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Mike Davis, Jr. comes from the loss side to capture $3.7K-added, MD State Bar Box 10-Ball title

Mike Davis

It’s been a good year for Mike Davis, Jr., who’d already chalked up his best (recorded) earnings year since 2016, when he travelled to Maryland this past Thanksgiving Day weekend (Nov. 26-27) and competed in the MD State Bar Box 10-Ball Championships. He got sent to the loss side by his eventual opponent in the double elimination final, Tom Zippler, and defeated him twice in the double elimination final to claim the title. The $3,750-added event drew 86 entrants to Brews & Cues on the Boulevard in Glen Burnie, MD.

The battle for this title was, by close-match standards, fierce; 38% of the tournament’s last 18 matches (7) went double hill, including the hot seat match, semifinal and first set of the true double elimination final. Mike Davis’ campaign opened up with a double hill battle that he won over Scott Haas. Davis followed up with wins over Clint Clayton (4), Mike Saleh (4) and Steve Fleming (5), to arrive at his first match against Zippler, in one of the a winners’ side semifinals. Zippler’s path started out easy enough, with a shutout over Matt Broz, but grew increasingly competitive as he got by Tony Manning (2), Michael Miller (3), Roger Haldar (4) and then, had to battle Brett Stottlemeyer to double hill in a winners’ side quarterfinal that did send him (Zippler) to that first battle with Davis. In the meantime, Kevin West, working at the other end of the bracket, sent Garrett Vaughan (1), Steve Johnson (2), Bobby Pacheco (double hill) and Grayson Vaughan (4) to the loss side and drew Brandon Shuff in the other winners’ side semifinal.

West and Shuff locked up in a double hill battle that eventually did advance West to the hot seat match. He was joined by Zippler, who’d won his first (and, as it turned out, last) match against Davis 7-3. Zippler and West fought to double hill in that hot seat match, with Zippler prevailing and waiting in the hot seat for Davis’ return.

On the loss side, Davis would play three matches against three of the mid-Atlantic region’s (country’s) toughest competitors; in order, Shaun Wilkie, BJ Ussery, Jr. and then, Kevin West. Upon arrival, Davis faced Wilkie, who’d lost a winners’ side quarterfinal to Brandon Shuff and then defeated Matt Krah 7-5 and Jeff Abernathy, double hill. Shuff drew BJ Ussery, who didn’t give up a rack through his first two winners’ side matches and then, was defeated by Thomas Haas 7-5. Ussery went on a six-match, loss-side winning streak to get to Shuff, which included the most recent eliminations of Steve Fleming, by shutout, and, junior competitor Nathan Childress, double hill.

Davis defeated Wilkie 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Ussery, who’d given up just a single rack to Shuff. Davis ended Ussery’s loss-side streak at seven, downing him 7-2 in the quarterfinals before he and West locked up in the second-to-last double hill battle of the tournament, struggling for a seat in the finals.

Davis prevailed and walked right into the last double hill battle of the weekend in the opening set of the true double elimination final against Zippler. He won it and then, came within a game of a second double hill match, before getting out ahead and finishing it 7-5. 

It should be noted that the event was attended by a number of female competitors, veterans of the J. Pechauer Northeast Women’s Tour, most of them, including its tour director, Linda Shea, who went 2-2, finishing in the tie for 25th. The two highest female finishers were Tina Malm, who won three on the loss side before encountering Brett Stottlemeyer in the winners’ side fourth round, battling him to double hill before being sent to the loss side and finishing in the tie for 17th with a 3-2 record. And Bethany Sykes, who finished in the same position; sent to the loss side in the second round and winning two there, before being eliminated. Eugenia Gyftopoulos and Stefanie Manning also competed.

The event also featured a few junior competitors, among them Nathan Childress, who finished in the tie for 7th/8th, Brent Worth (25th) and Garrett Vaughan (33rd). 

Tour director Loye Bolyard thanked the ownership and staff at Brews & Cues for their hospitality, as well as sponsors AlleyKat Cue Sports, Bull Carbon, AZBilliards, Aramith Balls, Simonis Cloth, TAP Chesapeake Bay Region, Safe Harbor Retirement Planners and Whyte Carbon Fiber Cue Shafts. 

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Hollingsworth and Mast win respective 18U boys and girls division at JIC regular season finale

Landon Hollingsworth

Hollingsworth adds ProAm title, Mast adds 13U final event and 13U Championship

It was quite a weekend for two of the top names in the pool world of junior competition. There were seven total events at the last regular season stop (#8) on the Junior International Championship (JIC) series, held last weekend (Sept. 23-25) at Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA. Between them, Landon Hollingsworth and Sofia Mast won five of them; Hollingsworth, chalking up the win in the 18U Boys and ProAm divisions, as Mast (just a little busier) won both the 18U & 13U Girls titles and then went on to win the 13U Championship event, which was run concurrently with that division’s final regular season competition. Mast did not compete in the other division (ProAm) for which she was eligible, but given the strength of her performance in the three for which she was eligible, there was idle speculation that she might have taken that title as well.

Along the way, in the finals of her three events, Mast faced and defeated two members of the Tate family (Bethany in the 18U Girls division and her sister, Noelle in the 13U Girls division) and her perennial rival in both female divisions, Skylar Hess, in the 13U Girls championship. Bethany Tate (17th) and Hess (13th) were among the seven young women who competed in the ProAm event, along with Savanna Wolford, Courtney Hairfield (13th), Kennedy Meyman (17th), Skylynn Elliot (17th) and Precilia Kinsley (17th).

