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Ussery comes back from hot seat loss to down Shane Wolford in finals of APT stop

BJ Ussery

Things looked good for a while. Twenty-one-year-old Shane Wolford, who had finished at the top of the Action Pool Tour’s (APT) Points list at the end of an abbreviated 2020 season, was playing in his family’s pool hall, Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA on Saturday, August 21, and was advancing through a field of 22 players, crisply. Shane got to the hot seat match and downed a crafty veteran, BJ Ussery. And then, the crafty veteran came back from the semifinals to snatch what might otherwise have been a storybook ending away from the youngster and claim the event title.

Shane was not alone in representing the Wolford family at this stop on the APT. He opened his five-match march to the hot seat against his own sister, Savanna, and after defeating her, advanced to down Trey Frank 8-5. He then sent the APT’s 2019 Tour Champion Chris Bruner to the loss side 8-4 and drew Trey Frank’s father, Ron Frank, Jr. in one of the winners’ side semifinals.

Ussery, in the meantime, opened with two shutouts, over Joe Jones, Jr. and David Parker before defeating former junior competitor, Cole Lewis 8-5. Ussery drew JR Hepner in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Shane downed the elder Frank 8-2. Ussery joined him for the hot seat match, once he’d dispatched Hepner to the loss side 8-6. The younger competitor did the event’s first ‘snatch,’ downing Ussery 8-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, JR Hepner picked up Daniel Wallace, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal match to Ron Frank, Jr. and then, defeated Precilia Kinsley (another female junior competitor) 7-4, before eliminating Chris Bruner 7-5.  Ron Frank, Jr. drew Chris Pyle, who’d lost his winners’ side quarterfinal match to Hepner and then defeated Tim McClure 7-5 and Cole Lewis 7-3.

Hepner downed Wallace 7-3 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Pyle joined him for their rematch after defeating Frank 7-5. Hepner got the best of Pyle a second time 8-3 in those quarterfinals.

Hepner’s loss-side journey was brief and ended by Ussery 7-5 in the semifinals. The Ussery/Wolford rematch came within a game of double hill, but Ussery edged out in front at the end to take it 9-7 and claim the event title.

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the Wolford’s for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Haselman & Hunt (D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry), George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor) and CSI. The next stop on the Action Pool Tour, scheduled for Oct. 16-17, will be the Pineapple Morris Memorial 10-Ball, to be hosted by Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA.