Monday, October 03, 2011

Curling Recap: 9/30/11

Career game #155: 2011 Fall League - September 30, 2011

End.......... 12345678 |TTL
Schoolman.... 01131001 | 07
Allen........ 10000220 | 05

What's my excuse this week? I have several, actually.

I think the game can be best personified by this setup, prior to my final shot of the 5th end: (our team = red)

Opposing skip Brian's last rock was rock #2, and you could not have placed it better. That left us with one option: the only way we could score a point here was to remove both yellow rocks with one shot. A nose hit on either rock would have still given the other team one point, because the untouched yellow rock would still have been closer. The double was not impossible here, but on our ice, it's certainly a low percentage shot. Perhaps I should be happy that I was at least able to hit one of the yellow rocks and at least hold them to one, as opposed to missing everything and giving them two.

Where were all the red rocks in that end, anyway? They're all gone! I forget what happened in this end, specifically, but the other team made two double take-outs during the course of the game. That's four points down the drain right there. Tough to compete with that. They were pinpoint accurate in the first five ends, and the ice conditions were good enough to reward that.

Usually when we win, we'll make a "killer" shot or two during the game that the other team can't do much with: a draw behind a well-placed guard, a perfect raise to the button, or a perfect single or double take-out. We never really had a shot like that in this game. The precision wasn't quite there. In the 4th end, I had an open draw against four yellow rocks on my last shot, and was a little too heavy, resulting in a steal of three. In the 8th end, we had the would-be game-tying rock in the house, but we could never get it guarded. We were close to pulling off the "killer" shot on a lot of occasions throughout the game, but could never quite get there. And I don't think I called the best game, either. I was too aggressive with take-outs and didn't call enough quiet shots early in the game, and what cost us in the 4th end. We needed more rocks in play.

I fall into this trap sometimes when I'm playing against a team that is calling, and making, a lot of take-outs. I see take-outs being made, and I decide to start calling a bunch of take-outs myself, because I have visions of making the same shots that they're making. This often ends up costing us. When you're playing a take-out-proficient team, the correct strategy is not to try to beat them at their own game, but to start with guards and then put as many rocks in play as possible. Once I remembered this, I went with a more quiet strategy in the 6th and 7th ends, and that's how we got back in the game.

Random statistical curiosity: all three of my Fall League games so far have ended in a 7-5 score.

And with that, it's time for a mid-season break. (Mid-season? Already? Well, sort of.) The Friday League takes the next two weeks off and then returns on October 21st, which also happens to be my team's bye week. So unless somebody needs a spare, I might not curl again until October 28th. That's kind of sad, really.

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