The ProAm event, the last of the 2022 JIC season, drew the weekend’s largest field (27) and seemed destined to feature a battle or two between the top two competitors in the division’s standings; Joey Tate and Landon Hollingsworth, who, between them, had won six of the division’s eight events, including the last one, won by Hollingsworth. But a funny thing happened on the way to the event finals. Tate was sent to the loss side in a winners’ side quarterfinal battle versus Brent Worth (7-5) and lost his first match on that side of the bracket to Grayson Vaughan 7-5.

Hollingsworth’s undefeated path to the hot seat and finals was not an easy one. It started out well, with 7-1 victories over two of the seven females in the field, Bethany Tate and Skylynn Elliott. It moved on from there to successive double-hill battles versus Jayce Little in a winners’ side quarterfinal and Nathan Childress in a winners’ side semifinal, which put Hollingsworth into the hot seat match. Jas Makhani in the meantime, who’d sent Brent Worth to the loss side immediately after Worth had sent Joey Tate over, joined Hollingsworth in the hot seat match. Hollingsworth, apparently tired of having to play two successive double hill matches, gave up only a single rack to Makhani and claimed the hot seat.

On the loss side, Logan Whitaker, who’d lost his opening round match to Payne McBride, embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him to the finals against Hollingsworth. He’d recently defeated Cameron Hollingsworth (Landon’s brother), double hill and Grayson Vaughan 7-3 to draw Nathan Childress. Worth drew Hayden Ernst (eventual winner of the 13U Boys division tournament), who’d defeated McBride, double hill, and Cole Lewis 7-5 to reach him.

Worth and Whitaker advanced to the quarterfinals, won by Whitaker 7-1, who advanced to down Makhani in the semifinals 7-5.  

Whitaker, appearing in only his third ProAm event of the JIC series (previously 5th and 7th) gave Hollingsworth a run for his money in the finals. He came within a game of forcing a deciding 17th game. Hollingsworth claimed the ProAm’s last 2022 JIC title 9-7. He and Joey Tate, who finished 2nd and 1st, respectively, in the final ProAm standings were awarded entry fees to a Pro event of their choice. Tate will attend next month’s International Open in Norfolk, VA, while Hollingsworth opted to attend the Puerto Rico Open 10-Ball event in mid-November.

The expected matchup of the two top competitors in the 18U Boys division – Hollingsworth and Tate – happened in that division’s 23-entrant regular season finale, twice. Hollingsworth’s path to the finals took an unexpected turn when he lost his opening match in a double hill fight against Niko Konkel, who’d entered the tournament outside of the division’s top ten in the standings and finished in 5th place. It took Tate five matches to get into the hot seat. It took Hollingsworth eight loss-side matches to reach him in the finals.

Joey Tate got by Cole Lewis, Jas Makhani and Payne McBride to get into the hot seat match against Logan Whitaker. Runner-up in the ProAm event, which finished some three hours after the 18U tournament, Whitaker would figure prominently in this event, as well. Right after Konkel had sent Hollingsworth to the loss side, Whitaker sent him over and advanced through D’Angelo Spain and Brent Worth to reach the hot seat match against Tate. Tate claimed the hot seat 7-2, sending Whitaker to a semifinal matchup against Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth’s loss-side run faced its most serious challenge when Payne McBride, in his first loss-side match, forced a double-hill deciding match. Hollingsworth advanced to successfully navigate his rematch against Konkel in the quarterfinals 7-2 and then dropped Whitaker into third place 7-3 in the semifinals.

Anticipation of the final was probably stronger than the match itself. Hollingsworth downed Tate 9-4 to claim the last regular season event for the 18U Boys division. They’ll both be moving onto the 18U Boys Championship in Norfolk, VA at the end of the month.

Sofia Mast

Mast played in all three of the events she won, simultaneously

The “Pink Dagger,” Sofia Mast, struck three times on the weekend, winning the 13U Girls Championship at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, the 13U Girls regular season finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday and the 18U Girls title at 4 p.m. on Sunday. She went undefeated in all three, downing Skylar Hess in the finals of the first, Noelle Tate in the finals of the second and Noelle’s sister Bethany in the finals of the third.

In what proved to be her final title-claiming event, Mast faced and successfully navigated two double hill challenges, from Precilia Kinsley in the second round and Bethany Tate in the battle for the hot seat. Until she reached the hot seat match, Tate hadn’t faced an opponent who’d chalked up more than two racks against her, including her sister, Noelle, who chalked up that many in their winners’ side semifinal matchup.

Mast’s victory in the hot seat match sent Tate to the semifinals, where she ran into Courtney Hairfield, who chalked up two against her, as well. In the finals, when Mast chalked up her second rack, on her way to a title-claiming 9-5 victory, she had already won more games against Tate than all of Tate’s opponents combined.

As it happened, while Mast drew a lot of the weekend’s spotlight, it was Bethany Tate who ended up at the top of the 18U Girls division standings, significantly ahead of Mast in 2nd place. Tate won four of the division’s eight events, to Mast’s three; all in a row, including one in which she defeated Mast in the finals and two in which Mast finished in the tie for 5th place. Precilia Kinsley, Skylar Hess and Kennedy Meyman rounded out the division’s top five. Meyman won the only event that Tate and Mast, both of them competing, did not; the first, in January. They’ll all move on to Norfolk, where they’ll compete in the 18U Girls Championship, in the latter days of Pat Fleming’s 9-day International Open between October 28- November 5.

(Editor’s Note: Details on the two (each) 13U Girls and 13U Boys events, can be found elsewhere in our News section.) 

