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Taylor comes back from down-by-four in finals to defeat Pao on JPNEWT

Liz Taylor (Jay Chiu)

There was little doubt in anyone’s mind that Caroline Pao signed on to the April 10-11 stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT), looking for her seventh straight win on the tour, dating back to 2019. Of course, everyone else who signed on was looking for a win as well, including Liz Taylor, who’d finished in 3rd place, behind Pao and Nicole Nester in the tour’s season opener last month (March 6-7).

As she’d done in March, Pao was forced to seek this past weekend’s event title from the loss side. In fact, this time out, she was forced to win three on the loss side just to get into the finals. Liz Taylor had sent her over and though Pao would come back to challenge her in the finals, Taylor completed an undefeated run to claim her first event title since she’d gone back-to-back last November, winning the VA State Ladies 8-Ball Championship and a week, later, Stop #10 on the 2020 JPNEWT. The event this past weekend drew 19 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA. 

Taylor and Pao were on something of a collision course from the start. Pao got by Suzzie Wong, Shelah Joner and Christine Pross (7-2, 7-3, 7-3), as Taylor, awarded an opening round bye, shut out April Hatcher and then downed Kia Burwell 7-5. This set them up to face each other in one of the winners’ side semifinals. In the other winners’ side semifinal, the tour director, Linda Shea, squared off against Judie Wilson, who, following a bye, had chalked up two 7-4 victories against Nicole Nester and Kelly Fox.

A third straight 7-4 win put Wilson into the hot seat match for the first time since 2018 (her best recorded earnings year, to date), when she fought for it twice; once, in April, against Burwell (then, Kia Sidbury) and then, versus Shea in December. Taylor and Pao, in the meantime, battled to double hill, before Taylor prevailed. Taylor put the hammer down in the hot seat match, giving up only a single rack to Wilson.

On the loss side, Pao picked up Kelly Fox, who, following her defeat at the hands of Wilson had eliminated Sharon O’Hanlon 7-3 and Kris Consalvo-Kemp 7-4. Shea drew Pross, who followed her loss to Pao with victories over Rachel Walters 7-5 and Carianne Merkle 7-3. 

Pao advanced to the quarterfinals 7-2 over Cox and met up with Shea, who’d defeated Pross 7-5. Pao eliminated Shea 7-3 in those quarterfinals and then, Wilson 7-4 in the semifinals.

Taylor got off to a bit of a rocky start in the extended-race-to-9 final. If she reached 7 racks first, it’d be over. If Pao reached 7 first, the race extended to 9. With the momentum of her three loss-side matches, Pao jumped out to an early lead that was four racks by the end of the 6th game, 5-1.

Taylor chipped away at that lead, winning four of the next six (7-5), but couldn’t stop Pao’s extension of the match to nine games. She did, however, stop Pao from completing any more games. Taylor won four in a row to claim the event title.

Tour director Linda Shea thanked Russ Urffer and his Markley Billiards’ staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Bitzel and Associates PTPA (Physical Therapy), George Hammerbacher (Advanced Pool Instructor), and, for the livestream, angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of May 15-16, will be hosted by First Break Bar & Grill in Sterling, VA.

Shanna Lewis gets by Lai Li twice, double hill, to win JPNEWT season opener

Shanna Lewis

Pool tournaments will often play host to competitors who, for one reason or another, have been away from the game for a while. Depending upon the skill level they’d attained before they stopped competing, how long they’ve been away and the overall competitive level of the field they enter upon their return, the result could go either way. The competitor could go ‘two and out,’ if they’re seriously out of practice and stroke, or they could make it seem as though pool’s like riding a bicycle, where one can more or less pick up where they left off.

Shanna Lewis, whose last reported cash payout in a pool tournament was at a Q Master Billiards Mid-Atlantic Women’s 9-Ball Open in 2015 (9th place), returned to the tables this past weekend (March 7-8) to compete in the season opener of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour. Lewis chose the ‘like riding a bicycle’ option and went undefeated through the field of 31, downing last year’s runner-up in the Tour Championship standings, Lai Li, twice. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm), NAPT Div. II Semi-Pro event drew 31 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

Her own assessment of her TAFT (time away from table) was more in the vicinity of 10 years. It was an absence prompted by a decision to focus on the business career side of her life. She’s back, now, still working on the business side of her career, but with some flexibility to spend more TAT (time at table). While acknowledging that she’s returned with her skills more or less intact, she noted that it wasn’t as easy as it looked from the nature of the undefeated run and her two victories over Lai Li might indicate.

