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Pao comes from the loss side to win sixth title on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour

Nicole Nester and Caroline Pao

Caroline Pao won twice on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) last year (2020). The two wins followed a somewhat brief, pandemic-inspired, competitive-play drought, before which she had finished in the tie for 9th place at the Ashton Twins Classic in January. She’d won all three times she competed on the tour in 2019, which proved to be, and remains, her best recorded earnings year to date.

On the weekend of March 6-7, 2021, at the JPNEWT season opener, she entered her sixth JPNEWT event in the past two years. She was looking for her sixth straight win on the tour and she found it. At Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD, where she met another long-time veteran of the tour, Nicole Nester, twice. Though knocked out of the hot seat match by Nester, Pao returned from a victory in the semifinals to defeat Nester in the finals. The event drew 26 entrants to Triple Nines.

Pao opened with a shutout over Melissa Mason, a 7-1 win over Lynn Richard and a 7-4 win against Teri Thomas, which set her (Pao) up in a winners’ side semifinal against Tour Director Linda Shea, with whom she’s had a battle or two over the years. Nicole Nester, in the meantime, got by KanKan Yu 7-4, and Deb Peterman 7-3, as a prelude to a double hill battle against Liz Taylor, fresh off a 3rd place finish at the VA State Ladies 10-Ball Championships a couple of weeks ago. Nester prevailed and advanced to her winners’ side semifinal matchup, against Kathy Friend.

Pao moved on to the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Shea and was joined by Nester, who’d defeated Friend 7-4. Nester claimed the hot seat 7-3.

On the loss side, Friend picked up Christine Pross, who’d suffered a winners’ side quarterfinal 7-5 loss to Shea. Pross went on to down Ceci Strain 7-3 and survive a double hill bout against Shanna Lewis. Liz Taylor, who’d followed her loss to Pao with a loss side victory over Judie Wilson 7-1, locked up in a double hill battle with the tour’s #2 competitor in the standings, Kia Burwell. Taylor jumped out of that frying pan and into the fire of the #1 player in the standings, TD Linda Shea.

Taylor dropped Shea 7-2 and in the quarterfinals, faced Friend, who’d defeated Pross 7-5. Taylor won that quarterfinal match 7-4 over Friend before having her modest four-match, loss-side streak ended by Pao in the semifinals 7-4. Pao completed her sixth straight win on the tour with a 9-3 victory in the finals.

Tour director Shea thanked Stan Nasiatka and his Triple Nines staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Bitzel and Associates Physical Therapy and Brit Rapp of angle aim Art for sponsoring the live stream. The next stop (#2) on the tour, scheduled for April 10-11, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

Pao goes undefeated, downing Burrows twice to win second straight JPNEWT stop

Caroline Pao and Ashley Burrows

It’s rare that a pool player sneaks by the usual pattern of first appearing in a number of events, then cashing in one or two, then finishing among an event’s top five and after years (sometimes, many), chalks up an event victory on a tour somewhere. Caroline Pao’s second straight victory on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour this past weekend (Nov. 7-8) was not a surprise from the WPBA-ranked player (#12). To a certain extent, though, her competitor in the hot seat and finals of the event was a bit of a surprise. Ashley Burrows, who turned Pro in 2018, and is currently ranked as #30 with the WPBA, has four recorded cash finishes in the AZBilliards’ database. All but one of those was recorded last year; two 17th place finishes in WPBA events (the Masters in February/March of 2019 and the Aramith/Dr. Pool Classic, almost exactly a year ago; Nov. 21-24) and until this past weekend, only one recorded victory, a shared one on the Tri-State Tour in June of 2019. 

In her first (that we know of) appearance on the JPNEWT, Burrows got by the tour’s #12, #11, #3 and #4 players to arrive at the hot seat battle versus Pao. They played the last two matches of the $1,200-added event that drew 25 entrants to Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD. Triple Nines added $500 of that money, while Coins of the Realm contributed $700, $200 of which was added in memory of a recently-deceased area player, Danny Green. Pao went undefeated through the field to claim the event title.