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Brothers battles back in finals to win B & L 2nd Annual Fargo Open 9-Ball Championship

Josh Brothers

At the height of Josh Brothers’ pool career, defined by us here at AZBilliards as his best earnings year (2010), he finished among the top five competitors in 18 of the 19 (recorded) events in which he cashed that year. He won 10 of them; nine on the Mezz Pro Am Tour and was that year’s Maryland State Champion in a November event at which Manny Chau finished in the tie for 5th place. Twelve years later, this past weekend (Sept. 17), Brothers went undefeated at the B & L Billiards Tournaments’ 2nd Annual Fargo Open 9-Ball Championships and had to come from behind in the finals versus Manny Chau, who’d won seven on the loss side to challenge him. The event drew 78 entrants to Bank Shot Bar & Grill in Laurel, MD.

Brothers, racing to 8 throughout, was moving right along through his opponents (racing to between 5 and 7), who were chalking up an average of three or four racks against him; Sam Roberts (3), Josh Mohammed (2), Shawn Toni (4) and Rick Molineiro (2). This set Brothers up in a winners’ side semifinal match against Tom Zippler. Marvin Ramirez, in the meantime, racing to 5, got by Jenn Benton (1), Brandon Vaughan (3), junior competitor Nathan Childress (4, racing to 8), Curtis Branker (4, racing to 6) and Derek Crothers (4, racing to 7), which set him up to face Matt Krah in the other winners’ side semifinal. Krah had been responsible for sending Manny Chau to the loss side in the third round. 

Brothers advanced to the hot seat match 8-4 over Zippler and was joined by Ramirez, who’d defeated Krah 5-5 (Krah racing to 7), sending him west to an immediate rematch against Chau. 

Brothers shut Ramirez out to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Chau had chalked up loss-side wins #3 & #4 against Rick Molineiro 8-5 and Mike Saleh, double hill (8-6), when who should show up but the man who’d made all that extra loss-side work necessary, Matt Krah. Zippler drew Derek Crothers, who’d followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Ramirez with wins over Richey Orem 7-2 and Scott Haas 7-4. 

Krah had a single ‘bead on the wire’ in a race to 8. He could have been given five of them, because Chau eliminated him 8-2. Crothers downed Zippler 7-2 and then had his brief, loss-side run stopped by Chau in the quarterfinals 8-1.

Chau had his hands full in the double hill semifinals that followed. Ramirez started the match with three ‘beads on the wire’ in a race to 8 and won four of the five he needed to win. Chau chalked up his eight and turned to face Roberts waiting for him in the hot seat.

Fresh off his double hill win in the semifinals, Chau opened the finals with five straight racks before Brothers got on the board. Brothers went on to win seven of the next nine games; #6 put him on the hill, #7 gave him the championship.

Co-tour directors Brian Kilgore and Lai Li thanked the ownership and staff at Bank Shot Bar & Grill for their hospitality, as well as all of those who came to play, to whom they extended their congratulations.

“We ended up a little short of our (attendance) goal,” noted Kilgore, “but with 78 unbelievable, game-ready competitors, we couldn’t be too upset.”

Special congratulations were extended to the winner and runner-up for “a roller coaster final set,” as well as to B & L regular and third-place finisher, Marvin Ramirez, in his first time “going deep” in one of the organization’s singles events.

“An unbelievable run,” said Kilgore, “beating two ‘700’ Fargos and multiple monsters along the way.”

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Gorst goes undefeated in delayed 14th Bob Stocks Memorial

Fedor Gorst and Shane Wolford (TTMD)

There were a lot of events going on this past Easter weekend, particularly on the East Coast and the multiplicity of them led to a few crossover competitors, reducing the numbers here, increasing them there. This past weekend’s 14th Bob Stocks Memorial (April 16), usually held on an annual basis, came two years after the last one in 2019. Formerly held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, ThinkTechMD picked up the reins for this year’s edition. Initially capping the field at 64, that number fell to 52 for a variety of different reasons, and when it began, there were only 30.

Fedor Gorst went undefeated through the field, advancing first on the winners’ side of a double elimination bracket and then, winning four matches in a single elimination bracket to claim the title. Gorst and junior competitor Shane Wolford advanced through the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket and were one of the eight chosen from that side of the bracket to compete in the single elimination phase of the event. Had the double elimination bracket continued, they would have faced off in a winners’ side quarterfinal. As it turned out, after the redraw to single elimination, they showed up at opposite ends of the single elimination bracket and met, for the first and last time, in the event final. The $1,500-added event drew its 30 entrants to First Break Sports Bar in Sterling, VA.

Gorst played two matches on the winners’ side of the double elimination bracket, downing Rafael Reyes (1) and Matt Krah (0) by an aggregate score of 14-1. Wolford advanced through Lenny Valley (4) and Thang Nguyen (3) to arrive at the same winners’ side spot. Joining the eventual finalists in the single elimination phase were, from the winners’ side, Chris Hansen and Nathan Childress, Derick Daya and Manny Chau, as well as Kristina Tkach and Scott Haas.

The last eight left standing on the losers’ side and advancing to single elimination were Thomas Haas, Eric Heiland, Dylan Spohr, Rafael Reyes, Matt Krah, Brandon Shuff, Bart Czapla and John Moody, Sr.

Heiland and Spohr advanced to the event’s final eight after defeating Daya and Childress, respectively. Gorst got by Reyes and was joined in the final eight by Chau, who’d defeated Thomas Haas. Moody, Sr. and Shuff advanced as well, eliminating Scott Haas and Kristina Tkach. Wolford downed Matt Krah, and was joined among the final eight by Chris Hansen, who’d defeated Czapla.

The winners in the four, quarterfinal matches advanced by an aggregate score of 48-16. Shuff and Wolford downed Moody, Sr. and Hansen by the same 11-5 score. Gorst eliminated Chau 11-4 and Spohr gave up only two racks versus Heiland.

The semifinal matches pitted Gorst against Spohr and Shuff against Wolford. Gorst eliminated Spohr 11-5. Shuff gave Wolford a run for his money, coming within a game of forcing a twenty-first deciding game, but in the end, Wolford pulled out in front, advancing to the final against Gorst 11-9.

