Montour comes down from Edmonton to take Washington State Championship

Jana Montour and Cindy Sliva - Photo courtesy of Northwest Women’s Pool Association

She drove 16 hours from Edmonton, Alberta to Kenmore, WA (just north of Seattle) to sign on for the first 2010 stop of the Northwest Women's Pool Association (NWPA) Tour.  Her last appearance on the tour had occurred in 2003 on the first stop of that year's tour and she finished in seventh place, pocketing $82.  On the weekend of March 20-21, Jana Montour (nee Smallboy), after a second round 7-4 defeat at the hands of Suzanne Smith, came from the one-loss side to win nine matches in a row and defeat tour veteran Cindy Sliva in the finals. Along the way, she also defeated the NWPA's 2009 point leader, Liz Cole and won a hill-hill battle the second time she faced Smith.  She is, noted observers on-site, including NWPA President Tamre Geene-Rogers, a force to be reckoned with. The $1,500-added event – The Washington State Championship - which included entry fee to the US Open and the airfare to get there, courtesy of the host venue, The Golden Fleece in Kenmore, WA, drew 41 entrants. 

From among the winners' side final four, Montour's eventual finals opponent, Sliva, sent Kit Dennis west 7-3 and waited, as Kathy Stanley survived a hill-hill battle against Mary Hopkin to join her in the hot seat match. Already poised to chalk up her best showing ever on the NWPA Tour, Stanley moved west to the semifinals, as Sliva gained the hot seat 7-4. 

Montour, already with three matches on her one-loss side belt, defeated MiKKi Small 7-2 and wreaked vengeance for the earlier defeat with a double hill win over Smith.  Down 6-4 in that match, Montour took advantage of a scratch by Smith on the 9-ball to finish that game and win two more to move on and draw Hopkin, coming over from the winners' side final four.  Liz Cole, in the meantime, who'd moved to the one-loss side following a hill-hill victory by Stanley among the winners' side final eight, got by Jessica Orth 7-3 and Shelby Locati 7-1 to pick up Dennis.  Montour and Cole advanced to the quarterfinals with identical 7-4 wins over Hopkin and Dennis, respectively. 

Montour dropped Cole into fourth place 7-5 and then went on to defeat Stanley 7-3 in the semifinals, concluding Stanley's best showing on the tour, ever. It was time for the single, race-to-9 finals. 

The two battled back and forth to a 3-3 tie, before Sliva took four of the next five games, for a commanding 7-4 lead. At that point, they took a break and Montour went for a walk outside. She'd been at the table since early on that Sunday morning, and as 10 p.m. approached, she needed some air and some space to regroup. 
“There were so many things running through my head, “ she said in a post-match interview, “but I kept asking myself what I'd come here for. I made up my mind that if she (Sliva) was going to win it, I was going to put up a fight.” 

She did just that, returning to the table and winning five in a row to bring home the first place prize. She was unaware until told, during the post-match interview, that she'd not allowed Sliva a single game since returning from the walk outside;  a walk that ultimately earned her almost seven times ($563) what she'd earned the last time she'd appeared on the tour.  

The NWPA expressed its thanks for the cooperation and sponsorship of this championship event by Golden Fleece Billiards, Ozone Billiards, San Mar and BDA.