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Hollingsworth takes two titles for the second time at BEF Junior Nationals in Vegas

2022 Winners (Courtesy Roy Pastor – BEF)

Nine events, drawn from 22 national qualifiers across 17 states, yields 110 unique competitors

For the second year in a row, since the Billiards Education Foundation initiated a new rule allowing players to compete in more than one division of their Junior National Championships, Greenville, SC’s Landon Hollingworth has taken advantage of an opportunity to claim two separate titles at the annual event. He claimed two 2021 Junior National titles in both the 18 & Under and 16 & Under divisions and last week, though he’d aged out of eligibility for the 16 & Under division of the 2022 Junior Nationals, he won his second 18 & Under division title and added a win in the event’s 10-Ball Championships. Nine divisions drew 110 unique entrants to the 2022 Junior National Championships, which were hosted by the South Point Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV from June 21-25.

Three of the nine events were designated as qualifiers for the World Junior 9-Ball Championships, scheduled for the week of November 14-20 at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition to the 18U Boys division event, won by Hollingsworth, the 18U Girls division, won by Skylar Hess and the 16U Boys division, won by Adrian Prasad will yield eligible entrants to the World Juniors event. The BEF will make an announcement sometime in the future regarding which players among those who participated will be eligible, taking into account finish positions in each of the qualifying events and the ability of individual players to attend.

The influence of the ongoing Junior International Championship (JIC) series of tournaments, now midway through its second year, was very evident in the results of this year’s Junior Nationals. Of the 27 medals awarded to competitors (gold, silver, bronze; three in each division), 25 of them went to active competitors in the JIC series. 

“Proud is an understatement,” wrote On the Wire Creative Media’s Ra Hanna, who organized and runs the series, in the JIC Facebook page. “We’re a family; that’s it, pure and simple. We work hard and we play hard.” 

Hollingsworth’s two Gold medals at the BEF Junior Nationals were not without their challenges. Though he’d go undefeated in the second-largest event in terms of entrants, the 18U Boys 9-Ball World Qualifier, which drew 35 entrants, he had to play one loss-side match in his 10-Ball Championship run, which drew 32.

Niko Konkel, Landon Hollingsworth and Joey Tate

None of his five opponents in his 9-Ball event run chalked up less than four racks against him and one of them, Garrett Vaughan, forced him to win the final game of a double hill struggle. He downed Niko Konkel 9-6 to claim the hot seat, before he had to face one of his regular opponents on the JIC circuit, Joey Tate, in the finals. Tate had been sent to the loss side, where he defeated Nicholas Fiore, Trent White in the quarterfinals and Konkel, who picked up the event’s Bronze medal, in the semifinals. Hollingsworth grabbed the Gold medal with a 10-7 final victory over Tate, who went home with the Silver medal. 

In the 10-Ball Championships, Hollingsworth began his run to the hot seat match by defeating his younger brother Cameron and then defeated three more opponents to reach and challenge Nathan Nunes for the hot seat. Nunes handed him his first, and as it turned out, only loss of the week 7-3 and claimed the hot seat. Hollingsworth was challenged to his second double hill match by Adrian Prasad in the semifinals and prevailed for a second chance against Nunes. In the very early morning hour or so of Saturday, June 25, he collected his second Gold medal with a 7-5 victory over Nunes in the finals of the 10-Ball event.

In the 18U Girls world qualifier, which drew 17 entrants, Skylar Hess won three on the loss side to down Kennedy Meyman in the finals. Hess had been sent to the loss side by Meyman, who’d advanced to claim the hot seat in a double hill win over Courtney Hairfield. On the loss side, Hess defeated Bethany Tate in the quarterfinals and Hairfield in the semifinals, both 7-5. She won her rematch versus Meyman 10-3 to claim the event’s Gold medal. The top four finishers in this event were among the JIC’s top-ranked competitors in its 18UG division, midway through the JIC season. The winner of the BEF 18UG event, Hess, is 4th on the JIC list, while the runner-up, Meyman, is 2nd. Precilia Kinsley, who finished in the tie for 5th/6th at this event is 3rd on the JIC list, while the 4th place finisher is currently the JIC’s top-ranked young female competitor, Bethany Tate.  

In the remaining world-qualifying event, the 16U Boys 9-Ball, which drew one entrant less than the 18U Boys event (34), the 10-Ball Championship’s Bronze medalist, Adrian Prasad came from the loss side to down Harrison Leinen in the finals. Prasad had been defeated by Leinen 9-7 in the battle for the hot seat, and then eliminated the 9-Ball event’s Bronze medalist Niko Konkel in the semifinals 7-2. Prasad completed his run with a 10-8 victory over Leinen in the finals.

