Trio of new winners at BCA Jr Nationals

One hundred twenty three of the top Junior talent in the US and Canada descended on Tucson Arizona this week for the 16th Annual BCA Junior Nationals. Out of that field, three players have emerged as champions.

In the 18 & Under Boys division, last years winner Justin Bergman and runner-up Tyler Strawn returned with hopes of raising the trophy high. To the surprise of both players, they would be forced to meet up on the one-loss side after they both suffered losses to Canadian John Morra Jr. Morra beat Bergman for the hot-seat and sent Bergman to the one-loss side where Strawn was waiting. Strawn lost to Bergman in the finals last year and he got his revenge this year as he forced Bergan to settle for third place.

Strawn looked on his way to the win early, with leads of 5-2 and 7-3 before John came back with four straight wins in the alternating break match. A nice shot on the five ball by Strawn in game 15 resulted in a scratch and ball-in-hand for Morra. Morra ran that rack and then broke and ran the next for a 9-7 lead. Next it was Strawn's turn to break and run to get back within one game at 9-8. Morra broke in game eighteen and came up empty, leading to another table run by Strawn to tie the match at 9-9. Tyler got things going in game nineteen but left himself too close to the 9-ball and was forced to try a bank shot which he missed. After the balls stopped rolling, Morra had a tough cut which he missed. Strawn dropped the nine to get to the hill at 10-9. Morra broke and ran the next rack to tie the score at hill-hill with Strawn breaking.

Strawn broke the balls in the deciding rack and watched two balls fall in. Unfortunately, one of them was the cue ball. The match was not over yet though, as Morra ran to the 4-ball and missed. Strawn pocked the 4 and 5, but left himself full-ball hooked on the six. Strawn's one rail kick on the 6 looked like a dead safety until the last ball rolling nudged the cue ball away from it's obstructing ball, leaving Morra a very basic 3 ball out. Morra pocketed the last 3 balls to earn the victory.

In the girl's 18 & Under division, Mary Rakin took the hot-seat with a win over Juliette Houtz. Houtz went to the one-loss side where she lost to Anna Kostanian from New Mexico. Kostanian was the runner-up last year and was looking for her first JR National win. The first set of the double elimination finals saw Kostanian take control of a close match at 5-5 and cruise to the 9-5 win. This forced a second set with Kostanian and Kostanian took control of this set early with a 3-1 lead. Rakin came back to tie the score at 3-3. The score would be tied again at 4-4, 5-5 and 6-6 before Rakin was able to take her biggest lead at 8-6. Kostanian scratched on the break in game fifteen and Rakin ran the rack for the win. After raising her cue in victory, Rakin buried her head in her hands in disbelief.

The 14 & Under Open division saw Jose Rivas Jr take the hot-seat with a win over Chris Futrell, but Futrell beat Curtis Coleman on the one-loss side to earn another shot at Rivas. Futrell took control of a close first set to win and force a second set and then he cruised to a 9-3 victory in the second set for the tournament win.

We have complete brackets from the event online and will have pictures of the winners on Sunday.