Gunia survives a one-loss side challenge by Bent to go undefeated on Midwest 9-Ball Tour stop

Dustin Gunia stopped an eight-match, one-loss side winning streak by Brad Bent to take the opening set of a true double elimination final and conclude a weekend on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour undefeated. The $2,220-added event, held on the weekend of November 20-21, drew 30 entrants to Madsen's Bowling and Billiards in Lincoln, NE.  Sara Stevens emerged as the winner in a concurrent, $280-added Ladies event, which had drawn four entrants.

It was Shawn Cepurnieks that Gunia faced in the hot seat match. From among the winners' side final four, Gunia defeated Kevin Sullivan 9-5, as Cepurnieks was busy sending Rob Montgomery west 9-6. Gunia gave up only a single rack gaining the hot seat, and watched as Bent drew closer.

Bent had been at it on the one-loss side since the opening round of play, when he'd been defeated by Lee Norton 9-4. By the time he got the chance to move into the first of the event's money rounds, he'd chalked up three of his eight wins. The fourth, a 9-4 win over Derek Shehan (who'd been sent west by Gunia), guaranteed him a share of the purse. His fifth, another 9-4 win, this time over Angel Lopez, set him up to face Montgomery. Sullivan drew Bob Andrews, who, after being defeated by Cepurnieks among the winners' side final eight, defeated Mark Chernin 9-5 and Chris Siefken 9-7.

Sullivan and Montgomery's visit to the one-loss side proved to be brief. Andrews dropped Sullivan into the tie for fifth place 9-6. Bent sent Montgomery to join him with a 9-7 victory. Bent then defeated Andrews 9-7 in the quarterfinals and stepped up to earn his eighth straight on the one-loss side, and as it turned out, his last. He survived a double hill struggle against Cepurnieks and turned to the task of trying to take two from Gunia. Gunia was only slightly less stingy than he'd been in the hot seat match. He allowed Bent only two racks in completing his undefeated weekend.

In the four-entrant Ladies event, Sara Stevens picked up the first place prize with a 7-5 victory over Julie Luedtke in the finals. In the semifinal matchup, Luedtke had defeated Chayla Senft, who'd fallen to Stevens 7-3 in the battle for the hot seat. Prior to her victory over Senft, Luedtke had consigned Tanya Hoffman to her fourth place finish with a 7-2 win.