The final match was an extended race-to-13. Though similar in age (early 20s), the combatants were quite different in how far each had come to this point in their pool careers; Wolford, more or less just starting out and Gorst, already a recognized world-class professional player. Though Wolford would chalk up twice as many racks against Gorst as any of his previous challengers (Reyes and Spohr had managed five against him in races to 11), Gorst got out ahead of Wolford and closed the 14th Bob Stocks Memorial with a 13-10 victory to claim the title. 

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Ussery comes from the loss side to take VA State 10-Ball Championships

Manny Chau and BJ Ussery

Junior competitor Precilia Kinsley takes Ladies title

There were times, as the 2022 VA State 10-Ball Championships, held under the auspices of the Action Pool Tour, were playing out, that one might have thought they’d taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up at an event on the Junior International Championships (JIC). In both the concurrently-run Open and Ladies tournament, held this past weekend (April 9-10), there was strong representation from the up-and-coming crowd of junior competitors.

Precilia Kinsley (15) won the Ladies event and though the Open event was won by BJ Ussery, Jr., it was a different kind of junior (Nathan Childress) who sent him to the loss side. Three of the five matches he played after that to get to the finals put him up against Childress a second time and two other prominent male juniors on the JIC roster, Joey Tate and Landon Hollingsworth. All four and Brent Worth, another player on the JIC, competed in the Open event. Kinsley went two-and-out, while Worth went three-and-out in that division. The event drew 46 Open competitors and 20 Ladies to Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA.

Ussery’s path to the Open finals was rolling along smoothly through his first three matches, in which he’d given up only one rack, against Luther Pickeral (0), Shane Buchanan (1) and Larry Kressel (0). Then, he ran into Childress, who defeated him 8-5. Childress advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Manny Chau. Hollingsworth became the second junior competitor in the winners’ side semifinals, having, on his way, given up only three racks, once, and two racks twice before facing Danny Mastermaker, who’d given up that many racks in his previous winners’ side quarterfinal win over Mac Harrell.

Mastermaker advanced to the hot seat match, sending Hollingsworth to the loss side 8-6. Chau joined him after downing Childress 8-4. Chau claimed the hot seat 8-1 over Mastermaker and waited on what he, with good reason, might have assumed was one of the three junior competitors still at work on the loss side.

On that loss side of the bracket, Childress drew Scott Roberts, who’d lost his opening match to Larry Kressel and was working on a seven-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to come to an end. He’d recently survived two straight double-hill matches against Mac Harrell and Chris Bruner. Hollingsworth drew Ussery, who was working on his own loss-side streak and had recently defeated Reggie Jackson 7-1 and JIC competitor Joey Tate 7-3.

Ussery defeated Hollingsworth 7-3 and advanced to his quarterfinal rematch against Childress, who joined him after putting a stop to Roberts’ loss-side streak 7-1. A little older by a matter of hours and presumably a little wiser, Ussery, Jr. stepped to the proverbial ‘plate’ and battled Childress to a deciding 13th game, his only double hill match of the tournament, before eliminating him.

Ussery then defeated Mastermaker 7-3 in the semifinals and claimed the VA State 10-Ball Championship title with a 9-6 victory Chau in the finals.

Precilia Kinsley and Liz Taylor

Six from JIC (30% of the field) compete, Kinsley comes from the loss side to take the title

Like Ussery, Precilia Kinsley had to come from the loss side to win the Ladies division of the VA State 10-Ball Championships. The winners’ side semifinals in the Ladies tournament featured two juniors against each other in one and two veterans in the other.

Kinsley was one of the juniors. She’d gotten by Cheryl Pritchard and Buffy Jolie to face fellow junior competitor, Bethany Tate in their winners’ side semifinal. Liz Taylor, who, at the same venue, won last October’s VA State Ladies 9-Ball Championship, ran a sort of JIC young ladies’ gauntlet. Four of her five total opponents in the event were JIC competitors. She opened with a victory over Courtney Hairfield (who’d finished 5th/6th in the last JIC 18U Girls division event, two weeks ago) and Hayleigh Marion (double hill) before stepping into her winners’ side semifinal against someone much closer to her in age, Lisa Cossette.

Tate downed Kinsley 6-4, as Taylor was working on a 6-2 win over Cossette. Taylor claimed the hot seat 6-2 over Tate and waited on the return of her last junior competitor.

On the loss side, that competitor, Kinsley, drew fellow JIC competitor Hayleigh Marion, who’d recently eliminated Britt Faries 5-2 and yet another JIC competitor, Savanna Wolford, double hill. Cossette picked up Buffy Jolie, who’d survived a double hill fight versus Courtney Hairfield and defeated Bethany Sykes 5-2 to reach her.

Cossette downed Jolie 5-3 and in the quarterfinals, faced Kinsley, who’d survived a double hill match against Marion. Kinsley defeated Cossette 5-3 and in their semifinal rematch, eliminated Tate 5-3, as well. Kinsley and Taylor came within a game of double hill, but in the end, the youngster edged out in front of the woman who owns a number of VA State titles. Kinsley downed Taylor 7-5 to claim her first. 

A five-entrant Second Chance tournament was won by Chris Bruner, who took home $80 for the effort. Brian Sewell ($20) was runner-up

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as sponsors George Hammerbacher and Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., P.C. Family Dentistry (Haselman & Hunt.com). As the Action Pool Tour works on adding two more events to their 2022 calendar, the next scheduled event, to be held on the weekend of November 19-20, will bring the tour back to Diamond Billiards for the VA State 8-Ball Championships. 