Pao was awarded an opening round bye, after which she shut out Lynn Richard (#18 in tour rankings) and sent Melissa Jenkins (#5) to the loss side 7-1 to draw tour director Linda Shea (#1) in a winners’ side semifinal. Burrows, in the meantime, shut out Melissa Mason (#12), survived a double hill battle versus Carol V. Clark (#11) and sent Kathy Friend (#3) to the loss side 7-5, to draw Lai Li (#3) in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Pao moved into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Shea, as Burrows got by Li 7-4 to join her. Pao gave up only a single rack in the hot seat match to be a single step away from winning her second straight stop on the tour.

On the loss side, Shea picked up Kathy Friend, who, after her defeat at the hands of Burrows, had survived a double hill battle against April Hatcher and eliminated Sharita Green 7-5. Li drew Kia Burwell, who was runner-up to Pao in her last JPNEWT win last month. Burwell had been sent to the loss side by Friend in the second round and was working on a six-match, loss-side winning streak that would end in the semifinals against Burrows. She’d most recently eliminated Melissa Jenkins 7-2 and Noel Rima 7-4.

Friend chalked up a 7-3 win versus Shea, who hadn’t finished that far back (5th/6th) since the JPNEWT season opened in March, when she finished in the tie for 7th. Burwell and Li locked up in a somewhat predictable double hill fight that eventually advanced Burwell to join Friend in the quarterfinals.

In what would prove to be her final victory, Burwell defeated Friend in the quarterfinal match that came within a game of double hill (7-5). Burrows ended Burwell’s loss-side winning streak at six with a 7-4 win in the semifinals.

In the finals that followed, Burrows was looking to reach 7 racks first, in which case the race would extend to 9. If Pao reached 7 first, it would be over. Though they were far from pretty or straight-forward runs, Pao opened the extended-race-to-9 finals with four straight racks. She almost made it five, but her shot at the 9-ball in that rack rattled in a corner pocket and Burrows got on the board at 4-1.

Pao rattled the 8-ball in the same corner pocket that she’d attempted with the 9-ball in the previous rack and Burrows finished the rack to double her production from the hot seat match and cut Pao’s lead in half. Then, it was Burrows’ turn. She rattled a ball in a corner pocket in rack #7 that allowed Pao to finish the rack and make it 5-2.

Pao chalked up the eighth rack to reach the hill. Burrows won what proved to be her last rack to make it 6-3 and after dropping two balls on the final rack, Pao used a subsequent, fortuitous cue-ball bounce off the tip of a side pocket, to close it all out 7-3.

Adjustments to the tour rankings after this event resulted in a single adjustment to the top five players. Pao’s second straight win in only her second appearance on the 2020 tour, allowed her to move in between Lai Li in 4th place and Melissa Jenkins in 5th place. Shea retained her spot at the top of the rankings, ahead of Kia Burwell, Kathy Friend and Lai Li 

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, angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp) and Turtle Rack. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of November 21-22, will be hosted by Cue Sports Bar & Grill in Front Royal, VA.  

Shea goes undefeated to win second round of her two-stop battle against Friend on JPNEWT

Kathy Friend, April Hatcher, Carol V. Clark, Linda Shea, Melissa Jenkins, Melissa Mason, Kassandra Bein, and June Prescop

When the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour got back underway in August, Linda Shea advanced all the way to the hot seat, only to have Kathy Friend, whom she’d sent to the semifinals, come back and defeat her in the final match. This past weekend (Sept. 19-20), the final matchup was the same although Friend’s path to it was significantly different. So was the outcome. Friend won five on the loss side to face Shea in their second final match in a row, but Shea hung on to complete an undefeated run and win her second stop on the shortened 2020 tour. The event drew 20 entrants to First Break Bar & Grill in Sterling, VA.

Following an opening round bye, Shea sent Christie Hurdel 7-5 and Melissa Jenkins 7-4 to the loss side to draw Carol V. Clark in one of the winners’ side semifinals. April Hatcher, in the meantime, had defeated Rumi Brown 7-4 and then gave up only three total racks in 17 games against Ceci Strain (1) and Teri Thomas (2) to face June Prescop in the other winners’ side semifinal. Prescop was responsible for sending Friend to the loss side 7-5 in a winners’ side quarterfinal.

Shea downed Clark 7-5 and in the hot seat match, faced Hatcher, who’d sent Prescop to the loss side 7-4. Shea prevailed to claim the hot seat 7-3 over Hatcher.

