Mike Davis, Jr. wins 5th NC State 9-Ball Championship on PremierBilliards TOP Tour

Mike Davis

After the 1st NC State 9-Ball Championships were won by Larry Nevel in 2013, Mike Davis, Jr. won the next three between 2014 and 2016 He skipped three years in which Shannon Fitch (’17), Reymart Lim (’18) and Keith Bennett (’19) won, before returning to the annual event in 2020, downing Justin Martin in the finals. BJ Ussery claimed the title in 2021 and Jesus Atencio won it last year. Mike Davis, Jr. chalked up his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title this past weekend (Feb. 25-26), going undefeated and downing Brian White twice; hot seat and finals. The $1,000-added event, held under the auspices of the PremierBilliards.com TOP (The Open Players) Tour, drew 38 entrants to Breaktime Billiards in Winston-Salem, NC.

A previously-scheduled Ladies event did not occur when it drew only 5 women, including a pair of junior competitors, Hayleigh Marion and Skylar Hess. The women were offered the opportunity at a reduced entry to compete in the Open event and did so, comporting themselves quite well actually.

“Even when they lost,” said tour director, Herman Parker, “the fact that they’d won a few, collectively, against some strong (male) competition was pretty significant.”

Skylar Hess, a regular on the Junior International Championship circuit (JIC), defeated Jason Blackwell before losing to Barry Mashburn and Kirk Overcash. Hayleigh Marion won two on the winners’ side and one on the loss side before being knocked out by Q City 9-Ball veteran and multiple event winner, Reid Vance. Christy Norris, who plays on the tour regularly in mixed-gender events, came within of match of advancing to the first money round, before she forfeited a match against her significant other, Barry Mashburn (who promptly loss in the subsequent round, which led to some gentle ‘ribbing’ after the fact).

“I was super-impressed with the womens’ play this past weekend,” said Parker.

Davis and Brian White met first in the hot seat match after Davis had defeated Clint Clark 7-3 in one of the winners’ side semifinals and White had downed Don Lilly 7-1 in the other one. Davis claimed the hot seat 7-4 and waited on White’s return.

On the loss side, Davis actually had two “White”s to watch, because Hunter White was working his way through the bracket on the loss side as well. Hunter had eliminated Mark Bolton 7-3 and in the first money round, Barry Mashburn 7-4 to draw Lilly. Clark picked up Josh Padron, who’d recently defeated Kelly Farrar 7-3 and to enter that first money round too, survived a double hill battle versus Scott Howard to reach him.

Hunter White defeated Lily 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, met up with Clint Clark, who’d eliminated Padron 7-4. Hunter White then downed Clark 7-2 in those quarterfinals, leaving Davis (waiting in the hot seat) in the position of wondering which “White” to watch as the two of them squared off in the semifinals.

One “White” won as the other went down. Brian defeated Hunter 7-3 for a second crack at Davis in the finals. Davis and Brian White mirrored their hot seat match score, which gave Davis his fifth NC State 9-Ball Championship title.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Breaktime Billiards for their hospitality (and sponsorship of the tour), as well as title sponsor PremierBilliards.com, BarPoolTables.net, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat, AZBilliards.com, Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division and TKO Custom Cues. 

The next stop on the PremierBilliards.com TOP Tour, scheduled for the weekend of March 18-19 will be the 2023 West Virginia State 9-Ball Open, to be hosted by The League Room in Parkersburg, WV. The next stop on the PremierBilliards.com Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this coming weekend (March 4-5), will be hosted by West End Billiards in Gastonia, NC.

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