“Yeah, there were times during the tournament when I was thinking, ‘Yeah, this is great,” she said, “but there were other times when I felt like I couldn’t put a ball in the hole that was a straight shot.”

That said, Lewis was back on the bicycle right from the start, winning 14 of her first 17 games. She gave up only one rack to Judie Wilson and then two to Melissa Mason before running into Elaine Wilson, who, in essence, by chalking up five racks against her, applied some brakes to Lewis’ bicycle. It dropped Lewis’ game-winning percentage by 10 points in a single match. Lewis won, though, and advanced to face Teri Thomas in a winners’ side semifinal.

Lai Li, in the meantime, had opened with a 7-1 victory over Charlynn Dzambo, defeated Kelly Wyatt 7-4 and downed the tour’s 2020 champion, Linda Shea, 7-4 in a winners’ side quarterfinal.  The draw wasn’t getting any easier as Li advanced to face Kia Sidbury in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Lewis got into the hot seat match with another 7-1 victory, over Thomas, and faced Li, who’d sent Sidbury to the loss side 7-4. In their first of two, they battled to double hill before Lewis prevailed to sit in her first hot (bicycle) seat in a while.

On the loss side, Nicole Nester and Sharon O’Hanlon were working on modest three-match, loss-side winning streaks that had begun when they’d lost their winners’ side quarterfinal match to  Teri Thomas and Kia Sidbury, respectively. Nester and O’Hanlon both won two loss-side double hill battles; Nester, versus Colleen Shoop and Eugenia Gyftopoulos; O’Hanlon, over two ‘powerhouse’ opponents – Nicole King and Tour Director, Linda Shea. They did not, however, draw rematches because Nester drew Sidbury and O’Hanlon drew Thomas.

Nester advanced to the quarterfinals 7-4 over Sidbury, as Thomas eliminated O’Hanlon 7-3. Nester then downed Thomas 7-3 in those quarterfinals, before herself being eliminated in a double hill fight versus Li in the semifinals.

A second, slightly longer double hill fight, Li’s third straight, ensued in the finals. Lewis won it 9-8 to claim the title to JPNEWT’s 2020 season opener.

Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, The Turtle Rack (www.mezzusa.com), Baltimore City Cues, and the live stream, sponsored by Britanya E. Rapp, billiards artist (angle aim Art). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of April 4-5, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

Li goes undefeated, downing Sykes twice to win JPNEWT season finale

Bethany Sykes & Lai Li

The finalists in the season finale of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour were both in the midst of their best earnings year to date and were looking for their first win on the tour. Though Bethany Sykes was the State of Virginia’s 8-Ball Champion almost exactly a year ago, had chalked up a win on the gender-mixed Action Pool Tour in January and a month later, had won the Division II Championship on the (presently) all-female North American Pool Tour in February, she had yet to win an event on the JPNEWT. Lai Li, her opponent in both the hot seat match and finals, was looking for her first regional tour win ever and found it, as she went undefeated to win the tour’s season finale on the weekend of Nov. 16-17. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) event (Stop #8) drew 22 players to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.

The victory elevated Lai Li one spot on the Tour Standings list to #2. Tour director Linda Shea, who, for obvious reasons, has competed in all eight of the tour’s stops, finished 3rd in the season finale to retain her spot at the top of the tour standings. Caroline Pao, who won the three stops in which she competed and finished 3rd in the tour standings, did not compete in the season finale.

Following victories over Ceci Strain 7-1, Teri Thomas 7-3 and Melissa Jenkins 7-4, Lai Li advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Anita Sowers. Sykes’ trip to the hot seat match was almost derailed at the outset. After being awarded an opening round bye, Sykes drew Eugenia Gyftopoulos, who battled her to double hill before finally giving way for Sykes to advance. Sykes went on to down Kelly Wyatt 7-5 and advance to her winners’ side semifinal match against Judie Wilson.