The 16U Girls had, by far, the shortest field in the Junior Nationals with only 7 entrants and the above-noted Precilia Kinsley and Bethany Tate finished as winner and runner-up. Those two battled first in a winners’ side semifinal that went double hill before Tate advanced to the hot seat match against Hayleigh Marion. In her second straight double hill match, Tate defeated Marion to claim the hot seat. On the loss side, Kinsley won two matches, including a double hill win over Marion in the semifinals, before coming back to down Tate in the finals 7-2.

8-Ball Championships draw larger field (44), than 14U Girls and Boys combined (40)

Trenton White and Brent Worth

The popularity of 8-Ball was as evident at the BEF Junior Nationals as it is in the general amateur fields of competition, like various leagues and independent-venue, weekend  tournaments from coast to coast. The 44-entrant size of the field featured a lot of competitors not included in the JIC rosters of regular competitors. The JIC series, in general, features 9-ball competition, though later this year, there are plans to include a 14:1 tournament. Though they don’t play 8-ball, all three of the event’s medals went to regular JIC competitors. 

Trent White, who competes in the JIC 18U Boys division, went undefeated through the field to claim the BEF’s 18U 8-Ball Championships. White faced separate opponents in the hot seat match and finals, downing Brent Worth, double hill, in the former and Jacob Kohl 5-2 in the latter. 

Eddie Vonderau, who sits atop the current JIC ranking roster in the 13UB division, went undefeated through the BEF’s 14U Boys event, which drew 28 entrants. Like White in the 8-Ball event, Vonderau faced different opponents in the hot seat and finals. He gave up only a single rack to Jordan Witkin in the hot seat match and faced Jayce Little in the finals. Little won three on the loss side, including two double hill matches, against Grayson Vaughan and in the semifinals, Witkin, for a shot against Vonderau. Witkin chalked up four racks in the finals, but Vonderau got his 8 to claim the Gold medal.

Sofia Mast, Savannah Easton and Noelle Tate

The 12-entrant 14U Girls event was won by Savannah Easton, who went undefeated through the field, downing Sofia Mast twice; hot seat and finals. Easton had defeated the youngest of the three-member Tate clan, Noelle, in a winners’ side semifinal and in the hot seat match, drew Mast, who’d defeated her ‘storied’ arch-rival in the JIC series, Skylar Hess (winner of the 18UG world qualifier), in a winners’ side quarterfinal before defeating Jordan Helfery in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Easton grabbed the hot seat 7-5 over Mast. When Mast returned after defeating Noelle Tate a second time, 5-1, Easton defeated her a second time, 7-3 in the finals to grab the 14U Girls Gold medal. 

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Hollingsworth and Tate win their divisions in BSN Dynaspheres Cup Jr. 9-Ball Championships

It’s not that junior competitions, sprouting up everywhere, are more compelling or of more general interest than the Pro or Regional Tour activity that goes on. It’s more like a booster shot to accompany the good-vibe ‘vaccines’ of increased participation and growing interest in the sport that has evolved over the past four or five years. While not much essential has changed in that time, there does appear to be a renewed spirit in the air, suggesting that as dour and cynical as we can all get about the sport sometimes, there are some encouraging signs; junior competitions being only one of them, but one that makes us at least think of a future and not the arguably dismal past or the often-confusing present. 

These kids are GOOD, right??! For all of us.

The most recent entry in the junior competition roster of opportunities was this past weekend’s (March 12-13) Billiard Sports Network’s Dynaspheres’ Cup Junior 9-Ball Championships, hosted by Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD. Tournaments were held in two divisions; 20 & Under and 16 & Under. Not surprisingly, given the history of the current crop of junior competitors, players eligible for the younger division competed in both. Also not surprising (same current crop), was seeing Landon Hollingsworth and Joey Tate (both eligible for the two divisions) come out on top. Hollingsworth won the 18-entrant, 20 & Under division with Nathan Childress as runner-up and Tate, finishing third. Tate won the 13-entrant, 16 & Under division with Hollingsworth as runner-up and Garrett Vaughan, finishing third.

