk and see where everyone’s at with work and commitments and stuff like that,” said Buchy, “so we’ll figure that out over the next month or so and go from there.”