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2014 Sport 9 Kick Off Event Sports Success

Janeen Lee

The Sport 9 Ladies Tour opened its 2014 season on March 7th, 2014 at the Southaven Rec Center in Southaven, MS with two great events. The bar table mini open event started Friday night attracted 28 players competing for prize money and a premium cue case provided by Ozone Billiards. Blake Todd from Memphis, TN went undefeated, taking 1st place prize money and winner of the 2×4 grey lizard cue case. Danny Key, also from Memphis, TN, played a great game and collected 2nd place prize money. Jeff Sarbeck, from Southaven, MS, placed 3rd and Mike Jones from Mobile, AL came in 4th.
 
The Sport 9 Ladies event started Saturday morning, March 8th, with 12 ladies hailing from TN, AL, MS, MO and GA to compete for points and $525 in prize money. The ladies battled all day and night on the big tables race to 7 on the winners side and race to 5 on the losers side. Many of the matches went double hill, but coming out on top was 2013 Sport 9 Tour Champion Janeen Lee from Hattiesburg, MS taking home 1st place prize and points. Hot seat winner and newcomer, Kristan Tidwell from Decatur, AL took 2nd place. In 3rd place was local favorite Mackenzie Selby. Heather Middleton, sponsored by The Moneyball in Caruthersville, MO, proudly took home 4th place.
 
Sport 9 Tour would like to thank gracious host, Bill Rowsey, owner of Southaven Rec, and staff for their wonderful hospitality. Also, a huge thanks goes out to our supporters and sponsors including Bob Hunt, referee, Paul Frankel (Professor- Q-Ball) media relations, Josh Gilmore (Fair Game Clothing) photos, Ozone Billiards, Focus Gear, ingenPool (tournament software), GoPlayPool, and AZBilliards.
 
The next event will be held at Bumpers Billiards in Huntsville, Alabama on April 11th weekend. Sport 9 Tour is preparing for another successful event which will be its first live streamed event! Be sure to get front row seats!

Olinger gets by Gabriel twice to go undefeated in Midwest 9-Ball Open event

Alex Olinger sliced through a daunting field of 120 entrants to go undefeated in the Midwest 9-Ball Tour's $3,250-added Open event on the weekend of February 20-23. Liz Lovely did the same thing in the $750-added, Ladies Tournament, which drew 30. Both, along with a One-Pocket event (separate story), were hosted by Shooter's in Olathe, KS.
 
Olinger, who picked up two victories on the Midwest 9-Ball Tour last year (March and August), and won the Great Southern Billiard Tour's tour championship in December, met up with the runner-up in the weekend's One Pocket event, John Gabriel, twice; first in the hot seat match, and later, the finals. Olinger had sent Gordon Van Der Veer to the losers' bracket 9-5, as Gabriel was busy doing likewise to Billy Thorpe in a double hill match. Olinger took the first of his two against Gabriel 9-5 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting his return.
 
On the loss side, Van Der Veer drew Dustin Gunia, who'd just eliminated two Midwest 9-Ball Tour heavyweights; Gabe Owen (who won the One Pocket event) 9-6 and Shane McMinn 9-4 (McMinn had eliminated Joey Gray). Thorpe drew a third Midwest 9-Ball Tour heavyweight, Chip Compton, who'd defeated Ryan Cobb 9-5 and survived a double hill battle against Manny Perez.
 
Thorpe advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-5 victory over Compton. Van Der Veer did not, falling to Gunia 9-6. Gunia completed his loss-side run with a double hill win over Thorpe and was then stopped by Gabriel in the semifinals 9-7. Olinger completed his undefeated run with a 9-4 win over Gabriel in the finals.
 
Liz Lovely and Melissa Little played twice in the Ladies event, with Lovely winning both. She'd defeated Allison Hardwick in one of the winners' side semifinals as Little was sending Heather Middleton over 7-1. Lovely and Little battled to double hill in the winners' side final, before Lovely prevailed.
 
On the loss side, Hardwick and Middleton were handed their second straight losses immediately. Hardwick fell 7-3 to Brittany Colbert, who'd already gotten by Jessica Frideres 7-5 and Barb Avery 7-1. Middleton was shut out by Julia Gabriel, who'd defeated Karen Lincoln 7-2 and Michelle Davis 7-4 to reach her. Gabriel won the quarterfinal over Colbert 7-5 and was then, herself, eliminated by Little 7-3. Lovely then chalked up her second victory over Little 7-4 to claim the Ladies title.