Olinger double dips McMinn to take Midwest 9-Ball stop, Gabriel wins ladies event


Alex Olinger and Shane McMinn played against each other three times in the Midwest 9-Ball Tour stop on the weekend of March 16-17. Olinger took two out of the three, double dipping McMinn in the finals to capture the event title. On the ladies' side, Julia Gabriel held off a three-match, loss-side winning streak by Melissa Drew to capture that title. The $2,200-added main event drew 63 entrants to The Break Billiards in Cahokia, IL. The $300-added ladies event drew a short field of 8 entrants.
It was a 9-6 festival among the winners' side final four. McMinn got into the hot seat match against Olinger with a 9-6 win over Dawayne Pearson, while Olinger was busy sending Dale Niepoetter over (same score). McMinn won his first (and only) of three against Olinger to get into the hot seat (same score again).
On the loss side, Niepotter picked up Steve Allison, who'd downed Jacob White 9-4 and Justin Bergman 9-7. Pearson drew Brian Groce, winner over Kevin Carron 9-2 and Chuck Raulston 9-7. Allison moved on with a 9-7 win over Niepoetter, while Pearson was surviving a double hill battle against Groce.
Allison picked up his second straight 9-7 tally with a win in the quarterfinals, but had his loss-side streak stopped 9-4 by Olinger. Their first of two was a tight, double hill battle, won by Olinger to force a second set. Olinger took that second set 9-4 to claim the event title.
In the ladies event, Julia Gabriel advanced to the hot seat with a 7-5 win over Andrea Kohnen, who moved west to meet Melissa Drew. Drew had won her first loss-side match and then survived a double hill, quarterfinal match against Tracy Allison (wife to Steve Allison, who finished third in the main event). Drew then defeated Kohnen 7-5. Gabriel, though, was too hot to handle. She took the final match 7-3 to claim the title.