On the loss side, Friend opened her trip back to the finals with a 7-3 win over Lai Li and a 7-2 victory over Melissa Mason to draw Clark. Prescop picked up Melissa Jenkins, who, following her defeat at the hands of Shea, had eliminated Ceci Strain 7-5 and Kassandra Bein 7-3. 

Friend and Prescop advanced to their quarterfinal rematch. Friend defeated Clark 7-5 and Prescop just did survive a double hill fight against Jenkins. Friend prevailed 7-3 in the rematch and then went on to down Hatcher 7-5 in the semifinals.

As might have been expected, Shea and Friend locked up in a tight battle that went double hill. Shea dropped the final 9-ball to claim her second 2020 event title on the tour. The win also solidified Shea’s hold on the #1 spot in the tour standings. With Kia Burwell finishing in the tie for 13th, Friend’s second-place finish allowed her to move into the #2 spot. Burwell slipped a single place, down to #3, while Lai Li, who finished in the tie for 9th place, moved down a spot to #4.

Shea thanked the ownership and staff at First Break Bar & Grill, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, angle aim Art (Britanya E. Rapp) and Turtle Rack. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for Oct. 10-11, will be hosted by Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA.

Friend comes back from semifinals to down Shea and win Stop #6 on JPNEWT

Nicole King, Lai Li, Kathy Friend and Linda Haywood Shea

This does take a little getting used to. The J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour leapfrogged over three of its scheduled 2020 stops and returned to action on the weekend of July 25-26. Rather than re-number the tour stops throughout the rest of the season, they opted to keep the original numbers. Thus, the actual third stop on the 2020 tour, held this past weekend (August 15-16), is still considered for documentation intents and purposes as Stop #6.

Though Tour Director Linda Haywood Shea would make it to the hot seat in her quest for a second straight event title since the tour returned to action, Kathy Friend, making her first appearance on the 2020 tour, thwarted that effort in the finals, downing Shea to claim her first 2020 title. Participation doubled for this event over the numbers realized in the tour’s first stop back last month (9). The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) event, hosted by Triple Nines in Elkridge, MD, drew 19 entrants.

It was an extraordinarily competitive weekend for the JPNEWT ladies. They played a total of 36 matches; 19 on the winners’ side (including the final) and 17 on the losers’ side. Of those 36, 15 of them were either double hill or 7-5 contests. Five of the eight matches played in the second round on the winners’ side went double hill or 7-5. The hot seat match and semifinal went double hill, as well.

Shea’s path to the hot seat went through Eugenia Gyftopoulos and Kia Burwell, both 7-5, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Char Dzambo. Kathy Friend opened her campaign up with a double hill win over Kelly Daniel and then sent Nicole King to the loss side 7-5 to arrive at her winners’ side semifinal match against Melissa Jenkins.

Shea got into the hot seat match on the heels of a shutout over Dzambo. Friend joined her after sending Jenkins west 7-3. Shea claimed the hot seat, double hill, and waited on Friend’s return.

On the loss side, Dzambo picked up Nicole King, who, after being defeated by Friend on the winners’ side, had eliminated April Hatcher 7-4 and Sharon O’Hanlon 7-2. Jenkins drew Lai Li, who’d won a double hill match versus Sharon O’Hanlon on the winners’ side and then lost one to Dzambo, before showing up on the loss side to down Lynn Richard 7-3 and then, survive a third double hill fight against Kia Burwell.

Li downed Jenkins 7-3, as King was eliminating Dzambo 7-4. Li took the subsequent quarterfinal match 7-3 over King, but in her fourth double hill fight, Li was defeated by the apparently determined Kathy Friend in the semifinals.

Friend passed on closing out the JPNEWT’s 6th stop with a double hill final. In the single race to 9, she defeated Shea 9-5 to claim the event title and rocket her way to third on the tour’s standings, behind Shea and Burwell and tied with Shanna Lewis, who won the season opener back in March.

Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Triple Nines, as well as title sponsor J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, angle aim Art (Britanya E. Rapp) and Turtle Rack. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for Sept. 19-20, will be hosted by First Break Bar & Grill in Sterling, VA.