Also very much indicative of this current crop of juniors, was the fact that competition was not separated by gender. Precilia Kinsley, Skylar Hess and Courtney Hairfield, eligible for both divisions, played in both divisions. Sabrina Long competed in the 16 & Under, only. Kinsley finished 7th in the younger division, but 5th among the 20 and under crowd, and won the top Female Junior award and $40 in both divisions. As it turned out, she and Hess (7th in 16 & Under, 13th in 20 & Under) tied for the award in the 16 & Under division and decided to ‘duke it out’ on the tables, engaging in a best-of-three match, which went predictably double hill and earned Kinsley $40 for was won by Kinsley. 

 BSN also handed out two Sportsmanship awards, intended to be for the separate divisions, but with Tate and Hollingsworth as the recipients, while each went to the winner of their division, it was effectively a toss-up as to who won which. Best Shot on the TV Table awards went to Hollingsworth and Tanner Elliot.

Hollingsworth and Tate met twice in the 20 & Under division, though it was Hollingsworth and Childress who met twice in the hot seat and finals. After downing Brandon Buckmaster, double hill, and Garrett Vaughn 7-2, Hollingsworth faced Tate for the first time in a winners’ side semifinal. Childress, in the meantime, shut out Chase Longfield, for starters, and then defeated Payne McBride, double hill, to face Brent Worth in his winners’ side semifinal. In 17 winners’ side matches, double elimination finals included, the combatants chalked up six double hill fights and recorded six shutouts. 

In their first of two, Hollingsworth battled back and forth to double hill with Tate before Hollingsworth prevailed, advancing to the hot seat match. Childress joined him after downing Worth 7-3. Childress ‘caught a gear’ in the hot seat match, denying Hollingsworth, literally, zero traction.

On the loss side, Tate picked up Precilia Kinsley, who’d lost her second round, winners’ side match to Kamrin Kohr and was working on a three-match, loss-side streak that had eliminated Skylar Hess, Richard Burch and Jackson Hurst. Worth picked up Kohr, also on a three-match, loss-side streak that sent Chase Longfield, Garrett Vaughan and Jacob Kohl to the figurative showers.

Kohr and Tate defeated Worth and Kinsley, both 5-3, before Tate downed Kohr 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Hollingsworth eliminated Tate 5-2 in the semifinals and then, took the opening set of the finals against Childress 7-4. They battled to double hill in the second set before Hollingsworth finished to claim the 20 & Under title.

The action of the two divisions occurred more or less simultaneously, so when Tate was finished in the 20 & Under division, he’d already won the semifinals of the 16 & Under and moved on to the finals at the conclusion of the Hollingsworth/Childress battles. Tate’s path to the winners’ circle in the younger division went through Payne McBride before falling short against Garrett Vaughn 7-3 in a winners’ side semifinal. Hollingsworth, in the meantime, sent Tanner Elliott to the loss side in the other winners’ side semifinal and then, sent Vaughan to the semifinals 7-1.

On the loss side, Tate went through three straight loss-side opponents by the same 5-1 score; Brandon Buckmaster, Elliott in the quarterfinals and Vaughan in the semifinals, setting up a double elimination contest versus Hollingsworth in the finals. Tate took the opening set 7-5 and in a reduced-race second set survived a double hill challenge that eventually earned him the 16 & Under title.

Jake Lawson from BSN thanked the ownership and staff at Bank Shot Bar & Grill for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Dynaspheres, Championship Fabric, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), JB Cases, Gina Cunningham (Keller Williams Integrity), East Coast Prime Meats, Courtyard by Marriott (Fort Meade, MD), Integrity Cues, Break Out Apparel Co., AZBilliards, Premier Billiards,, The League Room, American Billiards Covering, B & R Productions (Rich France and Bruce Carder), DFE Billiards/XLR8. 

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Hollingsworth, Martinez and Meyman win their divisions at JIC Season 2, Stop #1

Courtney Hairfield, Kennedy Meyman and Noelle Tate

Vonderau and Mast capture 13 & Under titles

“Last year was practice,” said Ra Hanna of On The Wire Creative Media and tour director of the Junior International Championships, sponsored by Viking Cues, which began its second season last weekend (Jan. 14-16). In a snowstorm.

“Practice is over now.”

The weather had an impact that forced Hanna to cut it short. His concern for the safety of his junior competitors, as well as the family members who’d helped get them to Roanoke, VA, led to squeezing play in all five of the JIC divisions into two days, instead of three. That same weather led to flight cancellations that pinned Hanna in Roanoke until Wednesday.

“The safety of the players and their families was what was most important,” he said, noting that a cycle of soft snow and freezing temperatures had made the roads “like an ice-skating rink.”

The event, now officially known as the Junior International Championships, sponsored by Viking Cues, drew a total of just over 100 entrants, across its five divisions (with some cross-over between divisions), to Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA. Hanna had expected more and was convinced that in the absence of the weather, there would have been more.

Niko Konkel, Lazaro Martinez and Garrett Vaughan

Returning to compete in the JIC’s second season were the winner and runner-up of 2021’s 18 & Under Championship finals, Landon Hollingsworth and Joey Tate, who finished 1st and 2nd in Season 2/Stop #1’s 31-entrant Pro Am Division. They did not fare as well in the 18 & Under division, finishing 4th (Hollingsworth) and in the tie for 17th place (Tate).  The 18 & Under Boys division was won by Lazaro Martinez, who went undefeated, downing Niko Konkel, who’d lost to him in the hot seat match and returned from a victory over Garrett Vaughan in the semifinals, to be defeated a second time.

In the absence of 2021’s 18 and Under Girls’ Champion, Tatum Cutting (who has turned 19), the young woman she shut out in the championship finals of that division in October, Kennedy Meyman, got ‘right back on the horse,’ so to speak. Meyman lost her opening match in the 11-entrant, 2022 division opener, but rallied to win six in a row and then, down Courtney Hairfield in the finals.

The 13 & Under divisions, which drew 17 boys and 9 girls, saw the emergence of a new(er) rivalry and the renewal of an old one. Eddie Vondereau and Grayson Vaughan battled twice for the boys’ title; hot seat and finals. Vonderau downed Vaughan both times to claim that title.

Grayson Vaughan, Eddie Vonderau and D’Angelo Spain

And in the 13 & Under Girls’ division, it was storied JIC rivals, Sofia Mast and Skylar Hess, who, like Vonderau and Vaughan, battled twice for the event’s division title. After each was awarded a bye in the opening round of play, they met in what was the first match for both of them. They came within a game of double hill, but it was Hess who edged out in front to send Mast to the loss side 7-5. Mast breezed through her first three rounds on the loss side by an aggregate score of 21-4. In the quarterfinals that followed, Noelle Tate (sister to Joey) put up a fight that earned her more racks against Mast than her first three loss-side opponents, combined. Mast advanced 7-5 to the semifinals, where she defeated Savannah Easton, appearing in her first JIC event, 7-4.

“That was one of the surprises of the event,” said Hannah. “(Easton) beat out some of the top girls in that division (Franki Spain, Raygen Wilson & Skylynn Elliott) to finish third in her first event.”

So, once again, it was Mast and Hess squaring off against each other; a matchup that occurred in the quarterfinals of the 18 & Under Girls Championship last October. Mast dominated the extended race-to-9, winning it 9-2 to claim her first, and likely, not her last 2022 JIC title. 

If it ain’t broke . . .

There are differences in this second JIC season, but they’re about some minor additions and an expectation level being fostered by Hanna and the crew of folks who helped him last year and continue to do so this year. Kory and Trena Wolford, owners of Wolf’s Den, are among them.

Skylar Hess, Sofia Mast and Savannah Easton

Viking Cues has joined as a sponsor, and as such, will contribute to prizes, a scholarship to be awarded to the player who receives the tour’s Brendan Crockett Sportsmanship Award, aspects of the tour’s day-to-day operations, and when appropriate, unspecified equipment. Hanna noted that Dynaspheres “stepped up,” as did Mike Littman with Littman Lights. The tour is working with DigitalPool this year, which will feature what Hanna described as a “custom environment” with the expected brackets, updated division rankings, player profiles and live scoring.

“The players themselves are going to be doing the live scoring from their smart phones,” said Hanna. “They’ll be uploading scores to that site in real time.”

“We’re looking at a shot clock on the big tables,” he added of one other embellishment they’ll be considering bringing, literally, to the tables. “Modeling the atmosphere to that of the professionals, so that (the players) won’t be ‘deer in the headlights’ out in the world.”

“We’re also going to be sponsoring some of the players going into Pro events throughout the year,” he added. “It’ll be up to the player to decide which Pro event they might want to attend, whether it be Turning Stone, or the Super Billiards Expo. (The tour) will be off in April and we’re going to send a nice little contingent. With four of the divisions, a representative from each division would be nice.”

The plan is to provide the junior players with more than just an opportunity to compete throughout the year, but to provide them, as well, with the tools necessary to compete against increasingly difficult competition in what could well be difficult venues.