By identical 7-5 scores, Li and Sykes defeated Sowers and Wilson and advanced to the hot seat match. Li took the first of their two matches 7-5 and waited on her return.

On the loss side, Sowers picked up tour director Linda Shea, who’d been sent to the loss side by Judie Wilson in a winners’ side quarterfinal and had then defeated Serafina Concannon 7-5 and Sharon O’Hanlon 7-3. Wilson drew a rematch against Kia Sidbury, whom she’d defeated in an early round and was in the midst of a six-match, loss-side winning streak that had most recently included victories over Carol V. Clark 7-3 and a double hill win over Melissa Jenkins.

Shea defeated Sowers 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Sidbury, who’d had a successful rematch against Wilson 7-4. Shea then ended Sidbury’s loss-side streak 7-5 in those quarterfinals.

Sykes, though, ended Shea’s four-match, loss-side trip with a 7-3 victory in the semifinals. Li, apparently unaffected by the wait, defeated Sykes in their second match, the finals, 7-3.

Tour director Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Mezz USA, Baltimore City Cues, and for the live stream, Britanya E Rapp with angle aim Art. The tour will be back at Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD for their 2020 season opener on the weekend of March 7-8, 2020.

Corr dominates North American Pool Tour’s Coupe du Quebec

Karen Corr not only went undefeated at the North American Pool Tour’s (NAPT) Coupe du Quebec, she damn near went unscored upon. Through seven round robin flights and five rounds in a double elimination final bracket, she gave up only 11 games of the 88 she played to claim the event title. She shut out four of her round robin opponents and three of the five she faced in the final double elimination phase. She was the only player to go undefeated in both phases of the event. The Division 1 Pro event drew 32 entrants to Dooly’s in Quebec, Canada on the long weekend of October 24-27.

The Round Robin phase of the event split the field of 32 into four flights of eight players each. At the end of seven rounds in each of the four flights, the top four in each flight (based on win/loss records and point differentials for ties) advanced to the double elimination bracket of 16.

Corr’s flight in the round robin phase pitted her against (among others) fellow J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour player, Nicole King, as well as Nathalie Chabot, and Chantal Bergeron, all of whom finished with 4-3 records to advance to the final 16.

California’s Callado sisters played in separate round robin flights. Eleanor finished with a 5-2 record, as did Nathalie Jacob, Amanda Soucy and Marie-France Blanchette; all advancing to the double elimination bracket. Sister Emilyn finished with a 6-1 record and was joined in the double elimination bracket by Toni Sakamoto, Farla Salmonovitch and Judie Wilson. The woman who’d defeated Emily Callado, Dorah Cornell, did not advance; Emilyn being the only opponent she defeated.

Veronique Menard was at the top of her round robin group and finished with a 6-1 record. Joining her in advancing were Roxanne Ryan Aucoin, Fanny Giroux (Menard’s only loss), and Sandra-Line Michel.

Corr wasn’t scored upon until she reached the hot seat match, downing Sandra-Line Michel, Nathalie Jacob and in the winners’ side semifinal, Emilyn Callado by shutout; thus spoiling any hope for a Callado sister hot seat match. Eleanor Callado’s path to the hot seat match went through Farla Salmonovitch 7-4, Marie-France Blanchette 7-3 and in the other winners’ side semifinal, Veronique Menard 7-4. Corr gave up her first rack of the double elimination phase defeating Callado 7-1 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Emilyn Callado picked up Blanchette, who, after her winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Eleanor Callado, had defeated Judie Wilson 7-5 and Fanny Giroux 7-2. Menard drew Nathalie Jacob, who, after her quarterfinal loss to Corr, had defeated Toni Sakamoto 7-5 and shut out Roxanne Aucoin.

Emilyn Callado and Blanchette locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Callado to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Menard, who’d defeated Jacob 7-1.

With the hope of a Callado sister semifinal looming, Menard spoiled that with a 7-3 win over Emilyn in the quarterfinals and turned for a second shot against her sister, Eleanor in the semifinals. Menard downed her 7-4 and got a shot at Corr in the hot seat.

