Archive Page

Junior competitor Tanner Elliott goes undefeated on Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball tour

Tanner Elliott

In the end, really early on Sunday morning, April 3, the last two competitors standing at a stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour decided on a mutually-agreed-upon way to determine the event winner. Instead of just opting out of a final altogether, or beginning a potential two-set final at a time when the sun might have come up before it was done, they came up with a formula, turning the decision-making final into a single race, defined, not by their actual handicaps, but by the ‘race’ numbers they decided to employ for one match. Normally, Tri Hinton would have been racing to 8, while his 15-year-old opponent, Tanner Elliott, would have raced to 5 in a two-set final. Instead, they proposed a single 10-3 (Hinton-Elliott) race.

In the early hours of that Sunday morning, tour director Herman Parker was not inclined to question the somewhat arbitrary ‘race’ numbers they’d chosen, nor were the competitors. Officially, they might have played two sets that wouldn’t have exceeded 12 games each, instead, they played one set that wouldn’t have exceeded 12 games, which began with the handicap balance far more in favor of Elliott than it would have been otherwise. Elliott won the match, completing an undefeated run and claiming his first regional tour title at the $500-added event that drew 38 entrants to The League Room in Parkersburg, WV.

While the drama of the final match took all but the last block of the tournament’s time, there was some developing drama on the loss side of the bracket. Two competitors, Hinton and Joey Arbuckle, had been defeated by the same opponent on the winners’ side, Tyler Shultz, and then won seven on the loss side. Arbuckle’s seven came to an end in the quarterfinals. Hinton’s ended in the finals.

Elliott, racing to 5 throughout the tournament, advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against Shane Albaugh (racing to 10). Dusty Yeager and Nija Conley squared off in the other one. 

Elliott downed Albaugh 5-5, and in the hot seat match, faced Yeager, who’d sent Conley to the loss side 6-5 (Conley racing to 8). Elliott claimed the hot seat 5-3 over Yeager and waited for Hinton to complete his seven-match, loss-side run.

On the loss side, Albaugh and Conley ran straight into their second loss, against the aforementioned Hinton and Arbuckle. Hinton had chalked up loss-side wins #3 and #4 against Jerald Hesson 8-5 and Norman Payne 8-3 to draw Albaugh. Arbuckle had recorded loss-side wins #4 and #5 against Ryan Hershman 9-2 and in a rematch, eliminated Tyler Shultz 9-4 to pick up Conley.

Hinton defeated Albaugh 8-2, as Arbuckle and Conley locked up in a double hill fight that eventually did send Arbuckle to the quarterfinals. In that match, Conley (racing to 8) reached the hill first, ahead by six racks 7-1 (Arbuckle racing to 9). Arbuckle then won eight straight to advance.

Hinton stopped Arbuckle’s loss-side run 8-7 in the quarterfinals and then, downed Yeager 8-3 in the semifinals. The plan for a single-set, 10-3 final match between Hinton and Elliott was formulated and agreed upon. Elliott claimed his first event title by winning three games in a row before Hinton had won any.

Tour director Herman Parker thanked the ownership and staff at The League Room, as well as title sponsor Viking Cues,, Break Time Billiards of Winston-Salem, NC, Dirty South Grind Apparel Co., Realty One Group Results, Diamond Brat,, Ridge Back Rails, and Federal Savings Bank Mortgage Division. The next stop on the Viking Cues’ Q City 9-Ball Tour, scheduled for this weekend (April 9-10), will be a $500-added event, hosted by Rock House in Gastonia, NC. 

Go to thread

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

Go to thread