“I don’t want them complacent,” said Hanna. “I want them to know that there’s always going to be someone coming for you and that things aren’t always going to be perfect; not the balls, not the tables, not the general environment.”

“I want to go to war with this group,” he added. “The make-up of this group is the right combo to succeed; we’ve got everything – gunslingers, mercenaries, the quiet types. We’re going to make some noise this year.” 

The Junior International Championships, sponsored by Viking Cues, will hold the second stop of its second season on the weekend of Feb. 11-13. It will be hosted by Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL.

Billiards Sports Networks launches Dynaspheres Cup Series with Junior Championships

Nathan Childress, Jackson Hurst, Cameron Lawhorne, Kodi Allen, Joey Tate, Landon Hollingsworth

Raleigh NC’s Joey Tate and Shenandoah, VA’s Garret Vaughan win their divisions

There have always been junior players, far more of them than the numbers that have actually graduated to professional levels of competition. In an off-the-top-of-one’s-head category of examples, Johnny Archer was a junior player once. So was Shannon Daulton and a lot of other now well-known professionals like Billy Thorpe and Chris Robinson, to name just a couple. Events capable of accommodating the development of junior players have, however, lagged behind the increasing 21st century numbers of interested juniors.

Until recently, the only widely-known avenue for junior competition was the Billiard Education Foundation’s annual Junior National Championships, preceded by a number of nationwide qualifying events. Last month, January 7-9, On the Wire Creative Media launched a Junior International Tour, with five junior events held at Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA (see related article in our News Archive, dated January 13), with eight other events planned through October. On the weekend of February 20-21, the Maryland-based Billiard Sports Network (BSN) joined the list of organizations looking to promote further junior competition for the increasingly growing number of junior players interested in competing. Their efforts were initiated with the first of two planned junior events for this year, nestled in the midst of a broader “collection of tournaments,” all under the ‘umbrella’ title of the Dynaspheres Cups.

Originally engaged in streaming live pool events, BSN and its founders, Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield, had always projected that they would eventually start and run their own events. The pandemic brought those ideas to the forefront.

“We were going to start a collection of tournaments throughout the year,” said Lawson, “and we started reaching out to folks with whom we had relationships in the industry.”

This led BSN to Dynaspheres Balls, a subsidiary of Championship Fabric, LLC. Lawson also owns BreakOut Apparel (formerly LightsOut Apparel) and had a distribution deal with Dynaspheres Balls.

“When we decided to do this collection of tournaments,” said Lawson, “Dynaspheres came back and said they were interested in getting involved.”

Though the events were originally going to utilize the name, BSN Cups, the nature and commitment to the deal arranged with Dynaspheres Balls led Lawson and Setterfield to give them title sponsorship.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Lawson, adding that the decision to open their “collection” with a junior event was part of the ongoing response to the need for more of them. “There are just not enough junior events out there.”

This first Dynaspheres Cup Juniors 9-Ball Championship, this past weekend, crowned two champions; Raleigh, NC’s Joey Tate (15-18) and Shenandoah, VA’s Garrett Vaughan (14 and under). It was, in fact, a bit of a family affair for both of the winners. Tate’s younger sisters, Bethany and Noelle competed in the 14-and-under event, while Garrett’s brother, Grayson, competed with him in the 14-and-under event, as well. They met in the quarterfinals. The 15-18 year-old, $500-added event drew 27 entrants, while the 14-and-under $500-added tournament drew 22 to Brews and Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD.

Joey Tate and runner-up in the 15-to-18 year-old event, Landon Hollingsworth came to the event with a degree of Amateur tour experience, particularly with the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour on which they both play regularly. Tate has been playing on that tour since 2017, has cashed in eight appearances and won three times. Hollingsworth has cashed in 18 appearances on the tour since 2018 and like Tate, has won three times. All of Hollingsworth’s victories came last year. Tate chalked up his first 2021 victory at this Juniors event, coming from a one-match trip to the loss side to claim the title, when he downed Hollingsworth in the finals.

Tate followed an opening round bye with victories over Jeffrie Martinez and Brent Worth to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Cameron Lawhorne, another Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball alumnus (14 cash payouts on the tour since 2017, with two wins). Hollingsworth got by Jacob Kohl, Joshua Joseph and Kodi Allen to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal matchup versus Nathan Childress, who started appearing on cash payout lists just last year and chalked up six cash prizes, including two wins; one, at On the Hill Productions’ 9-Ball Fall Shootout and the other, with Shane Wolford in a Scotch Doubles event.

