Miller comes from the loss side to take down Smith in JPNEWT Finals


As the October 27-28 stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour was drawing to a close, three of the four players among the winners' side final four were ranked at #1, #2, and #3 on the tour, which began in February and will come to a close at the conclusion of the season finale, scheduled for November 10-11. Brianna Miller, who came in to the event at #2, chalked up her second victory of the 10-event (to date) season, coming from the loss side to take down the hot seat occupant, #3-ranked Megan Smith. The $1,000-added event drew 15 entrants to Cosmo's Billiards in Scranton, PA.

While tour rankings (any tour rankings) are partly a reflection of skill among a group of peers, generally within a specific geographic area, consistent attendance is an additional key factor. Thus it is that Megan Smith, who's won three events on the JPNEWT this year, is ranked at #3, behind #1-ranked Linda Shea, who's won twice. Smith has competed in seven of the tour's 11 stops, to date, while Shea, as tour director, has been at every one (finishing second five times). Miller, at #2, has been in attendance at eight events. Karen Corr, who was away on this weekend, being inducted into the BCA Hall of Fame at the US Open 9-Ball Championships, has also won two on the tour, but those were the only two events in which she competed, putting her at #12 on the list.

At this most recent event, Shea and Smith squared off in one of the winners' side semifinals, while Miller took on Dawn Fox (#26). It was Smith and Fox advancing to the hot seat match with identical 7-4 scores over Shea and Miller. Smith got into the hot seat with a 7-4 score over Fox, unaware that she'd not only won her last match, but her last game, as well.

Shea moved to the west bracket, where she picked up Carol Clark, who'd survived a double hill match against Sharon O'Hanlon, and defeated Lisa Rizzi 7-3. Miller drew Borana Andoni, who had also survived a double hill match, against Colleen Shoop, and defeated Nicole Nester 7-4. 
Once Shea and Miller had downed Clark and Andoni by identical 7-2 scores, the battle between the #1 and #2-ranked players on the tour played out in the quarterfinals.

Miller prevailed 7-4 and turned to a re-match against Fox in the semifinals. She downed Fox 7-5 and turned to the finals. Miller did not give up a single rack in those finals, winning nine straight to capture the event title. Shea's fourth place finish added points to her tour rankings and allowed her to retain the top spot. Miller retained her position in second place, while Smith remained in third.

The season finale of the 2012 JPNEWT is scheduled for November 10-11 at Triple Nines in Elk Ridge, MD. In addition to the tournament, a Saturday night awards banquet will recognize individual accomplishments with awards for Most Valuable Player, Player of the Year, and a highest attendance award (to name just a few).