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Tate goes undefeated in Pro-Am and wins eight on the loss side to win 18 & Under Boys JIC

Joey Tate

Treyshawn Bia goes undefeated to capture 13 & Under Boys title

As the Junior International Championships head towards their 8th and final regular series event, scheduled for Sept. 24-26, at Wolf’s Den in Roanoke, VA, two boys, competing in two separate divisions are locked into something of an epic battle for the leadership of both divisions. At present, following the most recent stop on the JIC series, at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH over the past weekend (Aug. 27-29), Nathan Childress of Midlothian, VA leads the rankings in both the Pro-Am division (open to both genders and to players who may have ‘aged’ out of competing in the 18 & Under divisions) and the 18 & Under Boys division. Right behind him in both of the division rankings is Elm City, NC’s Joey Tate, who won both of those divisions in this past weekend’s (Aug. 27-29) stop in the JIC series at Michael’s Billiards in Fairfield, OH. Childress was runner-up in the 18 & Under division, which drew the weekend’s largest number of entrants (44) and finished in the tie for 5th in the Pro-Am division, which drew the second largest crowd of entrants (33).

Childress has won four of the seven 18 & Under Boys’ events and been runner-up in two others. Tate is a distant second in the 18 & Under rankings, having been the runner-up in three of Childress’ four victories and won only once at this past weekend’s event, in which it was Childress who was the runner-up. In the Pro-Am division, Childress has won only once, at the series’ 4th stop at Center Pocket in Laurel, MD.  He’s been runner-up once and placed third in January’s inaugural event of the series. Childress is way out in front in the 18 & Under rankings, but remains at the top of the Pro-Am division’s rankings, in part because Tate did not compete at one of the seven events. Childress finished in the tie for 13th place at that event, earning 2500 ranking points. He currently leads Joey Tate by 250 ranking points in that division. It’s unlikely that Tate will catch Childress in the 18 & Under Division at the next stop in the series, which will put a spotlight on the Pro-Am division, at which it could very likely hinge on how Childress and Tate finish in that event.

Tate’s most dramatic win of this past weekend came in the 44-entrant, 18 & Under division, which got underway first on Friday at Michael’s Billiards. He was awarded an opening round bye and then, in his first match, lost double hill to Cash Keeton. As he shifted to the loss side of the bracket for his eight-match, loss-side trip back to the finals, Childress and Ivo Linkin (in 5th place in the rankings of the 18 & Under and Pro-Am divisions) advanced through the field to face each other in the hot seat.

Childress got by Trent Rose and Riley Adkins before running into Cash Keeton, fresh off his victory over Tate. Childress downed Keeton and then, Declan Summers, to arrive at a winners’ side semifinal versus Dylan Waugh. Linkin opened his campaign with a bit of a scare, eking out a double hill win over Payne McBride, before giving up a total of only four racks in his next three matches, versus Quintin Scott (1), Jacob Schulte (1) and Jayce Little (2), to advance to his winners’ side semifinal against Landon Hollingsworth.

Childress downed Waugh 7-1, and in the hot seat match, faced Linkin, who just did down Hollingsworth, double hill. Childress sent Linkin to the semifinals (versus Tate) 7-2.

On the loss side, Tate’s eight-match trip back to the finals had a shaky start, characterized by two straight double hill battles, against Riley Adkins and Joshua Taylor. Until the finals, Tate would not give up more than three racks in any match that followed. Tate eliminated Treyshawn Bia, who would later become the winner of the 13 & Under Boys division, Ben Gonzales and Xavier Murray to draw Hollingsworth, coming over from the winners’ side semifinal. Waugh drew Trenton White, who’d recently shut out Jacye Little 7-0 and eliminated Cole Bryson 7-1.

Tate gave up only four racks over the next three matches that brought him to the finals. He downed Hollingsworth 7-1 and in the quarterfinals, facing Waugh (who’d defeated White 7-5), he didn’t give up a single rack. Ivo Linkin managed three racks against him in the semifinals.

Tate won his second 18 & Under Boys event of the JIC series with a 9-6 victory over Childress in the finals.

Tate needed only six wins to seal his undefeated run in the Pro-Am division

As with his loss-side run in the 18 & Under Division, Joey Tate’s undefeated run in the Pro-Am began with two double hill battles, which, also like his 18 & Under run, he won, against Payne McBride and Ivo Linkin. He followed up with a shutout over Zaiden Leary and a winners’ side semifinal win over Riley Adkins 7-1. Landon Hollingsworth, in the meantime, worked his way through the Pro-Am field to arrive at his winners’ side semifinal match and much (one would presume) to the relief of Tate, he met and defeated Nathan Childress 7-2. Tate chalked up his next-to-last victory of the event, claiming the hot seat over Hollingsworth 7-4.

On the loss side, Adkins drew Cash Keeton (who’d sent Tate to the loss side in the 18 & Under division and) who was in the midst of a five-match, loss-side winning streak that was about to end. He had recently eliminated Ben Gonzales 7-5 and Ivo Linkin 7-4. Childress picked up Zaiden Leary, who was trekking back to the finals and had followed his winners’ side quarterfinal loss to Tate with victories over Cameron McBride 7-4 and Jacob Kohl 7-1.

Leary (again, one would presume to the relief of Tate) eliminated Childress 7-4 and in the quarterfinals, faced Adkins, who’d defeated Keeton 7-2. Leary then punched his ticket to the finals with two straight 7-4 wins; over Adkins in the quarterfinals and Hollingsworth in the semifinals. Tate completed his undefeated run with a 9-5 win in the finals.

Treyshawn Bia, in 2nd appearance on JIC series, goes undefeated to win 13 & Under Boys

Entering this 7th event of the JIC series, Gallup, NM’s Treyshawn Bia had only competed in one previous event; the 4th, back in June in Texas. He’d finished 3rd behind Gabriel Martinez and Hank Leinen. This apparently did not curb his enthusiasm or confidence in his own abilities any, because he came out gunning. He went undefeated through a field of 18 entrants in the 13 & Under Boys division and went undefeated to claim the event title. 

It took him five matches to do it and he had to defeat the division’s #1 ranked player – D’Angelo “Jaws” Spain to finish the run. Like other competitors in the ‘older’ brackets, it began with a double hill fight. He won that opener versus Garret Summer, went on to send Jayce Little to the loss side and draw Fred Hill, Jr. in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Jayse Alton, in the meantime, drew Hayden Ernst in the other one.

Bia got into the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Hill and was joined by Alton, who’d sent Ernst to the loss side 7-4. Bia downed Alton 7-3 to claim the hot seat.

On the loss side, Hill and Ernst ran right into their second straight loss. Ernst lost a double hill fight against Declan Sommers, while Hill was eliminated by “Jaws” Spain 7-4. “Jaws” went on to eliminate Sommers 7-4 in the quarterfinals and then, Jayse Alton 7-3 in the semifinals.

The finals against the division’s ranking leader and the competitor making only his second appearance on the event series came within a game of going double hill. Bia edged out in front to win it 9-7 and claim his first JIC title.

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.