Cole returns NWPA Stop #1 favor, defeating Jones to claim Stop #2
Skip Maloney - AzB Staff
May 4, 2017
Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)
Liz Cole (Courtesy of Sandro Menzel)
It was the same finalists, with a reverse result. For the second time on the 2017 Northwest Women's Pool Association (NWPA) Tour, Liz Cole and Kim Jones battled it out for a title. On Stop #1 in February, Jones downed Cole in the finals. On the weekend of April 29-30, at Stop #2, the $750-added Martha Hartsell Memorial Tournament, that drew 36 entrants to The Cue Ball in Salem, OR, Cole bested Jones in the final to complete an undefeated run. Selected matches were streamed live throughout the weekend by Rail2Rail Productions. 
 
In addition to the repeat performance in the finals, the event featured the return of Canadian Jana Montour, a former regular on the tour, who took about three years off from competitive pool to pursue further education. A mother of five, ranging in age from nine to 26, Montour decided that she needed time away from being a housewife, and traveled down from Canada to sign on to the NWPA's second tour stop in Salem, OR. In spite of the years off, she took fourth in the event, and said she was looking forward to getting back into the sport on a more regular basis.
 
Following victories over Alicia Kvaanika, Patricia Tipton, and Marian Poole (with an aggregate score of 21-9), Montour squared off against Jones (28-13 at that point) in a winners' side semifinal. In the meantime, Cole (21-8), squared off against Stephanie Hefner (21-10). Those four would finish first through fourth at the end. Cole and Hefner locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Cole to the hot seat match. She was joined by Jones, who'd defeated Montour 7-4. Cole took the first of her two against Jones 7-4.
 
On the loss side, Montour picked up Cindy Doty, who'd downed Rebecca Sivter and Natasha Hook 6-4 to reach her. Hefner drew Suzanne Smith, who'd defeated Fran Johnson 6-2, and Valerie Franiel 6-4. Hefner got by Smith 6-2, and, in the quarterfinals, faced Montour, who'd eliminated Doty 6-2.
 
Hefner ended Montour's return to the tables 6-4 in those quarterfinals, before being herself eliminated by Jones, double hill in the semifinals. Though Jones would come within a single shot at the 9-ball from forcing a deciding game, Cole completed her undefeated run with a 9-7 victory over Jones in the final.