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Bethany Tate and Skylar Hess win second straight 18U/13U Girls titles on JIC Stop #3

Arianna Houston, Skyler Hess and Noelle Tate

Logan Whitaker, Hayden Ernst win 18U/13U Boys titles, Lazaro Martinez takes ProAm event

As of this past weekend (March 26-27), three of the five divisions of the Junior International Championships have had different winners through the series’ first three stops. Bethany Tate has won the last two 18 & Under Girls division titles, while Skylar Hess has captured the last two 13 & Under Girls titles. Kennedy Meyman won the first 18 & Under Girls title back in January, while Sofia Mast took the season-opening 13 & Under Girls’ title.

The continuing JIC series has sparked a number of notable rivalries in each of its five divisions, reflected in the ongoing battle for supremacy in the 13U Girls division, where, dating back to last  year’s series, Sylar Hess and Sofia Mast do regular battle. When Mast won the division’s 2022 season opener, Hess was runner-up. When Hess grabbed the title at Stop #2, Mast was runner-up. 

This past weekend, however, Mast was in Las Vegas for the BCA Pool League’s World Championships, where she lost a battle for the hot seat and was defeated in the semifinals of the Ladies’ 8-Ball Singles event. The absence of Mast did not grant Hess any automatic ticket to the 10-entrant, JIC 13 & Under winners’ circle, though. In fact, after downing Aubrey Whited 7-3 in her opening round, Hess was sent to the loss side by Arianna Houston 7-3 in a winners’ side semifinal. Joining Houston in the hot seat match was Noelle Tate, a regular threat in the division, who’d defeated Kayden Willis 7-2 in their winners’ side semifinal.

Tate grabbed the hot seat 7-2 over Houston, guaranteeing her (Tate) third place, minimum. She’d finished 4th in the opener and 7th in the second event. Noelle had finished 3rd in the opener of the 18 and Under Girls division and 5th, twice, in the next two).

On the loss side, Hess picked up Skylnn Elliott, while Willis drew Gianna “Mini Banks” Fiore. Hess and Fiore advanced to the quarterfinals; Hess over Elliott and Fiore over Willis, both 7-1. Hess then eliminated Fiore 7-4 and downed Houston in the semifinals 7-3. Hess and Tate battled to double hill in the finals, before Hess claimed her second 13 & Under title.

Kennedy Meyman, Bethany Tate and Skyler Hess

Noelle’s older sister, Bethany, grabbed her second straight title in the 14-entrant, 18 & Under Girls division, having defeated both Sofia Mast in the finals of the 2nd event in Florida and Hess in this most recent event, also in the finals. Bethany went undefeated in this one, while Hess, who’d been defeated by Bethany in the opening round of play, won six on the loss side to meet her in the finals. Both Bethany and Hess had to get by Noelle Tate to earn their spot in the finals; Bethany had downed her sister in a winners’ side semifinal, while Hess was Noelle’s first, loss-side opponent. 

It was Bethany and Kennedy Meyman (winner of the 18 & Under Girls’ division in the season opener) who squared off in the hot seat match, won by Bethany 7-4. On the loss side, Hess eliminated Noelle 7-4, advancing to the quarterfinals against Taylor Perkins, who’d defeated Courtney Hairfield, double hill. Hess defeated Perkins 7-1 and then, downed Meyman 7-4 for a second shot at Bethany, waiting for her in the hot seat. Bethany completed her undefeated run 9-2 in the finals to chalk up her second straight 18 & Under Girls’ title.

Boys’ events and Pro Am crown their third season champions

In the ProAm division, while there have been three different winners (in order, Landon Hollingsworth, Trenton White, and this past weekend, Lazaro Martinez), Joey Tate has been runner-up in all three. There are a lot of crossover competitors in the age-and-gender-separated divisions, as well as, in particular, the ProAm and 18 & Under Boys divisions. Lazaro Martinez, as a random example, almost won two divisions on the same weekend, and did win the 36-entrant Pro Am, although not before Joey Tate defeated him in the hot seat match 7-5 and he had to eliminate Landon Hollingsworth 7-1 in the semifinals for a second shot at Tate. It was a successful second shot, as it turned out, with Martinez downing Tate in the finals 9-4. 

Lazaro Martinez, Logan Whitaker and Ivo Lemon

The winner of the 33-entrant, 18 & Under Boys division, Logan Whitaker, it should be noted, was sent to the loss side by Joey Tate in the ProAm and eliminated in his first, loss-side match by another regular threat in the boys’ and ProAm divisions, Nathan Childress.  He had to come from the loss side to capture the 18 & Under Boys title, as well.

After downing Hollingsworth in a winners’ side quarterfinal 7-4, Whitaker was sent to the loss side by Ivo Lemon in a winners’ side semifinal. In the hot seat match, Lemon faced Lazaro Martinez, who’d just defeated Tate, double hill in their winners’ side semifinal. Martinez claimed the hot seat 7-1 over Lemon and was a single step away from securing a second title on the weekend. 

Whitaker opened his loss-side campaign against RJ Mills, as Hollingsworth and Joey Tate were squaring off in a double hill fight that eventually sent Hollingsworth to the quarterfinals. Whitaker joined him after downing Mills 7-5. In their second match, Whitaker downed Hollingsworth a second time, 7-3 and eliminated Lemon 7-3 in the semifinals.

With one competitor looking for his first win on the JIC and the other looking to chalk up his second at just this one stop on the series, a double hill fight was not a surprise. Whitaker prevailed to claim his first JIC title.

Hayden Ernst

Hayden Ernst, appearing in his first JIC event, finished in the tie for 7th place in the ProAm division, but went undefeated to claim the 13-entrant, 13 & Under Boys division. He faced Jayce Little in the hot seat match, downing him 7-4 to claim his first JIC hot seat. 

