Aranas Over Ussery In a Nailbiter at Star City 10-Ball Shootout

James Aranas, Wolf Den Owner Kory Wolford and BJ Ussery
It was a small, but strong field that traveled from the International 9-Ball Open to Wolf’s Den Billiards in Roanoke, Va for the Star City 10-Ball Shootout on November 6th - 10th. 
The Philippines’ James Aranas looked like he might run away with this one, after winning his first three matches (Derek Radford, Kent Lacy and Dylan Carr) by an average margin of 9-2. He was put to more of a test in his quarter-final 9-5 win over Jesus Atencio,  but then rolled over Jalal Yousef for the hot-seat 9-4. Aranas trailed that match 4-3 before winning six racks for the win. 
BJ Ussery was the player to beat on the one loss side. He dropped a final eight match to Aranas’ countryman Roberto Gomez, but came back with four wins on the left side of the board. Ussery was challenged by both Atencio and Gomez, beating Atencio 9-7 and then Gomez 9-8. The semi-final match between Ussery and Yousef started out close, tied at 3-3, before Ussery took control and won the match 9-5. 
The finals was one extended race to thirteen, and even with the alternating break format, the momentum of the match went back and forth. With Ussery leading 4-2, Aranas won five straight racks for a 7-4 lead. At 8-5 Aranas, Ussery took control and won seven straight racks to take the hill at 12-8. Ussery’s break abandoned him at 12-8 though, and Aranas took over control of the match. Aranas broke and ran two racks off his break, ran one from a dry Ussery break and ran out from a missed 2-ball by Ussery to tie things up at 12-12. Aranas had the break for the final rack, and he took full advantage with another break and run for the 13-12 win and first place.