To her credit, Menard chalked up more racks against Corr in the finals than all four of Corr’s previous opponents, or any one opponent in both the round robin and double elimination phases. But it wasn’t nearly enough, as Corr finished the proceedings with a 7-4 win.

NAPT President Adrianne Beach thanked Elvis Joubert and his staff for their hospitality, as well as event sponsor, Turtle Rack.

Pao and Shea battle it out for event victory and top spot on JPNEWT

Caroline Pao (Erwin Dionisio)

Tour director Linda Shea came into the 7th stop on her J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour on October 12-13 as the tour’s top-ranked player, having appeared in all six previous stops on the tour and winning one of them, back in April. Caroline Pao entered the tournament as the tour’s #2-ranked player, having appeared in two previous stops on the tour and winning them both (July and September). When the event that drew a short field of 12 entrants to Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA was over, Pao had gone undefeated to chalk up her third win on the tour, but had failed, point-wise, to pass Shea on the tour’s player-standings list.
 
They faced each other twice in the event; once, in a winners’ side semifinal and again, in the finals. Pao had shut out Judie Wilson and given up only a single rack to Denise Mangini when she drew Shea in the winners’ side semifinal. Shea had defeated Carol V. Clark 7-2 and Noel Rima 7-5 to draw Pao. In the meantime, Linda Cheung, who’d been awarded an opening round bye, defeated Suzzie Wong 7-4 to draw Anita Sowers in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Pao advanced to the hot seat match by sending Shea to the loss side 7-2. She was joined by Cheung, who downed Sowers, double hill. Pao claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Cheung and waited for Shea to complete her three-match run on the loss side.
 
Shea opened that loss-side run with a rematch against Clark, who, after her defeat versus Shea in the opening round, picked up a bye, then eliminated Wong 7-1 and survived a double hill fight against Melissa Jenkins. Sowers drew a rematch, as well, against Sharon O’Hanlon, whom she’d defeated in the opening round and who’d subsequently defeated Denise Mangini 7-2 and Noel Rima 7-5 to earn the rematch.
 
Shea downed Clark a second time 7-2. She was joined in the quarterfinals by O’Hanlon, who’d eliminated Sowers in their rematch 7-5. Shea completed her loss-side run with a 7-1 victory over O’Hanlon in the quarterfinals and a 7-2 win over Cheung in the semifinals.
 
The two repeated their performance in the winners’ side semifinal. Pao defeated Shea a second time 7-2 to claim the event title.
 
Shea thanked Chris Wilson and his Eagle Billiards staff for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, MezzUSA, Baltimore City Cues, Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair and streaming support from angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp). The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of November 16-17, will be hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.

Pao goes undefeated to take JPNEWT stop #6 in Sterling, VA

(l to r): Caroline Pao, Bethany Sykes & Ada Lio

Caroline Pao has appeared on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour only twice in 2019 and she’s won both events. On the weekend of July 27-28, following a defeat at the hands of tour director, Linda Shea, Pao won seven matches on the loss side to earn a rematch and defeat Shea in the finals of Stop #4. On the weekend of September 14-15, she opted for an undefeated route to the winners’ circle, downing separate opponents in the hot seat (Ada Lio) and finals (Bethany Sykes). The $500-added (from Coins of the Realm) event drew 26 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.
 
Luck of the draw kept Pao from having to face Shea early in this event. Instead, she opened with a 7-1 victory over Noel Rima and followed it with a 7-4 win over Melissa Mason. Shea, in the meantime, had defeated Jenn Sylvester 7-1, but was subsequently defeated 7-5 by Kia Sidbury, who advanced to meet Pao.
 
Pao sent Sidbury to the loss side 7-3 and drew Bethany Sykes in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Ada Lio, in the meantime, who’d survived an opening round, double hill matchup versus Melissa Jenkins, went on to defeat Melissa Perez 7-1 and Suzzie Wong 7-4 to draw Serafina Concannon in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Pao and Lio met in the hot seat match, once Pao had defeated Sykes in their first of two meetings 7-2 and Lio had dispatched Concannon 7-4. Pao claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Lio and waited on the return of Sykes.
 
