Altona’s Mackenzie Zacharias wins her first Manitoba Scotties title

There’s a new Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion.

Team Mackenzie Zacharias won their first provincial women’s championship with a 7-5 victory over Kristy Watling’s Winnipeg-based foursome in the Manitoba Scotties final on Sunday in Carberry.

The game was tied at five apiece with the title on the line. Zacharias made a simple takeout for two — the last shot in the tenth end —  securing the victory and the championship.

Team Watling stole a single point in the sixth end to take the lead, but the 22-year-old Zacharias scored a deuce in the next end to take the lead back. Watling was forced to a single in the eighth end, but Zacharias blanked the ninth before adding the pair in the final end.

Zacharias and her Altona-based rink won the 2019 and 2020 Manitoba Junior Women’s Championship before capturing a world junior title.

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Zacharias, along with third Karlee Burgess, second Emily Zacharias, and lead Lauren Lenentine, will now represent Manitoba at the national Scotties starting in late January in Thunder Bay, ON.

It’s the first time since Kerri Einarson won the 2016 women’s provincial title that the entire four-person team are all first-time winners.

Watling qualified for the final earlier on Sunday with an 8-6 win over Kaitlyn Jones in the semifinal.

Top seed Tracy Fleury failed to qualify for the playoff round with a 5-3 record. The event was missing its two biggest names since Einarson and Team Jennifer Jones didn’t compete this week. Einarson already has a berth at nationals as the defending champ. Jones is headed to the Beijing Olympics.

The 2021 Manitoba Scotties was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Zacharias finished the week with six wins and just two losses. She will attend her second national Scotties Tournament of Hearts after competing as a wild card entry in 2021.

Zacharias had a 3-5 record in the Calgary bubble and missed the playoff round last February.

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