Shea goes undefeated to take her first 2019 JPNEWT title

(l to r): Friend, King, Hatcher, Wong, Li, Shea, Sidbury & Gyftopoulos

The top two players on the 2018 J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, were at it again on the weekend of April 27-28, 2019. Tour director Linda Shea, who finished at the top of last year’s tour rankings went undefeated in this second stop on her tour, while Nicole King, who finished in the second spot in those 2018 tour rankings, finished in the second spot in this event, as well. The $500-added event drew 24 entrants to Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.
 
In addition to the main event, which was an NAPT Div. 2: Semi-Pro Tournament, the JPNEWT held a Sunday Amateur tournament for players with 4 and under handicaps only. That event drew seven entrants and saw two ‘Jenns’ emerge from the event’s round robin format to collect the top two prizes; Jenn Tully finished in 1st place, with Jenn Sylvester as runner-up.
 
In the main event, Shea advanced through Ada Lio 7-5, Lisa Dougherty 7-1 and Anita Sowers 7-3 to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal match against Eugenia Gyftopoulos. King, in the meantime, was awarded an opening round bye, and then, defeated April Hatcher 7-1 and Noel Rima 7-5 to draw Lai Li in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Shea advanced to the hot seat 7-5 over Gyftopoulos, and was joined by King, who’d defeated Li 7-2. Shea claimed the hot seat 7-5 and waited on King’s return.
 
On the loss side, Kia Sidbury was fighting her way back from a first-round, double hill defeat at the hands of Lai Li, and after a first-round, loss-side bye, was in the midst of a four-match winning streak that was about to end. She’d downed Melissa Jenkins, Carol Clark, Noel Rima (double hill) and Suzzie Wong 7-5, to draw Gyftopoulos. Li, in the meantime, picked up Kathy Friend, who after losing double hill to Gyftopoulos on the winners’ side, had shutout Ada Lio and defeated April Hatcher 7-5 to reach her.
 
Gyftopoulos and Sidbury locked up in a double hill fight (Sidbury’s 4th) for advancement to the quarterfinals and Gyftopoulos was the one to advance. She was joined in the quarterfinals by Friend, who earned her rematch against Gyftopoulos by handing Li her second straight loss 7-5.
 
Friend went a step further, defeating Gyftopoulos 7-1 in those quarterfinals, before having her own four-match, loss-side winning streak brought to an end by King, who defeated her 7-2 in the semifinals.
 
The wait didn’t seem to do much harm to Shea in the finals. She bettered her score in the hot seat match by two racks, completing her undefeated run with a second victory over King; this time 7-3.
 
Shea thanked the ownership and staff at Markley Billiards, as well as sponsors J. Pechauer Custom Cues, Coins of the Realm, angle aim Art (Britanya E Rapp), The Turtle Rack Combo (Mezzusa.com), Baltimore City Cues and Billy Ray Bunn Cue Repair. The next stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for May 18-19, will be hosted by First Break Bar & Grill in Sterling, VA.

Corr has to come from the loss side to win her second straight on the JPNEWT

(l to r): Kia Sidbury, Caroline Pao & Karen Corr

In an uncharacteristic path to the winners’ circle, Karen Corr had to come from the loss side to win the August 11-12 stop (#5) on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour. It was Corr’s second straight appearance and win on the tour since it began in March. Though she would advance to the hot seat match, she was sent to the loss side by Caroline Pao (making her first appearance on the 2018 tour). Corr came back from the semifinals to win a nail-biting, double hill match against Pao to claim the event title. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) event drew 23 entrants to Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.
 
In addition to Pao, Corr had to face the tour’s #3-ranked player (coming into this event), Kia Sidbury, twice. Corr opened her campaign against Sidbury, downing her 7-1, and would meet her again in the semifinals. Corr then defeated Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-3 and Kathy Friend 7-2 to draw the tour’s #2-ranked player, Linda Shea, in a winners’ side semifinal. Pao, in the meantime, opened her bid for the event title with a 7-3 victory over the tour’s top-ranked competitor, Nicole King. She sent King to the loss side 7-3 and then shut out Leslie Furr to draw Nicole Monaco in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Corr and Shea came within a game of going double hill, before Corr edged out in front to win 7-5 and advance to the hot seat match. Pao defeated Monaco 7-3 to join her. Pao sent Corr to the semifinals 7-4 to claim the hot seat.
 