Tate downed Lawhorne 7-4 and was joined in the hot seat match by Hollingsworth, who’d sent Childress to the loss side 7-5. As might have been expected, Hollingsworth and Tate locked up in a double hill fight for the hot seat. Hollingsworth claimed it and waited in it for Tate’s return.

On the loss side, Lawhorne picked up Kodi Allen, who, after being defeated by Hollingsworth on the winners’ side, defeated Jeffrie Martinez 7-2 and Hunter Frazier 7-4. Childress drew Jackson Hurst, who’d shut out Richard Burch and defeated Brent Worth to reach him.

Childress got by Hurst 7-3. Lawhorne joined him in the quarterfinals, after defeating Allen 7-2. In another predictable event, Lawhorne and Childress battled to double hill, before Lawhorne prevailed for a second shot against Tate. That, too, turned into a double hill contest that eventually sent Tate back over to challenge Hollingsworth in the hot seat.

It’s likely that a third straight double hill match was expected from the second Tate/Hollingsworth meeting, but it didn’t happen. Tate completed the Dynaspheres Cup’s first Junior 9-Ball Championship and his first victory run of 2021 with a 7-4 win in the finals.

Adrian Prasad, Payne McBride, Garrett Vaughn , D’Angelo “Jawz” Spain, Grayson Vaughn, Niko Konkel

Vaughan comes from the loss side to win 14-and-under division

The brothers Vaughan almost met in the hot seat match of the 14-and-under tournament.

As the elder brother, Garrett (14), got his bye and then worked his way through the field, shutting out Dylan Moore and defeating Niko Konkel 7-1 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against D’Angelo “Jawz” Spain, younger brother Grayson (11) was doing his part by (without a bye) defeating Hayleigh Marion 7-1, shutting out Carley Tomaszewski and sending Adrian Prasad west 7-5, to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match against Payne McBride.

There they sat, one match away from drawing each other in the hot seat match of a tournament. Garrett and “Jawz” fought to double hill before “Jawz” prevailed. McBride downed Grayson 7-3, and the brothers had to settle for the possibility of meeting in the event quarterfinals. McBride, in the meantime, defeated Spain 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Garrett drew Adrian Prasad, who’d defeated Skylar Hess 7-2 and Hayleigh Marion 7-5 to reach him. Brother Grayson picked up Niko Konkel, who’d defeated Joey Tate’s younger sister, Noelle 7-1 and Jayce Little 7-3.

The stars aligned properly, although Grayson had his work cut out for him with a double hill battle against Konkel. He won it, eventually, and was joined in the quarterfinals by his brother, who’d come a game short of double hill in defeating Prasad 7-5. And the brothers locked up in a double hill fight that had to be of immense importance to both of them on a lot of different levels. Big brother Garrett won it, though, and advanced to face D’Angelo Spain in the semifinals.

With Grayson no doubt rooting for him all the way, Garrett shut Spain out and then, with Grayson rooting him on to defeat the player who’d sent him to the loss side, Garrett downed McBride 7-2 to claim the 14-and-under championship title.

Jake Lawson and Josh Setterfield thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor Dynaspheres, Lucid Ballsports (Predator Arena Light), Gina Cunningham (Keller Williams Integrity), East Coast Prime Meats, Center Pocket, Courtyard by Marriott Bowie, Maryland, Luke Thompson Photography, MB Cues/Mike Burton, Integrity Cues, Break Out Billiards Apparel, AZBilliards, Premier Billiards and They also thanked Tour Director Steve Fleming, and their staff of Tracy Gebhard, Kim Huff and Robbie Hess.

The next tournament in The Dynaspheres Cup series, scheduled for May 1-2, will be the $5,000-added Open/Pro Dynaspheres Cup 10-Ball Championships, to which Shane Van Boening, James Aranas, Fedor Gorst, Kristina Tkach, Brandon Shuff and Shaun Wilkie, among others, have reportedly already signed up. The Dynaspheres Cup 8-Ball Championship is scheduled for June 5-6. The Dynaspheres Cup Double 8-Ball Championship is scheduled for July 31-August 1 and the second Junior Championship is set for September 25-26. The series finale, scheduled for November 6-7, will be The Dynaspheres Cup 9-Ball Championships. All events will be hosted by Center Pocket in Bowie, MD.

According to Lawson, plans are in motion to expand this first season’s four Open/Pro and two Junior events. BSN has a two-year-contract with Dynaspheres and is looking at planning for 12 events in 2022.