Junior competitor Aiden Wagner (16) goes undefeated to claim Garden State Pool Tour stop

Aiden Wagner and Raymond Marisette

There were junior competitors in events all across the country this past weekend (Feb. 25-26). They were in Las Vegas, Florida, North Carolina and at a stop on the Garden State Pool Tour in Nanuet, NY. Aiden Wagner (16) went undefeated at the last of these, while 14-year-old Brooke Nasta, who lost her opening round match, won six on the loss side (four, double hill) to finish in the tie for 5th/6th. The $200-added event drew 53 entrants to Diamond Jim’s Billiards and Pub in Nanuet.

Originally split into upper and lower brackets (675 to 525/526 and lower Fargo Rates) with 23 and 30 entrants, respectively, Wagner worked his way through the upper bracket. He survived an opening round, double hill battle against Tommy Migliore before advancing past Geoff Schafer, Rich Hourihan and Ed Heim to arrive at an overall winners’ side semifinal match against Thomas Schunke. Jennifer Pedutem, in the meantime, working from the lower bracket, also opened with a double hill win, two of them in a row, in fact. She got by both Alex DeRocha and Lance Reiser before sending Nicole Adams and Angelo Felix, Jr. to the loss side and meeting up with Raymond Marisette in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Wagner got into the hot seat match with 6-2 win over Schunke. Pedutem joined him after sending Marisette to the loss side 4-4 (Marisette racing to 6). Wagner and Pedutem battled to double hill before Wagner claimed the hot seat 7-3.

On the loss side, Marisette was the one who drew Brooke Nasta, whose six-match, loss-side trip had opened with a double hill win over Tri-State New York area veteran Mike Strassberg and had recently eliminated Giancarlo Delgado 4-6 (Delgado racing to 8) and Aaron Wagner, who became her last double-hill victim. Schunke drew Ed Hiem, who’d lost his winners’ side quarterfinal match to Aiden Wagner and on the loss side, eliminated David Marchant 4-4 (Marchant racing to 6) and Tommy Migliore 6-3.

The 14-year-old Brooke Nasta’s loss-side winning streak came to an end at six, when Marisette shut her out and advanced to the quarterfinals. He was joined by Schunke, who survived a double hill match versus Hiem to join him.

Marisette downed Schunke 5-1 in those quarterfinals and, in their semifinal rematch, defeated Pedutem by the same score. He then got a bit of his own ‘giving up only one rack’ medicine in the finals, as Wagner downed him 6-1 to claim the event title.

Tour director Dave Fitzpatrick thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Jim’s for their hospitality, as well as his own staff. The tour also thanked sponsors Billiards Engineering, JFlowers Cues and Cases, InTheBox, Off the Rail Apparel, Kamui, John Bender Custom Cues and Outsville. The next stop on the Garden State Pool Tour will take place at a different location than originally planned. Scheduled for the weekend of March 11-12, the Open 10-Ball event will be hosted by Shooter’s Family Billiards in Wayne, NJ.

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