Aquino Earns another Win in N. Florida

The Fury Amateur 9-Ball tour's North Florida division is steadily growing in numbers, with 33 players showing up this weekend at Uncle Waldo's Billiards in Daytona.

Julio Aquino, points-leader in both North Florida and Central Florida, narrowly missed winning his third event of the season a few weeks back but claimed victory this time. By day's end, two players emerged as leaders on the winner's side -- Aquino and Dave Ross who is also a consistent contender on both tours.

Aquino made it to the hot seat riding on scores of 7-2, 7-4, 7-1, 7-4 and a 7-3 win over last event's winner Tim Daniel. On the bottom of the winner's bracket, Ross came through with scores of 7-5, 7-4, 7-4 and 7-4 to meet Aquino in the hot seat match up. Both players made a stand but Ross defeated Aquino 7-5 to secure his place in the finals.

Meanwhile on the B side, Tim Daniel was making a run for the semis but was stopped by Nate Hyward in a hill-hill standoff. Daniel was left to settle for 4th, while Hyward advanced to play Aquino in the semis. Aquino had put Hyward on the B-side earlier in the tournament and did not hesitate to hand him a second loss at 5-3.

The rematch between Aquino and Ross was bound to be intense, and Ross was able to jump to a 4-1 lead early. Aquino capitalized on his solid break and broke and ran the next rack to get his momentum going. He then won the next four racks to take over the lead at 6-4 and three games from victory. This comeback didn't seem to slow Ross down though and he went on to win the next three in a row to regain the lead at 7-6. The momentum swings halted and the finals became a game for game fight at 7-7 and then 8-8. The case rack was touchy as Aquino broke and made two balls and the 2-9 combo lined up near the pocket. Aquino had no good shot on the one-ball though so he was forced to play safe. The safety battle ensued for several innings until Ross narrowly missed a hit on the one, giving ball in hand to Aquino to pot the one and finish the rack with the 2-9 combo. Aquino strengthened his points standing and pocketed $430 for first, while Ross took $230 for second. Hyward and Daniel filled out the top four.

The next Fury North Florida event will be at Anastasia Billiards in St. Augustine on April 10th. The event is being promoted locally by a marketing class at Flagler College in St. Augustine.

1st Julio Aquino $430
2nd Dave Ross $230
3rd Nate Hyward $150
4th Tim Daniel $100
5th/6th Dave Foreman, Bryant Pinkley $75
7th/8th Robert Main, Richard Abrams $50