D’Angelo “Jaws” Spain, in the meantime, who’d been sent to the loss side in a double hill battle versus Jas Makhani, worked his way through five, loss-side opponents (including a successful rematch against Makhani; 7-5 in the quarterfinals). “Jaws” dropped Jayce Little 7-5 in the semifinals and got a shot at Ernst, waiting for him in the hot seat.

Ernst claimed his first title, to go along with his 7th place finish in the ProAm. He defeated “Jaws” in the 13 & Under Boys finals 9-2.

The JIC series heads for the desert in a little over a month. Stop #4 on the Junior International Championships, scheduled for the weekend of May 6-8, will be hosted by Bullshooters in Phoenix, AZ. 

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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, CueScore.com, The League Room, American Billiards Covering, B & R Productions (Rich France and Bruce Carder), DFE Billiards/XLR8. 

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White and Joey Tate go undefeated to win Pro Am/18 & Under Boys division at Stop #2 of JIC

Joey Tate, Trenton White and Nathan Childress

Bethany Tate, Hess and Leinen take 18 & Under Girls, 13 & Under Girls and Boys titles

“And they’re off!!” says a voice emanating from some mythical PA system, followed, seconds later, by “Rounding the first turn, it’s ‘GoGetEm’ in the lead . . .”

If you think of competition in each of the five divisions comprising the Junior International Championships (JIC), sponsored by Viking Cues, as a series of eight horse races, Stop #2 in the 2022 series is like a snapshot of the junior competitors, just after they’ve broken out of the gate and are headed into the first turn of a mile-long race. Not a lot of useful information in that snapshot in terms of how it will all play out as they round the final turn and head for home in the fall, but it’s compelling to watch as they jockey for position. 

The five divisional events drew a total of 112 entrants to Diamond Billiards in Cape Coral, FL, with a great deal of crossover, including in the ProAm division, which saw nine girls from both age groups make up just over 22% of the 40-entrant Pro Am field. As intended by JIC tournament director and On the Wire Creative Media’s Ra Hanna, this group of young competitors do not flinch at playing above their normal ‘pay grade,’ whether that be defined by age or gender. The ferocity of competition, even as viewed in the snapshot of the series’ ‘first turn,’ is fierce. None of the five winners from Stop #1 repeated as winners in Stop #2. Some of the Stop #2 winners had not chalked up a win in the first season.

Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and Gianna Fiore

Some of the ‘ponies’ in their separate divisional races are hot on each other’s trail. In the 13 & Under Girls race, Sophia Mast and Skylar Hess are running neck and neck. They met twice in the season opener; in their opening match, won by Hess, and again, in the finals, won by Mast. They met twice last weekend, too, and once again, in their opening matches of the 10-entrant event. They fought to double hill before Mast prevailed, moving on to a winners’ side semifinal against Asia Gillespie, and from there, to the hot seat match, which she won, downing Gianna “Mini Banks” Fiore 7-5. Hess came back through five matches on the loss side, including a 7-5 win over Savannah Easton in the quarterfinals and a 7-1 victory over Fiore in the semifinals. In the finals, this time Hess prevailed 9-5. Hess was also the top finishing young woman (9-12) in the 40-entrant ProAm division (the largest field at Stop #2).

The winner and runner-up in Stop #1 of Season Two in the ProAm division (Landon Hollingsworth and Joey Tate, who were also winner and runner-up in Season 1’s 18 & Under Boys division championship) become runner-up (Tate) and among the eight competitors who tied for 17th (Hollingsworth). Trenton White, who had yet to win an event in the series (either season) went undefeated to claim the Stop #2 ProAm title. He got by five opponents, including a double hill win over Justin Toye and a winners’ side semifinal, 7-5 win over Kashton Keeton to give Joey Tate a shot at him in the hot seat match. White won their first of two ‘rounds’ 7-5.

On the loss side, two veterans of the JIC series, Riley Adkins and Nathan Childress, faced each other in the quarterfinals. Childress, who’d entered last season’s 18 & Under Championships as the #1-ranked player in the division, downed Adkins 7-4 and then fell to Tate by the same score in the semifinals. White took Tate down a second time, in the finals 9-6, to claim Stop #2’s Pro Am title.

White fared well in the 18 & Under Boys division, as well, finishing in the tie for 5th/6th, but Tate went undefeated in that event and never faced White, which, from Tate’s perspective, was probably just as well. Tate advanced through to the hot seat match, where he defeated Ivo Lemon 7-5. White was eliminated in the 5th/6th matches by Hollingsworth 7-5, who went on to defeat Dustin Muir 7-3 in the quarterfinals. He was eliminated 7-4 by Lemon in the semifinals, which, again from Tate’s perspective, worked out just fine. Tate claimed the 18 & Under Boys title, downing Lemon a second time, 9-5.

Sofia Mast, Bethany Tate and April Gonzaez

‘Favorites’ in the 18 & Under Girls race fall to a (medium) ‘longshot’

With Sofia Mast, Skylar Hess and Kennedy Meyman (winner of this division last month) in the 16-entrant, 18 & Under Girls division, they’d have shown up on a ‘toteboard’ as a group of three ‘favorites’ in Stop #2’s race. And at the end of four rounds of match play (around the final turn and headed for home), Sophia Mast was in the lead. . uhh, hot seat. She’d not faced Hess, which, from her perspective, was probably just as well, but she had sent Meyman to the loss side in the opening round, survived a winners’ side semifinal, double hill fight against Bethany Tate, and shut out April Gonzalez in the hot seat match.

Bethany Tate (15) had entered her winners’ side semifinal match against Mast, looking at the distinct possibility that she could face her 11-year-old sister, Noelle, in the hot seat match. It failed to materialize when Mast sent Bethany to the loss side and April Gonalez sent Noelle over. The sisters arrived on the loss side of the bracket at the same time, again looking at the distinct possibility of facing each other, this time in the quarterfinals. Bethany did her part, eliminating Courtney Hairfield 7-5. Noelle was eliminated by Precilia Kinsley, though not before she’d forced a 13th single game, for all of the proverbial marbles.

