Monday, April 19, 2010

Curling Recap: 4/16-4/18/10

I'm now in week two of my "eight games in four weeks" stretch of curling. How did I do this week?

Friday, April 16th

End............ 12345678 |TTL
Witcraft....... 11003000 | 05
Schoolman...... 00310411 | 10

I played Vice for Team Witcraft, which means I'm now 0-2 when playing as a substitute in the Friday League. Bad luck? Or, am I just not a very good vice-skip? Yes, my all-time record as vice is still a healthy 27-21, but a funny thing happened once I started playing skip. Now that I have 12 games as skip under my belt, all of a sudden, I think I know what I'm doing. I can't help but interject my opinion regarding strategy and where I think we should aim, especially late in the end. And when I'm not the skip, that's bad for the team. The skip is the one spending the whole time analyzing the ice, watching the game play out, and thinking about the next shot. Who am I to speak up? I'm just the Vice. I ultimately think that my strategy opinions hurt the team both this week and last week. So, my apologies to skips Chris Jaun and Nick Witcraft. I think I ruined your teams' respective chances, and I'm sorry I questioned you. Next time I play Vice, I'll keep my mouth shut and just let the skip handle the strategy.

That said...the opposing skip, Brian Schoolman, made a couple of perfect last rock take-outs, one to score three in the 3rd end (we were lying one prior to the shot), and another to score four in the 6th (I forget what the situation was prior to that shot, but it was another big point swing). Those two shots decided the match. It was especially impressive considering that this game was being played on infamous Sheet 1, the same sheet where the take-out success rate was only 6% two weeks prior.

Meanwhile, Amber also played as a sub on Friday night, but in a different game, ultimately losing in a one rock tie-breaker. Maybe that's why I'm 0-2 on Fridays this season: I didn't have Amber on my team! Never take your spouse for granted, folks.

Sunday, April 18th

End........... 1234567 |TTL
Franklin...... 1010010 | 03
Allen......... 0301103 | 08

Last week, I diagrammed Amber's double take-out and declared it the best shot ever made by Amber or me. the risk of sounding too cocky, one week later, I think I did one better. I'm going to do my best to go through the last four shots of the 7th end. Here's the situation with only skip rocks (two each) remaining: (Our team = red. Disclaimer: rock positions are completely derived from memory and are approximate at best, and I make no guarantees with regard to accuracy.)

Opposing skip Lea's first shot: a perfect take-out of our #1 rock, giving yellow the top two rocks, which would tie the game. Great shot. Now what do I do? Well, blast away! I threw hard, and missed everything, although I'm not sure how, exactly. (Note that I do not remember exactly where rock #6 was at this point.)

If memory serves me right, Lea's second throw was a guard attempt that was a little heavy, and actually opened things up a bit. Here is the layout with only my last rock remaining:

If memory serves me right, #6 was moved just a little bit to the right, which helped us a bit. (In case you haven't grasped it by now, I'm really fuzzy on the details here.) What now? Well, let's blast away again! I didn't know this was going to be the last end at this point, but regardless, I was willing to give up one at this point, so even if we only hit one rock out, I would still consider it a successful shot. So, I threw hard, and...

The shooter wicked off #6 and hit both #1 and #2 out of the house, leaving three red rocks in the house. Pretty sweet, eh? My first ever double take-out, and it was For The Win. Instead of giving up two, we scored three, and we shook hands. (I'm not sure whether the shooter stayed and counted as one of the three, or if there were already three in the house and the shooter spilled out.) So what if it got a fortunate bounce off a guard? It was still awesome.

Alright, so...enough about me. It was a team effort, and we were only in a position to win because of that. Let's do player shot percentages! (Thanks again to Cliff for keeping game stats from the sidelines.)

--Team Allen--
Tabby V. (Lead): 30% (all draws, no take-outs)
Justin V. (Second): 38% (35% on 12 draws, 50% on 2 take-outs)
Amber Allen (Vice): 39% (48% on 11 draws, 8% on 3 take-outs)
Chris Allen (Skip): 27% (28% on 10 draws, 25% on 4 take-outs)
Team total: 33% (35% on 47 draws, 25% on 9 take-outs)

--Team Franklin--
Timothy G. (Lead): 36% (all draws, no take-outs)
Jackson F. (Second): 27% (23% on 10 draws, 38% on 4 take-outs)
Liz S. (Vice): 14% (18% on 11 draws, 0% on 3 take-outs)
Lea Franklin (Skip): 18% (10% on 10 draws, 38% on 4 take-outs)
Team total: 24% (23% on 45 draws, 27% on 11 take-outs)

Game total: 29% (29% on 92 draws, 26% on 20 take-outs)

The game-wide draw percentage was the same as last week, but the take-out percentage was much lower, which we can attribute that to the ice conditions. Last week's sheet had a "convergence line" which many rocks fell towards, making take-outs much easier. This week's sheet didn't have that, which made for a more interesting game. But how about Amber's draw percentage? Wow!

Our front end, Tabby and Justin, just got new curling shoes and brooms, so they're committed now. Awesome. And their sweeping is now more effective than ever! That came in handy on my last shot of the 2nd end, which likely would have came up short if not for excellent sweeping.

So, our team is now in first place in the league with two games to go. But I'm trying not to worry about that yet, because under similar circumstances last season, I kind of folded under the pressure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A few interesting things I noticed that makes Hamilton much less scary (JINX): (1) Franklin beat the same teams Hamilton did with a bigger spread. (2) If we win it all, we'll have had to beat higher seeded teams to do it. If Hamilton wins it all, they only had to beat one high-seeded team. So we can still respect ourselves in the morning if we lose. Right? I hope?