Lilly wins second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop in a row

Don Lilly
When you get a wily veteran into the hot seat of a handicapped tournament, it’s hard to envision him (or sometimes, her) relinquishing it by losing two in a row in a double elimination final. That, however, is exactly what happened during the February 3-4 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour. Mark Tademy, who’s been around long enough (and more) to have been a part of the ‘noble experiment’ known as the International Pool Tour (IPT) just over a dozen years ago, joined a roster of 42 entrants at the Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC, and advanced through the field to the hot seat. In the double elimination finals, however, he ran into Don Lilly, winner of the January 27-28 stop on the tour (and something of a wily veteran himself), who’d been sent to the loss side in the event’s third round and battled through seven, loss-side matches to reach the finals, double-dip Tademy and claim the event title.
Lilly, it should be noted, ended up in more or less the same position, as his finals opponent in the January 27-28 stop; Jason Rogers won nine on the loss side to face Lilly in the finals of that one, only to be defeated in the opening set of the true double elimination final. With Lilly at work on the loss side, Tademy (racing to 10 throughout the tournament) faced Dalton Messer in one winners’ side semifinal, as Alex Valencia squared off against Steve Reece (the tour’s 2017 Tour Champion) in the other one.
Tademy downed Messer 10-4 (double hill), as Valencia sent Reece to the loss side 6-4. Tademy gave up only a single rack to Valencia in the hot seat match, and appeared poised to chalk up an undefeated run.
With two notches on his loss-side belt, Lilly defeated Zac Leonard 6-2, and NYC-area visitor, Oscar Bonilla 6-6 (Bonilla, like Tademy, racing to 10). This set Lilly up to face Reece. Messer drew Steve Hughes, who’d sent Lilly to the loss side, and after joining him, defeated Shyne Barnes and Cody Jones, both 7-3.
Lilly and Hughes advanced to a re-match in the quarterfinals; Lilly, 6-1 over Reece and Hughes, 7-3 over Messer. Lilly successfully wreaked vengeance on Hughes in those quarterfinals against Hughes, defeating him 6-2 and advancing to face Valencia in the semifinals. A double match ensued there, eventually advancing Lilly to the finals against Tademy.
The opening set of the true double elimination final came within a game of double hill, but Lilly closed it out at 6-8 and they moved to the second set. Tademy failed to chalk up a single rack in the second set, and according to tour director Herman Parker, was reluctant, at first, to claim his runner-up prize money. He did, eventually, as did Lilly, who claimed his second Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball title in a row.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at the Gate City Billiards Club, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 10-11, will be hosted by Brass Tap in Raleigh, NC.