In the quarterfinals that followed, Bethany and Kinsley also battled to double hill, before Bethany prevailed, advancing to eliminate the competitor who’d sent her sister to the loss side, April Gonzalez (7-5) in the semifinals. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see Noelle rooting for her sister to cross the finish line first, as Bethany and Sofia Mast stepped to the table for the finals. And it worked. Bethany and Mast came to within a game of double hill, but Bethany chalked up her first JIC win 9-7.

D’ Angelo Spain, Hank Leinen and Roman Boone

Absent last month’s winner and runner-up in the 13 & Under Boys division, Hank Leinen stepped up to go undefeated and become yet another junior competitor to win a first division-event title. D’Angelo “Jaws” Spain finished as runner-up. They met first in a winners’ side semifinal, won by Leinen 7-3.

Meeting up with Leinen in the hot seat match was Roman Boone, who’d sent Gaige Wells to the loss side 7-4 in the other winners’ side semifinal. Leinen claimed the hot seat 7-2 and waited on Spain’s return from the semifinals.

On the loss side, Spain, after eliminating Landon Dunlap 7-2, advanced to a quarterfinal versus Jayce Little, who’d defeated Wells 7-1. Spain and Little locked up in a double hill fight that eventually advanced Spain to a semifinal win over Boone 7-3. The 13 & Under Boys final pitting Spain against Leinen came within a game of double hill, but in the end, Leinen edged out in front to claim the division title 9-7

Ra Hanna and all of his support ‘crew’ thanked the owners and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues. The next stop on the Junior International Championships (#3), which will see the competitors stretch their ‘legs’ through the long straightaway on the far side of the track (stops #3 through #7), is scheduled for March 25-27 and will be hosted by The Rack and Grill III in Aiken, SC.

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International 9-Ball and 10-Ball Events Underway

Denis Grabe (Karl Kantrowitz)

Day one of the International 9-Ball Open and the International Big Foot 10-Ball Challenge are in the books with a handful of notable matches. 

In the 10-Ball event, Joshua Filler, Denis Grabe, Mika Immonen, Omar Al Shaheen and Roberto Gomez all advanced with first round wins. Gomez will have to focus on the 9-Ball division a bit more though, after a 10-7 first round 9-Ball loss to Josh Roberts. 

Jayson Shaw dropped his 10-Ball match to Grabe and was almost taken to hill-hill in his first round 9-Ball match with German Ralph Eckert. Warren Kiamco found himself in a similar situation, going to hill-hill before getting past Spencer Ladin. While Ladin came up just short of a big first round win, Junior players Shane Wolford and Nathan Childress both had comfortable wins with Wolford beating Matt Krah 10-3 and Childress defeating Raphael Dabreo 10-5.

International One Pocket Open runner-up Tony Chohan started off his 9-ball campaign on a negative note with a 10-5 loss to Donny Mills. Another player that made some noise in the One Pocket event was Devin Poteet. He was undefeated in the first stage of the One Pocket event, and finished in 5th place. His 9-Ball campaign started with a tight 10-8 win over Jeremy Sossei. 

Both the 9-Ball and 10-Ball events will be contested today with five more 10-Ball matches scheduled for the feature table in the Accu-Stats arena. Shane Van Boening will take on Lee Van Corteza, Jeffrey DeLuna will face Aloysius Yapp and Alex Pagulayan will play Fedor Gorst. Those matches will finish off the first round of the Big Foot Challenge. Two second round matches will be played later in the day today. 

The 9-Ball event will have a number of marquee matches today, including Tommy Kennedy vs Wiktor Zielinski, Wolford vs Thorsten Hohmann, Mario He vs Darren Appleton, Donny Mills vs Omar Al Shaheen, Kelly Fisher vs Fedor Gorst and Jonathan Pinegar vs Alex Pagulayan. 

Fans who purchase the PPV coverage from the event will not be limited to just the feature table. They will be able to choose any of the matches as they are being played. Get more information on the PPV at https://www.onsitepool.com/accustats/

Follow all of the action with Live Scoring and online brackets from both the 9-Ball and 10-Ball events. AzBilliards is working along with digitalpool.com to help put those brackets online. 

Tate, Childress and Hollingsworth earn entry to International Open at their last JIC event

Landon Hollingsworth, Joey Tate and Nathan Childress

Childress and Cutting win 18 & Under divisions in prelude to Championships

Unlike the young men and women in the 13 & Under divisions of the Junior International Championships, who competed in their final events this past weekend (Sept. 17-19), the young men and women of the JIC’s 18 & Under and ProAm divisions began the weekend knowing that there was more to come. The 18 & Under divisions would be competing in their Championship events on the weekend of Oct. 28-30 at the International Open in Norfolk, VA, while two of the ProAm competitors could look forward to actually competing in the International 9-Ball Open. As it turned out, three ProAm competitors earned entry into the event because Nathan Childress and Landon Hollingsworth tied for second place in the ProAm’s final rankings.

Won by Nathan Childress for the fifth time, the 18 & Under Boys division drew the largest group of competitors (39) to the seven events that were hosted by Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA over the long weekend. The ProAm division, won by Landon Hollingsworth (his first, which propelled him into the tie for second place in the rankings) was next in the attendance department with 32 competitors. The 18 & Under girls event drew 14 and saw Tatum Cutting win her third.

