Davis and Taylor win Open/Ladies events at VA State 8-Ball Championships

Brother/sister Wolford junior duo are runners-up in the two events

It had been nine months since the Action Pool Tour had held a 2020 stop. In February, at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, BJ Ussery downed Reymart Lim (winner of the season opener) to claim the VA State 10-Ball Championship title, while Liz Taylor snatched the title from Janet Atwell, who’d defeated her in the finals of the event in 2019. The pandemic led to the cancellation of the next eight stops on the tour and just hours ahead of new pandemic guidelines, which seemed likely to prohibit similar gatherings anytime soon, the APT returned to Diamond Billiards this past weekend (Nov. 14-15), where the 2020 VA State 8-Ball Championships were held. The pandemic restrictions, announced the day before the event, were to take effect at midnight on Sunday.

Mike Davis, as he’d done in the earlier 10-Ball event, came from the loss side in the Open event of the 2020 VA State 8-Ball Championships to down the competitor who’d sent him there, junior player/young gun Shane Wolford (21). Liz Taylor successfully defended the title she’d won last October, and defeated Shane Wolford’s younger sister, Savanna Wolford twice – hot seat and finals to claim the Ladies title. The Open drew 29 entrants and the Ladies drew a very short field of eight entrants to Diamond Billiards.

Savanna Wolford and Liz Taylor (Tim McClure)

Ladies first . . .

Taylor downed four opponents in five matches to claim the Ladies title. She won a play-in preliminary match over Soo Emmett, before downing Jordyn Worley and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Reene Driskill. Savanna Wolford, in the meantime, got by Lisa White to draw Sheila Layne in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Taylor advanced to the hot seat match with a shutout over Driskill, bringing her aggregate score going into the hot seat match to 18-4. Wolford downed Layne 6-2 to join her.

Taylor took the first of their two matches 6-1 and waited in the hot seat for Wolford to return.

On the loss side, Driskill drew Kelly Wyatt, who’d defeated Soo Emmett 5-3 to reach her. Layne picked up Jordyn Worley, who’d eliminated Dorothy Strater 5-1.

Driskill advanced to the quarterfinals with a shutout over Wyatt. Worley defeated Layne 5-2 to join her. Driskill took another step and downed Worley 5-3, before being defeated by Wolford 5-2 in the semifinals.

A little bit of momentum helped Wolford chalk up two more racks in the finals than she’d done in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough as Taylor completed her defense of the 8-Ball title 7-3.

Mike Davis and Shane Wolford

Davis plays two junior players, wins two out of three matches against them to claim Open title

Though the 2020 field did not contain the 2019 VA State 8-Ball Champion, Chris Bruner, it did feature a number of competitors from that event and long-time veterans of the Action Pool Tour, including Shaun Wilkie, Eric Moore, Scott Roberts and of course, this year’s winner, Mike Davis. Conspicuous in their absence were such APT regulars as Reymart Lim, JT Ringgold, RJ Carmona and Steve Fleming (among others), who were part of the 37-entrant field last year.

Davis began what would prove to be his winning campaign with wins over Paul Shank 7-2, Kelly Farrar 7-3 and then ran into two straight junior players. The first, teenager Nathan Childress, battled him to double hill before he (Davis) prevailed and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against the second junior player (albeit, now turned 21), Shane Wolford. Meanwhile, it was Matt Clatterbuck advancing past the aforementioned Eric Moore, double hill and then, defeating Jesse Rice 7-3, and winning a second double hill fight versus BJ Ussery to draw Brian Bryant in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Clatterbuck sent Bryant to the loss side 7-4 and was joined in the hot seat match by Wolford, who downed Davis 7-2. Wolford claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Clatterbuck in what proved to be his last win of the event.

On the loss side, Bryant ran into the junior player, Nathan Childress, who’d followed his defeat at the hands of Davis with loss-side victories over Heath Thomas 6-1 and Scott Roberts 6-4. Davis drew BJ Ussery, who’d followed up his loss to Clatterbuck by eliminating Christopher Wilburn 6-3 and Shaun Wilkie 6-4.

Davis and Ussery fought a somewhat predictable double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals, eventually won by Davis. Childress had a much easier time against Brian Bryant, allowing him only a single rack, and advancing to a quarterfinal re-match against Davis.

Davis won the re-match 6-2 and then, by the same score, spoiled Clatterbuck’s semifinal bid for a second shot at Wolford in the hot seat. Davis moved on and claimed the event title with an 8-4 victory in the finals.

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as event sponsor Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., PC Family Dentistry. The Action Pool Tour’s December year-end event, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 12-13 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, is still on that schedule. However, due to the public gathering restrictions that went into effect a matter of hours after this recent tour stop ended, Wylie and Baker will be working with the folks at Q Master Billiards to assure that the event will be compliant and will update the status of the event as soon as the information is available.