Following her loss to Corr, Sidbury embarked on a six-match, loss-side bid for a rematch. She got by Valerie Nolan, Sharon O’Hanlon, Bethany Sykes, and won a double hill match against King to draw Monaco. Shea picked up Elaine Wilson, who’d defeated Lynn Richard 7-5 and Gyftopoulos 7-3 to reach her.
 
Sidbury and Shea advanced to the quarterfinals; Sidbury 7-1 over Monaco and Shea 7-3 over Wilson. Sidbury and Shea fought a double hill match that eventually earned Sidbury her rematch against Corr in the semifinals. Corr gave up only two racks in that semifinal to earn her own rematch against Pao in the finals.
 
In the extended race-to-9 format of the finals, Corr had to (and did) reach seven racks before Pao. They traded racks to an 8-8 tie before Corr broke and ran to capture the event title.
 
The event was a North American Pool Tour (NAPT) Qualifier for the upcoming Desert Challenge, to be hosted by Griff’s Billiards in Las Vegas. With Corr already qualified, Pao picked up the qualifying spot.
 
The results led to a bit of a shakeup among the tour’s top competitors going into the 6th stop on the tour, scheduled for September 15-16, to be hosted by First Break Café and Billiards in Sterling, VA. Tour director Linda Shea and Nicole King switched places; Shea moving into 1st and King, dropping to 2nd. Kia Sidbury, previously tied with Erica Testa (who did not compete), stayed right where she was. Corr, with her second straight win, moved up to 4th place, as Judie Wilson maintained her hold on 5th place in the tour rankings.
 
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, live stream sponsor – angle aim Art, Mezz USA, and Baltimore City Cues. 

King goes undefeated at third stop on JPNEWT

Judie Wilson, Linda Shea, Jackie Rivera, Nicole King, Kia Sidbury and Kathy Friend

In addition to the visible struggle that plays out on the pool tables, regional tour competitors participate in a meta-game of tour rankings. At the end of a given season, based on those tour rankings, someone ends up as a given tour’s champion, which can accrue benefits ranging from cash, entry fees to major events, or, in some cases, nothing more significant than bragging rights. This meta-game tends to play out within a relatively small circle of a tour’s members, because ascension to the top of a tour’s rankings requires a combination of superior skills and consistent participation.
 
On the weekend of May 19-20, there was another early-season shuffle in the upper ranks of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) rankings. Going into the $500-added (from Coins of the Realm), third stop on the tour, which drew 18 entrants to First Break Café and Billiards in Sterling, VA, Erica Testa, with a win and runner-up finish to her credit, was the tour’s #1-ranked player. When it was over, tour director Linda Shea (third going in) had become #1. Testa (who did not compete in this event) was sharing the second spot with Kia Sidbury, who came into and out of the event as the tour’s #2 player (albeit, tied at that spot). Nicole King, who went undefeated in the event, moved into the fourth slot, while Judie Wilson, dropped a spot into #5.
 
The players don’t spend a lot of their time (if at all) thinking about this meta-game aspect of a single tournament, but it’s there, and highlights the generally tight group of women (in this case) who get together on seven separate occasions (in this case) to battle for area supremacy in the sport. It may only be the tour’s third stop, but it’s just shy of half the battle. King’s trip to the winner’s circle went through two players just below her in the rankings – Sharon O’Hanlon (7-4) and Melissa Jenkins (7-5) – and one above her (Kia Sidbury; 7-3), before meeting up with a woman in a winners’ side semifinal, Jackie Rivera, who, at this stage, had yet to figure into the current rankings.
 
Shea, in the meantime, got by Elaine Wilson 7-5 and Kelly Wyatt 7-2 to draw Kathy Friend in the other winners’ side semifinal. Shea moved into the hot seat match with a 7-3 win over Friend, as King was busy surviving a double hill match against Rivera. King downed Shea 7-3 and sat in the hot seat, awaiting her return.
 
On the loss side, Rivera picked up Judie Wilson, who’d lost her opening match to Friend, and was in the midst of a four-match, loss-side run that included a recent double hill win over Wyatt and a 7-4 win Bethany Sykes. Friend drew Sidbury, who, following her defeat by King on the winners’ side had defeated Elaine Wilson and Teri Thomas, both 7-4.
 
