Lapadula and McCloud share Tri-State win

With 54 entrants in the Tri-State Tour stop at Castle Billiards in East Rutherford, NJ on Saturday, February 13, the finals ran a little late; so late, that the two competitors, Tom McCloud and Ted Lapadula, opted to forego playing the true double elimination match (which would have required Lapadula to win twice) and split the first and second place winnings. 

McCloud had survived three, double hill matches to get into the hot seat, including a win over Ken Debroske from among the winners' side final four. Ed Culhane survived a hill-hill match of his own against Steven Way to get into the hot seat match versus McCloud. Culhane moved west on the heels of a 7-3 win by McCloud, that left him in the hot seat. 

On the one-loss side, Lapadula was embarked on a seven-match winning streak to the finals, which had begun when Culhane had moved him off the winners' side bracket and in fact, ended when Lapadula faced Culhane a second time in the semifinals. With two, one-loss side wins under his belt already, Lapadula moved past Ray Marisette 6-4, and Scott Bannon 7-6, to take on Way. Debroske was meeting Jonathan Castillo, whose track into the money rounds had begun with a 7-6 win over Brian Hunter and a 7-2 win over Joe Fego.  

Castillo dropped Debroske into the tie for fifth place 6-5, as Lapadula was doing likewise to Way 7-4.  The 15-year-old Castillo was working on a seven-match string of victories of his own, that had commenced immediately after the tournament's opening round of play. Lapadula ended that string with a 6-5 win over Castillo in the quarterfinals that gave him a second shot at Culhane, who'd sent him to the one-loss side six matches ago. Lapadula took full advantage of the opportunity, allowing Culhane only a single rack on his way to a 7-1 semifinal victory that put him into the finals versus McCloud.  

They'd both, in their own way, struggled to get into those finals. McCloud had survived three double hill matches to gain the hot seat, as Lapadula was busy battling back through seven matches on the one-loss side, but they chose not to play that final match. Splitting the $1,000 at stake for first and second place was, in effect, a $100 loss for whoever the winner might have been (from $600 to $500), and a $100 gain for the runner-up (from $400 to $500).