The eight events held in the ProAm division since January were designed to accommodate players who had grown out of the two age-specific divisions. The eight events were won by seven different competitors, all of whom, with the exception of Lukas Fracasso-Verner, had not grown out of their age groups. Joey Tate was the only player to win the event twice; in April and August. Fracasso-Verner took the January opener, followed by, in order, Gabriel Martinez, Tate’s first win, Nathan Childress, Ivo Linkin, Cash Keeton, Tate’s second win, and Hollingsworth. 

Hollingsworth, who, through the Pro Am’s first five events, finished, on average, in eighth place, was runner-up in the 6th stop, third in the 7th and won this one to tie Nathan Childress in the division’s rankings and earn entry into the International Open. And he had to work his way through some of the division’s toughest competitors. 

Hollingsworth opened his campaign against the competitor who’d finished third in the 18 & Under rankings, Riley Adkins. He sent Adkins to the loss side 7-4, and then downed Jayce Little 7-2 and Ivo Linkin 7-4, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal against Gabriel Martinez. Joey Tate, in the meantime, had gotten by Payne McBride and Ben Kleinfelter, both 7-3 and sent Trenton White over 7-4 to draw Quintin Scott in the other winners’ side semifinal. 

Hollingsworth and Tate locked up in a double hill fight that did eventually send Hollingsworth to the hot seat match. He was joined by Tate, who’d defeated Scott 7-4. Tate claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited for Hollingsworth to come back from the semifinals, which he did.

In those semifinals, Hollingsworth faced Lazaro Martinez, who’d won three on the loss side, including a double hill win over his brother, Gabriel and a 7-3 win over Riley Adkins in the quarterfinals. Hollingsworth ended Lazaro’s loss-side streak 7-3 and then, downed Tate in the finals 9-5 to claim the ProAm’s 8th title (Editor’s note: The Hollingsworth/Tate rivalry has been going on for a long time and has played a significant role in Hollingsworth’s development and growth as a player. The rivalry will figure prominently in a profile of Hollingsworth to appear in the October issue of our monthly magazine, Billiards Buzz).

Childress cements his 18 & Under rankings with 5th win, while Cutting wins her third to tie Mast

The eight 18 & Under Boys division events have been won by four competitors; one each by Joey Tate, Lazaro Martinez and in his only appearance on the series, Cameron Lawhorne, who won the opener. Nathan Childress has won the other five, and though he opened the series by finishing in fifth place, he’s either won or been the runner-up in every one of the seven events that have followed, which, as you’d expect, has left him way ahead of the pack in the division’s rankings. 

As something of an unintended dramatic gesture, Childress had to start out on the loss side by losing his opening match to Trenton White 7-5. He, then embarked on an eight-match, loss-side winning streak just to face hot seat occupant, Gabriel Martinez. 

White at least had the courtesy to provide evidence that his opening round win was not just an accident and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Landon Hollingsworth. Gabriel Martinez and Ivo Linkin squared off in the other one. Martinez got into the hot seat match 7-1 over Linkin. Hollingsworth survived a double hill fight versus White to enter his second hot seat match of the weekend. Martinez, though, sent him to the semifinals 7-5.

In those semifinals, Hollingsworth had the misfortune of running into Childress, who was only one step away from a spot in the finals and in his eight loss-side matches had been giving up an average of a little over two racks per match. Childress gave up two more in his battle with Hollingsworth and then let up a little on Martinez in the finals, allowing him three racks in their race to 9 to claim the 18 & Under title.

Casey Cork, Tatum Cutting and Skylar Hess

Tatum Cutting came into the 18 & Under Girls division event, one win behind the division’s rankings leader, Sofia Mast, who was ahead in division victories 3-2. Cutting came into the final event, behind in the division’s rankings by 4,500 points, so unless Mast had failed to show up, she was uncatchable in the division’s rankings. Mast did show up and finished in the tie for 5th/6th. Cutting went on to win the event, coming from the loss side, and in the process, made something of a definitive statement in her single match against Mast.

Mast lost her opening match to Courtney Hairfield 7-5, who followed her over when Cutting downed her in the second round by the same score. Cutting advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Casey Cork, as Skylar Hess and Hayleigh Marion squared off in the other one. 

Hess got into the hot seat match with a 7-4 win over Marion. Cork joined her with a 7-3 win over Cutting. Cork claimed the hot seat 7-3 and waited on what turned out to be Cutting’s return.

On the loss side, Cutting ran right into Mast, who was in the midst of a brief, three-match loss-side winning streak. Marion drew Taylor Perkins, who’d won two in a row on the loss side to reach her. Perkins and Marion locked into a double hill that did, eventually, send Perkins to the quarterfinals. Cutting made her ‘statement’ by shutting Mast out, advancing to meet Perkins.

Cutting chalked up a second straight shutout, over Perkins in the quarterfinals and then downed Hess in the semifinals 7-4. 

There was not really a lot at stake for Casey Cork in the finals of the 18 & Under Girls division. The event would determine which eight would advance to the 18 & Under Girls Championship next month in Norfolk. Sitting in the hot seat, it was already Cork’s best finish among the six events she was able to attend, but she came into the event below the 8-player threshold for the Championship and though it’s unlikely she’d have been calculating this prior to the finals, she had zero chance of catching any of the opponents ahead of her and the best she could do would be runner-up, in which case she’d finish 9th in the rankings.

That’s exactly what happened, but not before Cork had first, downed Cutting in a winners’ side semifinal and then, in their finals rematch, put up a double hill fight versus one of the top two players in the division to record her best showing of the entire series. Cutting completed her third division victory of the series with the 9-8 win.

JIC Tour Director Ra Hanna thanked all of his sponsors for their help in making this event possible, Mike Littman with Littman Lights, Matt Suite at American Billiard Covering, Dynaspheres, Chris Wilson at The League Room, Kory & Trena Wolford from Wolfs Den Billiards and Mike from Michael’s Billiards.