International Open Down to its Final Four; Van Boening, Ouschan, Orcollo & Aranas

James Aranas (Karl Kantrowitz)

JI Championships will play 18 & Under Boys and Girls finals on event’s last day

Pat Fleming’s 2021 International Open began its sixth day with eight competitors. By 5 p.m., when the annual BCA Hall of Fame banquet commenced, one floor below the playing fields, that field of players was down to six. Once Kelly Fisher and Thorsten Hohmann were duly inducted into the Hall of Fame, the remaining four returned to the tables to close out the day.

The early match of the day (Friday, Oct. 29) saw James Aranas, who’d eliminated Dee Adkins 10-3 and Alex Kazakis 10-7 in the opening rounds of the single-elimination Phase 2, take on Omar Al-Shaheen. Aranas advanced to Saturday’s semifinals 10-6. Dennis Orcollo, who began Phase 2 by coming within a rack of being eliminated by Alex Pagulayan, persevered to take out Fedor Gorst 10-7 and drew Denis Grabe in the second Day Six match. The match stayed relatively close, until near the end, Orcollo pulled out in front to win it 10-7. Orcollo and Aranas will play their semifinal match at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday). 

Back from dinner, Shane Van Boening and Ruslan Chinahov drew a capacity crowd to the Accu-Stat arena, drawing steady applause, along with a few audible gasps of both appreciation and sympathy for the occasional misses. Though throughout the match, Ruslan drew his fair share of audience support and appreciation for a variety of shots, Van Boening was in command from the outset. He established a lead, held on and expanded it, advancing to the semifinals 10-4. 

The evening’s final match, which began just before 10 p.m. pitted Albin Ouschan against The Iceman, Mika Immonen. Being the same kind of after-dinner crowd, it was as enthusiastic and appreciate of the solid play of both players as they’d been with Van Boening and Chinahov. Immonen scratched twice on the break in the first five racks, allowing Ouschan to run out. An early lead for Ouschan grew. And kept growing, until Ouschan finished things just after 11 pm., advancing 10-3. Van Boening and Ouschan will compete at 6:30 p.m., with the finals scheduled for 9 p.m. 

Hollingsworth/Tate in 18 & Under Boys JIC final; Meyman/Cutting in girls’ final

Both finals in the Junior International Championships’ Boys and Girls 18 & Under divisions will be a rematch. Landon Hollingsworth bested Joey Tate in the boys’ hot seat match and will face him again at 1 p.m. on Saturday. It was Meyman over Cutting in the girls’ hot seat battle and they’ll play the early (11 a.m.) match tomorrow.

The winners’ side hot seat match for the boys was among three that were occurring simultaneously as Day Six played out for the juniors. It was the first to finish, just ahead of 2 o’clock, leaving Hollingsworth in the hot seat, as Tate awaited the outcome of the quarterfinals to face what turned out to be Trenton White.

Nathan Childress and Payne McBride had moved to the loss side on the heels of losses in the winners’ side semifinals that had sent Hollingsworth and Tate into the hot seat match. Childress drew White, working on a five-match, loss-side winning streak that had started with his 8-6 loss to Hollingsworth in the opening round of play; a loss that set him on fire, so to speak. McBride drew Lazaro Martinez, who’d downed his brother Gabe 8-5 and Riley Adkins, double hill, to reach him.

McBride downed Martinez 8-6 and was joined in the quarterfinals by White, whose 8-5 victory eliminated Childress (the junior player who’d advanced to the opening round of the Open’s single-elimination Phase 2 where Joshua Filler defeated him). White advanced one more step, downing McBride 8-6 in those quarterfinals, before Tate, determined for a second shot at Hollingsworth, stopped his loss-side run (cold) 8-2.  

Kennedy Meyman and Tatum Cutting played their girls’ hot seat match in the early afternoon on Saturday. Meyman claimed the hot seat just after 2 p.m., downing Cutting 8-5.

On the loss side, Skylar Hess and Sofia Mast were coming off of their winners’ side semifinal losses to Cutting and Meyman, respectively. Hess drew Precilia Kinsley, who’d defeated Savanna Wolford 8-4 to reach her. Mast  picked up Bethany Tate (sister to Joey Tate), who’d recently eliminated Hayleigh Marion 8-3. 

Mast downed Tate 8-5, while Hess was eliminating Kinsley 8-4. In one of the junior competitors’ more entertaining rivalries that’s been ongoing since January, Mast and Hess battled to double hill in the quarterfinals before Mast prevailed. Mast ended up on the wrong side of her second straight double hill fight, advancing Cutting to a second showdown versus Meyman, which will get the final day of the 2021 International Open underway at 11 a.m.

Follow all of the action with Live Scoring and online brackets for the 9-Ball, Boys Junior 9-Ball and Girls Junior 9-Ball. AzBilliards is working along with to help put those brackets online.

The International 9-Ball Open will continue play can be viewed online as part of the online PPV for this event at For the first time in the history of this event, fans can watch action on any table as part of the PPV coverage.