Barrel Review

What a great weekend! Here are some takeaways:

Big Winners Team Raju eked into the A Bracket by inches, and then ran roughshod over all of those first-place teams. After losing their second game to the Park City Plaid Pioneers to drop to second place in their pool, they qualified for A Bracket by virtue of the second-best overall DTB score. The eighth-seed team of P.N. Raju, Cameron Kim, Brian Feldman Jr, and Nelson Rogers then dispatched Markowski, Altus, and Dias to take home the third-annual Barrel. Most of the games weren’t even close, including the finals, which ended with a handshake after six ends.

Grudge Match. The real drama in the final draw came in the B Bracket finals between ninth-seed Wicks and fifteenth-seed Tudor. The game was tied after seven ends when Billy Wicks threaded his first vice shot through a guard port that was scarcely large enough for the stone in order to curl to the four-foot circle under at least five guards. House of Tudor’s vice, Evan Tudor Elliott, and skip, Jessica Tudor Elliott, had three chances to chip away at the offending rock, but failed to remove it. Jess’s final shot, however, was a three-bump raise of her own guard which went through on a perfect angle for the button, but ended up just being a tad too hard.  Well-fought game on both sides.

The Other Brackets. Not to be forgotten, Heather Kopeck’s “Toots McGee and the Fantastic 3” battled through a tough C Bracket. Their final match with Curl Jam was close through the first four ends, but saw Kopeck pull away near the end to win by three stones. The final rocks of both B and C Bracket were gliding down the ice at the exact same time. 

Finally, Ladies Pick entered the D Bracket as the only team with a win. They made it through the abbreviated, four-team bracket with relative ease, beating Bromancing the Stone in their Championship match.

Inches Matter. The difference between A, B, and C Bracket came down to just inches. Eight-seed Team Raju had a combined DTB-score only 2.5 inches smaller than ninth-seed Billy Wicks. Similarly, the difference between sixteenth-seed Ryan Smith going into B Bracket and seventeenth-seed Doug Bone going into C was less than four inches. 

Who wants to be top seed anyway? The top seeds didn’t fare all that well. Overall number one seed, David Markowski, lost 10-3 to eventual champion Raju in the first round of the A Bracket, while Doug Bone lost to Chris Skidmore’s #24 team. Billy Wicks, the only top seed to advance beyond their first playoff game, fell behind 4-0 in their opening game and were barely able to come back and win on the only DTB tiebreaker in the entire bonspiel.

Off Ice. We had eighteen people or teams donate baskets in our first ever “Best Basket” competition, where the donatot of the baskets with the most tickets would get a pitcher of beer. Basket #11, filled with (what else?) lots o’ booze, secured over 200 raffle tickets, giving David Markowski and the Fellas the inaugural Best Basket prize. 

The top silent auction items was Jay Diamond’ Asham broom, which went for $130. Next came the Legado whiskey and decanter, donated by WCCC’s Melissa McGuire and Gerri Trujillo from Newvision Realty Group, which sold for $105. 

Our friends at Placer Valley Tourism will be happy to know that twelve teams took advantage for Placer County hotels, while three teams used AirBnB’s.

Special Thanks to the large number of Wine Country curlers who came out Friday morning to help set up. In no particular order, people like Nick Graf and Jeff Jones, Tim and Chris Bilbrey, Kristin Little, Chris Skidmore, Ryan Fox, Tyler McEwen, Mike McCarthy, Karla Markowski, Sonia Montero, and Skatetown’s Susan Sweetser all helped set up the warm room. On the ice, our usual crew of Brian Feldman, Bryan Moffitt, Camren Spangler, David Markowski, and David Betts got there early and kept the ice in top shape all weekend.

Don’t Forget. The Crush will be back over Labor Day weekend. Sign-ups begin May 15.

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