Rogers falls just short, Lilly survives double hill final to win Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball stop

If your favorite dictionary doesn’t define ‘frustration’ with pictures of countless pool players who’ve endured long, loss-side journeys, only to be defeated, double hill, in a tournament final, it probably should. Jason Rogers qualified for this hypothetical photo gallery by losing his opening match and winning nine on the loss side to reach the finals of the January 27-28 stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City-9-Ball Tour, hosted by Corner Pockets in Fayetteville, NC. Rogers was defeated in that final match by Don Lilly, who, in so doing, completed an undefeated run through a field of 34, a little less than a quarter of which (8) were women.
One of those women, Lauren Kauffman, was responsible for sending Rogers to the loss side in the opening round of play. She would go on to earn free entry to a future tournament for being the top female finisher at the event. Rogers, in the meantime, began his loss-side trek, as Lilly advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Bo Blakely. Walt Baldwin and Phillip Skibo squared off in the other one.
Lilly and Blakely battled to double hill before Lilly advanced to the hot seat match. He was joined by Baldwin, who’d sent Skibo to the loss side 8-7 (Skibo racing to 9). Lilly claimed the hot seat 6-4 over Baldwin and waited for what would turn out to be some anxious moments in his final match against Rogers.
On the loss side, Rogers and his opening round opponent, Kauffman, worked their way toward a meeting just outside the first money round. With four notches on his loss-side belt, Rogers downed a player known only as “Shaft” 8-4, while Kauffman defeated Blade Best, double hill. Both matches in the battle for 7th/8th place saw the winners shut out their opponents; Rogers’ re-match against Kauffman (8-0) and Mickey Hucks’ victory over Billie Spatafora (6-0).
Rogers drew Blakely, while Hucks picked up Skibo. Rogers and Hucks advanced to the quarterfinals; Rogers 8-2 over Blakely and Hucks 6-3 over Skibo. Rogers gave up only a single rack to Hucks and won the quarterfinal match. He gave up three to win the semifinal against Baldwin 8-3.
Rogers, with the higher handicap, was racing to 8 in the final, with Lilly racing to 6. They battled to double hill before Lilly finished it to complete his undefeated run.
Tour directors Herman and Angela Parker thanked the ownership and staff at Corner Pockets, along with title sponsor Viking Cues, Delta 13 Racks, AZBilliards and Professor Q Ball. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for the weekend of February 2-3, will be hosted by Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC.