Shane Wins Derby 9-Ball; Orcollo Master of the Table

The Derby City Classic 9-Ball Championship.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Elizabeth, Indiana.
Sponsored by Diamond SMART TABLE, True Blue Simonis 860 Cloth, and Cyclop Pool Balls.
The Derby City Classic 9-Ball Championships
Sponsored by Lucasi Cues.
From 263 entrants there can only be one winner and how that unfolded was, arguably, the most exiting finals we have experienced in recent years at The Derby.
Young John Morra advanced to a 4-1 lead over Shane Van Boening. Why? Because Morra was the one making balls on the break, and capitalizing on them.
it wasn't long before Shane found the sweet spot and balls were breaking into pockets.
They were soon tied at 5 with Shane breaking. To add insult to injury, he snapped the nine: 6-5. Stalled again, he broke dry and John was at the table.
There was no player, this week, who compared with John's ability to spear in balls, the length of the table, under pressure. Driven by that heart, compounded with his stoic composure, John had negotiated himself to 8-7… and breaking.
Shane was sunk low in his chair. His body language showed signs of defeat. He, like everyone else, after 9 days of torture, was visibly exhausted.
John hadn't broken dry the whole match and he'd gotten, at least, a sighting on the one…until now!
Shane came alive. Was this going to be a repeat of the their BIG Foot 10-Ball match? He, barely, escaped that one after John fought from a 6-1 deficit to hill-hill.
Perhaps, that was the motivation as he, now energized, managed to close out the rack and we were on the hill. I say we, as the room was so still you could hear the proverbial pin drop. Who would prevail? 
Safeties ensued until John kicked off the short rail at the two to leave the cue ball, closely, tucked under a ball snookering Shane. As if jinxed, the two fell in the side pocket and John was now kicking out of his own snooker at the three.
He hit it well only to leave Shane knocking on opportunity's door.
How often have you seen Van Boening, on the hill, not take advantage of an open table? Tonight was no exception. With the adrenalin pumping, he summoned the will to remain calm, ran the rack, and secured his 2nd DCC 9-ball title. And, another $16,000.
John would have to settle for another second yet, he'd definitely added many to his growing fan base. There were heads shaking and murmurs heard throughout the Horseshoe, "What a roll, what a roll:" Pool buffs felt his pain. John responded, "The worst roll was breaking on the hill not getting an open shot on the one."
Not to take anything way from Shane's incredibly consistent performance this week, but, it was close. A couple of millimeters, either on John's break or, that kicked in 2-ball, and there might have been a new DCC 9-Ball Champion.
In the words of the great Buddy Hall, who always put it in perspective when he lost a close one, "Today, it just wasn't my turn."
You can be assured of one thing, both these competitors will be back next year.  I wonder who's turn it will be then?
Congratulations to the worthy Dennis Orcollo who reaped his first Master of the Table title. And, $20,000. He'll be back, too.
And, if that wasn't enough, Dennis also garnered his first 14.1 title by handily beating Russian Konstantin Stepanov, 125-36, in the first George Fels Memorial Straight Pool Challenge.
Diamond thanks Dennis Walsh, ably assisted by Bill Maropulos and Richard Klein, for their contribution to this annual event.
See you next year.