Rivera eliminaTed Wilson 7-3 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Friend, who’d defeated Sidbury 7-5. Friend just did survive the quarterfinal 7-6 but had her bid for further advancement derailed by Shea, who took the semifinal match 7-4.
 
In the meta-game of ranking points, Shea was moving into the top spot, no matter what happened in her finals match against King, who, no matter what happened in the finals, was going to end up in the #4 ranking spot. Both, however, were looking to chalk up their first win on the tour, which, one would assume, carried much more weight in the double hill fight that followed than the meta-rankings-game. King won it to complete her undefeated run and take that first 2018 event title.
 
The meta-rankings-game and the individual battles that define it will continue at stop #4  on the JPNEWT, scheduled for the weekend of June 23-24. The event will feature a separate amateur division and will be hosted by Champion Billiards and Sports Bar in Frederick, MD.

Sidbury comes back from semifinals to down Testa and win JPNEWT season opener

(l to r): Erica Testa, Linda Shea, Judie Wilson, Kia Sidbury, Cheryl Sporleder & Heather Platter

Kia Sidbury claimed the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour’s season opener on the weekend of March 3-4 by coming back from a hot seat loss to down hot seat occupant, Erica Testa in the finals. Sidbury, who finished sixth overall in the tour’s 2017 standings, claimed the event title, and for the time being, top spot on the 2018 rankings. The $500-added (by Coins of the Realm) event drew 20 entrants to Triples Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD.
 
Sidbury faced Testa twice, winning the all-important second matchup, in the finals, but she also had to get by Heather Platter twice; once in a winners’ side semifinal, and again, in the event semifinals. Following victories over Elaine Wilson and Kathy Friend, Sidbury came out on top in two straight double hill matches, against Tour Director Linda Shea in a winners’ side quarterfinal and Platter in the winners’ side semifinal, which put her (Sidbury) in the hot seat match. Testa’s path to the hot seat match went through Nicole Fleming, Lynn Richards (who would go on to win a concurrently-run, 9-entrant Amateur event), Gwen Townsend, and in the other winners’ side semifinal, Judie Wilson 7-2. Testa claimed the hot seat 7-5 over Sidbury and waited on her return from a re-match versus Platter in the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Platter and Wilson met up with Cheryl Sporleder and Shea, respectively. Sporleder had eliminated Gwen Townsend, double hill, and Teri Thomas 7-2 to reach Sporleder. Shea got by Sharon O’Hanlon and Kim Whitman, both 7-4 to draw Wilson. Platter and Wilson advanced to the quarterfinals; Platter, 7-5 over Sporleder and Wilson, 7-2 over Shea.
 
Platter and Wilson locked up in a quarterfinal, double hill fight, that eventually sent Platter to a rematch against Sidbury in the semifinals. That semifinal match came within a game of going double hill, but in the end, Sidbury pulled ahead to win it by two 7-5.
 
In what was, essentially, an early season, first-stop battle for first place on the tour, Sidbury and Testa fought for a second time, looking to claim the event title. Sidbury got out in front, and stayed there, winning it 9-3 for her first tour win. 
 
A concurrently-run Amateur event drew nine entrants and was won by Lynn Richards. The next stop on the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, scheduled for April 28-29, will be hosted by Markley Billiards in Norristown, PA.

Miller blanks Shea twice to win JPNEWT season finale

(l to r): Jackie Rivera, Judie Wilson, Briana Miller, Sharon O’Hanlon, Kathy Friend & Linda Shea

In a circumstance about as rare as a teenager that doesn’t play video games, Linda Shea, tour director of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour (JPNEWT) was shut out twice, in the hot seat and finals of her tour’s season finale. Briana Miller was the culprit. She went undefeated through a field of 17, on-hand for the $1,250-added ($500 from Coins of the Realm) event, hosted by Triple Nines Bar & Billiards in Elkridge, MD on the weekend of November 18-19.
 
Miller’s five-match trek to the event victory saw her win 35 of her 44 games. She gave up a single rack to Tina Marinelli in her opening round of play, and four to Carol V. Clark, which set her (Miller) up to face Judie Wilson in one of the winners’ side semfinals. Shea, in the meantime, who would finish with a 21-24 game record, got by Terri Stovall and Heather Platter, both 7-3, to draw Sharon O’Hanlon in the other winners’ side semifinal.
 
Miller sent Wilson to the loss side, as Shea was downing Hanlon, both 7-4. Miller chalked up the first of her two straight shutouts over Shea to claim the hot seat, and waited for Shea to get back from the semifinals.
 
On the loss side, Wilson and O’Hanlon drew two competitors in the middle of a three-match, loss-side winning streak. Wilson picked up Kathy Friend, who’d defeated Kia Sidbury 7-3, Melissa Jenkins 7-1 and Heather Platter 7-3. O’Hanlon drew Jackie Rivera, who’d gotten by Elaine Wilson 7-3, Eugenia Gyftopoulos 7-4 and Nicole King 7-2.
 
Friend and Rivera made it four in a row with identical 7-5 wins over Wilson and O’Hanlon, respectively. In the quarterfinals that followed, Rivera made it five loss-side wins in a row, defeating Friend 7-3.
 
Shea ended Rivera’s run with a 7-5 win in the semifinals. Miller claimed the season finale event title with her second shutout over Shea.
 
The win moved Miller up into third place (from eighth) in the tour’s season-end rankings, behind Shea, and Elaine Wilson, who, by virtue of her finish in the tie for 13th place, stayed just five points ahead of Miller in the final standings. Miller had competed in only three events this season, winning two of them and finishing as the runner-up (to Karen Corr) in the third. Rounding out the tour’s top-ten-ranked players were in order, from fourth place – Carol V. Clark, Nicole King, Kia Sidbury, Jenn Keeney, Jia Li, Sharon O’Hanlon and Judie Wilson.

Jia Li comes back from winners’ side semifinal loss to defeat Pao in finals of JPNEWT Stop #5

Jia Li

Just back from an appearance in the North American Pool Tour's (NAPT) third Division I Pro tournament in Greyslake, IL, where she finished fourth on the weekend of August 18-20, Jia Li returned to the familiar confines of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women's Tour (JPNEWT) to compete in their fifth stop of the year on the weekend of August 26-27. Li came back from a loss to Caroline Pao in a winners' side semifinal of the event to meet and defeat her in the finals. The event, which drew 21 entrants to Classic Billiards in Phoenixville, PA, was a qualifier for the next NAPT Division I Pro event, scheduled for September 28-October 1 at Eagle Billiards in Dickson City, PA, and with Li already qualified, Pao picked up the invitation that will allow her to compete in that event.
 
Following a 7-5 win over Carol V. Clark in the event's opening round, Li met up with fellow NAPT competitor, Kia Sidbury, who had come within a match of meeting Li in the quarterfinals of the recent NAPT event (Sidbury was eliminated by Eleanor Callado, just prior to those quarterfinals). Li shut Sidbury out, and then defeated Jenn Keeney 7-2, to draw Pao in the winners' side semifinal. Elaine Wilson, in the meantime, who, following an opening round bye, had survived two straight double hill matches against Kathy Friend and Tina Marinelli, squared off against Tina Malm.
 
In their first of two, Pao downed Li 7-4 and advanced to the hot seat match. She was joined by Wilson, who'd sent Malm to the loss side 7-2. Pao gave up only a single rack in the hot seat match against Wilson, which proved to be her last match victory of the weekend.
 
Li moved to the loss side and picked up Marinelli, who, following her defeat by Elaine Wilson, had chalked up two straight double hill matches against Kathleen Lawless and Sidbury. Malm drew Friend, who, following her defeat by Wilson had, after a loss-side bye, chalked up three straight 7-5 wins, over Clark, Nicole King and Sharon O'Hanlon.
 
Li eliminated Marinelli 7-3, and in the quarterfinals, faced Malm, who'd defeated Friend, double hill. Li defeated Malm 7-5, and then, heating up, allowed Elaine Wilson only one rack in the semifinals, to earn her a second shot against Pao.
 
In the single race-to-9 final, Li defeated Pao 9-6 to claim her first JPNEWT victory of the year. The two could conceivably meet again, in two weeks, at the sixth stop on the JPNEWT, scheduled for September 16-17 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA or in a month, when they travel to Dickson City, PA for the next NAPT Division I Pro event