South Team stuns North Team for Cactus Cup win

The Cactus Cup

The 'South Team' from Main Street Billiards in Tucson Arizona stunned the 'North Team' from Alexanders and captured the Cactus Cup at Alexanders in Phoenix Arizona.

This two part event features 10 player teams ranging in ratings from 6-10, from Tucson and Phoenix, competing on alternate weekends on the big tables at Main Street and on the bar boxes at Alexanders. The North Team had won the cup the first two years and looked unstoppable as they grabbed an 8-5 lead on the South Team's turf last weekend.

The South Team had never outscored the North Team on the barboxes and looked to be in even more trouble when the six rated players Bill Maas and Kathy Howerton from Phoenix swept the first round to push the lead to 10-5. If the many fans at Alexanders expected the team from the south to just put their cues and run back to Tucson, they were in for a shock. The seven rated players Olivia Jackson and Nicky Hayashi from Tucson swept the Phoenix team in the second round to bring the score back to 10-7.

The third round was a draw as Chad Hoppe from Tucson defeated Steve Rodgers and Ed Cornette from Phoenix defeated Tim Christopher to bring the score to 11-8. This lead to a scotch doubles match between the two teams, to be contested while the nine rated players fought it out in the fourth round.

The fourth round was a real turning point of the day, as both matches went to the wire. Steve Peterman from Tucson defeated Tyson Cole 9-8 to bring the score to 11-9. While the other match was still going on, the scotch doubles match between the 8's was won by the South Team to bring them back to within one point at 11-10. It was then Al Gaudet's from Tucson's turn as he defeated Dennis Orender 9-8 to knot the score at 11-11.

The fifth round saw another split as Chris Paradowski from Tucson stunned Tres Kane 10-7 on one table, while Ron Merseal upset Don Westbrooks 10-5 on the other table to force one final scotch doubles match to determine the final winning team.

The team from Phoenix jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but was quickly matched 2-2 by the team from the South. A 3-2 lead by Phoenix was again matched by Tucson to bring the score to 3-3. The team from Tucson then took their first lead in the match at 4-3 and won the next two games to move ahead 6-3. The team from Phoenix scraped back to 6-5 but was unable to keep up with the team from the South as they took control and won 10-6.

Congratulations to Jeff Johnson, Michelle Micik, Olivia Jackson, Nicky Hayashi, Chad Hoppe, Tim Christopher, Steve Peterman, Al Gaudet, Chris Paradowski and Don Westbrooks for their win. Main Street owner Bob Jackson named his entire team as the MVP's of the event due to their 'never say die' attitude and ability to come back from the brink and win the event. In this writer's opinion, Chris Paradowski was the MVP for the team from the South. Paradowski is a 9-rated player who dominated his match against Dennis Orender last week and again this week even though he was matched up against 10 rated Tres Kane who is virtually unstoppable at Alexanders.