Concannon arrived on the loss side and drew Sidbury, who, following her defeat at the hands of Pao had defeated Lai Li 7-2 and eliminated Anita Sowers, double hill. Sykes picked up Kelly Wyatt, who’d lost to Concannon in a winners’ side quarterfinal and then defeated Judie Wilson 7-4 and spoiled whatever hopes Linda Shea had of meeting up with Pao by eliminating her double hill.
 
Sidbury downed Concannon 7-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Sykes who’d come out on the winning side of a double hill battle against Wyatt. Sykes and Sidbury locked up in a double hill fight in those quarterfinals, as well, with Sykes prevailing again.
 
Sykes then ended Lio’s weekend 7-2 in the semifinals and turned to face Pao in the finals. Sykes was looking for her third major event victory in 2019, having won a Ladies Division stop on the Action Pool Tour in January and the NAPT Div. II Championship in February. She’d also tied for 5th place with Kia Sidbury at a JPNEWT stop (#3) in May, making 2019 her best recorded earnings year, to date. Pao, as noted, was making only her second appearance on the 2019 JPNEWT Tour, although she’d cashed in three WPBA events earlier in the year, making 2019 her best earnings year since 2008.
 
The final match was a repeat of their winners’ side semifinal match. Pao won it 7-2 to claim the event title.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Sports Bar, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Turtle Rack (www.mezzusa.com), Baltimore City Cues, Billy Bay Bunn Cue Repair and the live stream, sponsored by Britanya E. Rapp of angle aim art. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of October 12-13, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.

Pao wins seven on the loss side to meet and defeat Shea in JPNEWT finals

Caroline Pao (Photo courtesy of Erwin Dionisio)

Going into the finals of the July 27-28 stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT), Caroline Pao had something of a dismal record on the winners’ side of the bracket. Of course, she’d only played twice, downing C.C. Strain 7-1 and then, falling to tour director Linda Shea 4-7 (11-8; 57%). Over the next seven matches on the loss side of the bracket, Pao gave up an average of less than two racks per match (1.43) and chalked up a remarkable aggregate score of 49-10 (83%), that included back-to-back shutouts in the quarter and semifinals. She capped the loss-side performance with a 9-4 victory over Shea in the finals to claim the event title. The $1,600-added event drew 28 entrants to Champion Billiards Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.
 
Shea and Pao had distinctly different opening rounds, which may have contributed to their first matchup in the second round. Pao gave up only a single rack to Ceci Strain, while Shea locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Melissa Mason to the loss side. Odds were likely to have been good that Shea and Pao would have a double hill fight, but they didn’t. Shea prevailed 7-4, adding two matches to Pao’s event total.
 
With Pao at work on the loss side, Shea, the tour’s current #1-ranked player, advanced through Teri Thomas 7-2 and arrived at a winners’ side semifinal against the tour’s current #2-ranked player, Nicole King. Lai Li, in the meantime, the tour’s #3-ranked competitor, having dispatched Sharon O’Hanlon, Judie Wilson and Elaine Wilson to the loss side, faced Kia Sidbury (#7) in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Shea and Li advanced to the hot seat match 7-5 over King and Sidbury. Shea downed Li 7-2 to claim the hot seat, and waited on the fateful return of Pao.
 
On the loss side, it was King who drew Pao, four matches into her winning streak. At that point in time, Pao had given up only seven racks; one each to Noel Rima, Sharon O’Hanlon and Christie Hurdel and four to Anita Sowers. Sidbury drew Thomas, who, following her defeat at the hands of Shea, had eliminated Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-5 and survived a double hill fight against Kathleen Lawless.
 
Thomas and Sidbury locked up in a double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals. Thomas, who’d already improved on her two previous appearances on the 2019 tour (finishing 17th in March and May), downed Sidbury to meet Pao, who’d defeated King 7-3.
 
Pao then chalked up two straight shutouts, against Thomas in the quarterfinals and Lai Li in the semifinals, to earn a shot against the so-far undefeated hot seat occupant, Shea, who came into the finals with a 72% game-winning percentage. Thanks to her 83% loss-side performance and her two winners’ side matches, Pao entered the finals at 76%. Pao completed her run with a 9-4 victory over Shea in the finals.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Champion Billiards and Sports Bar and Coins of the Realm, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, angle aim Art (Britanya Rapp), The Turtle Rack, Baltimore City Cues, and Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for August 10-11, will be hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD. 

Whitman comes back from the semifinals to win JPNEWT season opener

(l to r): Lai Li, Ada Lio, Lisa Cossette, Nicole Christ, Cheryl Sporleder & Kim Whitman

Of the 22 women who competed on the March 2-3 season opener of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, three of them had just returned from Phoenix, Arizona where they, and five others from the tour, had competed in the North American Pool Tour’s 3rd Annual Division II Championships, held from February 21-24. Two of the eight, having advanced out of an initial round robin phase of the event, came home with cash in their pockets. Judie Wilson had been among the eight competitors who finished in the tie for 17th place. The other JPNEWT competitor, Bethany Sykes, won 12 matches and lost two (six each, in the round robin and double elimination phases of the event) to capture her first major tournament win.
 
Unfortunately, or fortunately, dependent on your viewpoint, pool careers tend to follow a twisted path that features a relentless series of hills and valleys. From the hill and confidence glow of her first major tournament win, Sykes hit an immediate valley in the JPNEWT’s season opener, drawing tour director, and Division I NAPT competitor, Linda Shea, in the opening round of play. Sykes moved to the loss side, where after two wins, including a double hill victory over fellow NAPT Div. II competitor Judie Wilson, she was eliminated by JPNEWT veteran, Sharon O’Hanlon.
 
The season opening event of the 2019 JPNEWT season saw Kim Whitman and Lisa Cossette battle twice to claim the title. They battled to double hill in the hot seat match before Cossette won it Whitman came back from the semifinals to down Cossette in the finals and claim the season-opening title. The $500-added event drew its 22 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD.
 
Whitman’s path to the winners’ circle went through Linda Tunmatip, Judie Wilson, and Kathleen Lawless before arriving at a winners’ side semifinal matchup against Lai Li. Cossette, in the meantime, got by Melissas Mason and Jenkins, and survived a double hill meetup with Linda Shea, to face Nicole Christ in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Whitman and Li locked up in a double hill fight for advancement to the hot seat match, eventually won by Whitman. Cossette downed Christ 7-3 to join her. Whitman, in her second straight double hill match, watched Cossette down the last 9-Ball and claim the hot seat.
 
On the loss side, Christ picked up Ada Lio, one of the participants in the Div. II Championships, who was on a six-match, loss-side winning streak and had most recently defeated Leslie Furr 7-3 and Lawless 7-4 to reach her. Li drew Cheryl Sporleder, who was on her own six-match, loss-side winning streak, had just eliminated Shea and O’Hanlon, both 7-1.
 
Lio and Christ locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Lio to the quarterfinals. She was joined by Sporleder, who’d defeated Li 7-4. Sporleder stopped Lio’s loss-side streak 7-4 in those quarterfinals. Whitman then ended Sporleder’s loss-side streak 7-5 in the semifinals.
 
Whitman got her second shot at Cossette in the hot seat, and took advantage. She downed Cossette 9-7 to claim the JPNEWT’s 2019 season opener. As a qualifier for the upcoming Super Billiards Expo, Whitman received a paid entry to the Ladies Pro event.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines for their hospitality, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Livestream sponsor Britanya E. Rapp (angle aim Art), Turtle Rack and Baltimore City Cues. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of April 27-28, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA. 

Sporleder comes from the loss side to win JPNEWT season finale

(l to r): Judie Wilson, Cheryl Sporleder, Pete Boyer (owner-Coins of the Realm) & Linda Shea

Looking for her first win on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) on the weekend of December 1-2, Cheryl Sporleder might have expected the result of her winners’ side semifinal match against the tour’s director and #1-ranked player, Linda Shea. She lost. She might not have expected what happened next; a three-match, loss-side winning streak that set her up for a re-match against Shea in the finals, which she won to claim her first-ever win on the tour. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) season finale drew 20 entrants to Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.
 
In only her second appearance on the 2018 tour (she was 5th in the season opener in March) Sporleder opened her six-match trek to the winners’ circle with a 7-4 victory over Carol Clark and ran immediately into a double hill fight against Kim Whitman. Sporleder advanced to face Nicole Christ in a winners’ side quarterfinal, which she won 7-5 to draw her first match against Shea in a winners’ side semifinal. Judie Wilson in the meantime, squared off against Bethany Sykes in the other one.
 
Shea moved into the hot seat match with a 7-3 victory over Sporleder. Wilson joined her after sending Sykes to the loss side 7-5. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Wilson and waited on Sporleder’s return.
 
On the loss side, Sporleder ran into an immediate rematch against Whitman, who following her earlier defeat, was on a four-match winning streak that had included wins over the tour’s #3-ranked player, Kia Sidbury, Britt Rapp, Ada Lio, and a double hill win over the tour’s #2-ranked player, Nicole King. Sykes drew Sharon O’Hanlon, who was on a four-match winning streak of her own that had included most-recent victories over Christ 7-1 and Elaine Wilson 7-4.
 
Whitman’s loss-side journey came to an end with Sporleder’s 7-5 win. O’Hanlon’s went a step further, as she defeated Sykes, double hill and joined Sporleder in the quarterfinals. Sporleder ended O’Hanlon’s loss-side streak at five games, with a 7-2 win in the quarterfinals.
 
Sporleder gave up only a single rack to Wilson in the semifinals to enter her first-ever final against the tour’s #1-ranked player, Shea. Sporleder’s first task was to reach seven racks first, to extend the race to nine games. She did this, and then added the two more she needed to win her first JPNEWT stop 9-6.
 
Tour director Linda Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, Britanya E Rapp (angle aim Art), The Turtle Rack, Baltimore City Cues, and Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair.
 

Shea moves into top ranking on JPNEWT with undefeated win

Nicole King, Chris Wilson (Eagle Billiards owner) and Linda Shea

As the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour rounded its final turn, headed for its season-finale home, its two top competitors were neck and neck. Approaching that last turn, going into Stop #7 on the tour, Kia Sidbury had a slight, five-point lead in the tour standings, just ahead of Nicole King, with Tour Director Linda Shea, 20 points behind King. Shea went undefeated through a short field of 15 entrants at Stop #7, held on December 13-14, at Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA, which allowed her to claim the $100-added (by Billy R. Bunn) event title and first place in the standings.
 
King, as runner-up, moved up a slot to the second position. Sidbury, who was sent to the loss side by Shea and eliminated by King on the loss side, slipped into third place. Karen Corr, who’s won three of the tour’s events, but did not compete in this event, remained in fourth place, just ahead of Judie Wilson in fifth place.
 
Following an opening round, 7-3 victory over Shelah Joner, Shea moved into what proved to be a double hill battle against Sidbury. Shea advanced to a winners’ side semifinal match against Elaine Wilson, as Melissa Jenkins and Sharon O’Hanlon squared off in the other one.
 
Shea downed Wilson 7-2 and was met in the hot seat match by Jenkins, who’d sent O’Hanlon to the loss side 7-4. Shea and Jenkins locked up in a double hill fight that eventually sent Jenkins to the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Elaine Wilson met up with Anita Sowers, who’d been sent there by O’Hanlon and downed Denise Mangini, double hill, and Chari Slater 7-3 to reach her. O’Hanlon picked up King, who, following her defeat at the hands of Shea, had eliminated Sidbury 7-1 and Ada Lio 7-4.
 
Wilson got into the quarterfinal match with a 7-4 victory over Sowers and was met by King, who’d survived a double hill fight versus O’Hanlon. King ended Wilson’s weekend 7-4 and then got a shot at Shea in the hot seat with a strong 7-1 victory over Jenkins in the semifinals.
 
Both the event title and first place in the tour standings was at stake as Shea and King squared off in the finals. The winner would claim both. Shea completed her undefeated run through the field with a 7-4 win.
 
Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Eagle Billiards, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, ‘live stream’ sponsor Britanya E. Rapp (angle aim Art), Turtle Rack, and Baltimore City Cues. The next stop on the JPNEWT will be the tour’s season finale, scheduled for December 1-2 at Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD. Look for another tight race as the tour’s top competitors race for the finish line.