Record Number of Players Turnout for Arizona BCA State Championship in Parker

Larry Eans

One of the biggest fields in Arizona State history made their way to the beautiful Blue Water Casino in Parker Arizona on March 24th - 26th for the 2006 Arizona State BCA 8-Ball Championships. While the turn-out was expected to be high, the Arizona BCA players exceeded all expectations with their support. A total field of 150 singles players and 38 teams came out to take their shot at what was originally announced as $5000 in added prize money and the title of Arizona State BCA Champion. With the field this large, the tournament organizers were able to add another $2000 to the prize fund mid event.

The event got started with Arizona's own Angel Paglia conducting 'Challenge the Pro' matches for charity. Angel took on all challengers for four hours and raised over $300 for the Women's Crisis Center. As expected, Angel defeated most challengers but a handful of players came out on top and earned a win over Angel.

The ladies division featured 35 players including reigning champion Bernie Store and 2004 champion Diana Clayton. Neither player looked especially strong at the start of the event as they both were taken to hill-hill before winning their first matches. One player that was showing no signs of weakness was Store's teammate Sara Miller. Miller won her first four matches by a combined score of 12-1. Miller's reward for winning those four matches was a match against Store, who had faded two hill-hill matches already. If the players thought Store's two close calls were a sign that she was vulnerable this year, she quickly corrected that perception by rolling over Miller 3-0. Store then took the hot-seat with a 3-1 win over teammate Michaele Kedanis. On the one loss side, Miller blanked Kedanis 3-0 to earn another shot at Store in the finals. Unfortunately for Miller, Store was just too strong and cruised to a 3-1 win for her second straight Arizona State BCA Championship.

The men's division saw an amazing 115 players including defending champion Jim Rabatin, 04 champion Ray Shobe, and many other top Arizona players who had legitimate shots at the title. It was impossible to pick a favorite with so many talented players in the field. The winners side saw many upsets and marquee matches including Shobe defeating Tres Kane 4-0, Charles Peten defeating Tommy Dilorenzo 4-2 and Larry Eans whitewashing Chris Adams 4-0. Eans was taking on double duty both playing in and helping to run the event. The added stress of two jobs didn't seem to phase him as he followed up the win over Adams with a 4-1 win over Jimmy Mendoza and then back to back hill-hill wins over teammate Curt Antol and Dennis Orender to take the hot-seat. On the one loss side, Mendoza ended Shobe's hopes for another state title with a 4-1 win and then sent Orender to the sidelines with another 4-1 win. This set up Mendoza with a rematch against Eans for the title. In the finals, Mendoza took control of the first set and cruised to a 4-1 win to force a second set. Eans was down but not out as he took a break and got himself recomposed before he came back and won the final set 4-1 to claim the State Championship.

In the ladies team event, 10 teams competed including the two time reigning champions The Alexanders Angels (Michaele Kedanis, Sara Miller, Meiko Yamanobe, Bernie Store, Leandrea Gaff). The first round of play held one match that drew chuckles from many players present when the Alexanders Hounds took on the Filthy Kittys from Kittys and Philthy Phils. The Hounds came out on top in that match and went on to defeat longtime team The Cactus Flowers (Joyce Mider, Lynn Shoemaker, Vilene Stutesman, Pat Schultz, Margie Stephanik) before losing to the team from The Snap Lounge (Adella Hackett, Pearl Napa, Irma Coronado, Catherine Thomas, Anita Stevenson) . The reigning champs from Alexanders cruised through the winners side untouched with wins over the Prescott 5, Metro Billie, Just For Fun and the Snap Lounge for the hot-seat. On the one loss side, the Snap Lounge took on the Cactus Flowers. The Flowers had lost their first match, but came back with four wins on the one loss side. That run was brought to an end by the Snap Lounge in a close 8-5 match. The final match between the Alexanders Angels and the Snap Lounge was as close as could be with both teams tied at hill-hill in the first set before the Angels won the case game to secure their third straight BCA State Championship.

The Open Teams division drew 28 teams looking to stake their claim to being the best team in the state. Last year's champions The Nutz were loaded with Tony Confalone, Pete Gresh, Chris Adams, Evans Bishop, Jimmy Mendoza, Dennis Orender and Bull Vankerkwyk, but the former champions who now call themselves Northern Lounge PLM (Larry Eans, Curt Antol, Randy Pelton, Ron Weeks, Tres Kane and Tommy Dilorenzo) were not even imagining another year without the title in hand. Another strong team was the Chosen Few from Yuma (Terry Tucker, Kenny Beltran, Derek Cumm, Tony Flores and Randy Payne). Readers will remember that the Chosen Few were the team that sent to Nutz to the one loss side in the first round last year.

The brackets were set for a Nutz/Northern Lounge showdown for the hot-seat and neither team disappointed fans on their way to that showdown. The match for the hot-seat was fairly one sides with the Nutz cruising to an 11-5 victory. On the one loss side, Northern Lounge faced the Chosen Few and sent them home with a third place finish to set up a rematch between Northern Lounge and the Nuts for the title. The first set of the double elimination finals started close, but Northern Lounge clawed ahead and held their lead til the end to hand the Nutz their first loss of the event and force a deciding second set. If the first set was a sign that their might be a chink in the armor of the Nutz, the second set blew that chink wide open as Northern Lounge raced to an early 7-2 lead. With Northern Lounge on the hill, the Nutz started forging a comeback by scoring three straight game wins. That comeback was brought to an abrupt halt by Tommy Dilorenzo who won the final game to give the state title back to the team from Northern Lounge.

The event would not have been possible without the support and assistance from a number of people. BCA Director of Field Operations Phil Bohanon put the initial deal together with the Blue Water Casino and was of immense help in event planning. Blue Water Casino Director of Marketing and Entertainment Dempsey Holt took care of everything on the Blue Water side of things and the tournament players were all well taken care of all weekend long. All of the BCA league operators worked their players to insure a large turnout and thanks go to all of them. Finally, the staff at the tournament put in long hours all three days and how smooth the event ran is a testament to their hard work. All of the people involved in this tournament had a vision of what was possible and all agree that the event surpassed all of those visions. Forty four singles and twelve teams left with over $20,000 in prize money and everyone appeared to have a great time all weekend long. Plans are already underway for next year in addition to a scotch doubles championship later this year.

Mens Teams
1st Northern Lounge $2,000
2nd The Nutz $1,525
3rd Chosen Few $1,175
4th Fab 5 $750
5th Misfitz $475
6th Alexanders Heat $475
7th Barhoppers $250
8th Replacements $250

Womens Teams
1st A1exanders Angels $1,250.00
2nd The Snap $875.00
3rd Cactus Flowers $475.00
4th Alexanders Hounds $200.00

Women's Singles
1st Bernie Store 1,000.00
2nd Sara Miller 675.00
3rd Michaele Kedanis 475.00
4th Diana Clayton 250.00
5th Linda McBride 125.00
5th Charlotte Alcott 125.00
7th Barbara Tyynismaa 75.00
7th Jennifer Held 75.00
9th Billie Carman 50.00
9th Johanna Shuttleworth 50.00
9th Haley Leal 50.00
9th Doreen Sunn 50.00

Men's Singles
1st Larry Eans $1,750
2nd James Adame $1,225
3rd Dennis Orender $925
4th Ray Shobe $650
5th Raymond Buss $400
5th Curt Antol $400
7th Derek Cumm $200
7th Victor Tyynismaa $200
9th Braden Juve $150
9th Bob Soto $150
9th Charles Peten $150
9th James Rabaton $150
13th Mark Nelson $100
13th Chris Adams $100
13th Steve Jaskewitz $100
13th Ron Weeks $100
17th Terry Tucker $75
17th Tom Dilorenzo $75
17th Jamie Cole $75
17th David Lee $75
17th Eric Olson $75
17th Ellis Kane $75
17th Mike Gwinn $75
17th Talle Sowers $75
25th Tom Austin $50
25th Richie Daniels $50
25th Pete Lhotka $50
25th Dan Allen $50
25th Tony Norem $50
25th Sean Brooks $50
25th Erik Vankerkwyk $50
25th Art Collins $50