BC finds rhythm at mid point of Brier

After a shaky Sunday in which BC gave up early four enders to both Quebec and Nova Scotia, John Morris and his team out of Kelowna/Vernon have picked up their game at the midway point of the Tim Hortons Brier in Kamloops.

Morris and company dispatched Jamie Koe and his squad from Yukon/Northwest Territories 7-2 in just eight ends Tuesday morning.

The convincing win came on a day when BC third Jim Cotter, a Kamloops native, was informed he was being inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.

"It feels great. I found out about it today. It's a real honour, my dad's in there as well and a lot of other great sports people within the Kamloops community," says Cotter.

"Kamloops is such a huge sports town so I know it's difficult to get in there. Yes, it's a huge honour."

On the ice Tuesday BC and the Territories matched shot for shot blanking the first two ends.

In the third Cotter made a wide open takeout for two and after a steal of one in four built up a 3-0 lead.

Koe battled back with one in the fifth then stole one in the seventh when Cotter, facing four, made a delicate double to cut down the damage to just one.

In the eighth, with three rocks already in the house Cotter put an end to the festivities with a double takeout for four and the win.

"I thought I could see more of it until I got in the hack but we've been throwing lots in that spot in our practices so I went through the simple things and we made it - thank goodness."

The win keeps Morris atop the leaderboard with a 5-1 record, the only blemish a 7-4 setback at the hands of Quebec Sunday afternoon.

BC will take on 1-4 New Brunswick in Tuesday's afternoon draw.

Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton fell out of a first place tie, leaving Morris, temporarily at least, along atop the leaderboard.

Stoughton dropped a 9-7 decision to Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec in 11 ends in a game that had more plot twists than an afternoon soap opera.

Menard opened the showdown with a brilliant cross house triple for four in the first end. That was enough to shut down Morris Sunday - not so today.

Stoughton fought back with two in the second then steals of two in the third and one in the fourth put the Manitoba skip ahead 5-4.

A pair in nine gave Stoughton a 7-5 lead, however, Menard fought back with a double takeout in 10 to score his deuce and force an extra end.

Menard sat with shot rock at the back edge of the eight foot while Stoughton had second shot biting the top of the eight.

With last rock Stoughton decided to blast his rock onto shot stone but narrowly missed giving Menard two and the win.

"(I had) A one foot raise, a tap to the button or just hit a little bit high. Just slid a little wide and poked it a little bit," says Stoughton of the last rock decision.

"You had the tap to the button so you have two combinations, you have to do line and weight. This one was just straight line."

It just overcurled says Stoughton.

Except for the last shot, Stoughton says he felt good and curled well.

The loss drops Stoughton in fourth with a 4-2 record.

Quebec is in a group with Ontario and PEI at 4-2.

In other games Tuesday morning Ontario got past Northern Ontario 8-5 while Saskatchewan edged Newfoundland/Labrador 7-6.

Steve Laycock of Saskatchewan has quietly won three in a row to climb into a second place tie with Alberta at 4-1.

Gushue meantime, one of the pre-event favourites is at 2-4 and, with seven teams ahead of him, has all but knocked himself out of contention.


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