Van Boening comes back from semifinals loss to take down Archer at Turning Stone XX

Shane Van Boening
You really couldn't have asked for more in a 21st century pool tournament than the final group of 12 players, out of a full field of 128, who competed in Turning Stone XX, the $25,000-added Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour stop, hosted by the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY from January 10-13. Among them were arguably the best player in the world right now (Shane Van Boening), along with three of his four Mosconi Cup teammates - Mike Dechaine, Johnny Archer and Dennis Hatch. Van Boening's other Mosconi Cup teammate, Brandon Shuff, fell early, in a loss-side double hill battle versus Jason Klatt. Also among the final 12 were Warren Kiamco, Ronnie Alcano, Jayson Shaw (who's won three events on this season's Predator Tour), Corey Deuel, Thorsten Hohmann, Shaun Wilkie, and Jonathon Demet, the 'dark horse' player in the group, who'd been sent to the loss side from among the winners' side final eight by the 12th player on the list, Karen Corr.

In the end, it was Van Boening who prevailed, coming back from a defeat in the hot seat match at the hands of Archer, to take the Scorpion down in the finals. Both finished the tournament with 7-1 records. Van Boening won 65% of his games; 75-35, including two shutouts, one in his opening round against David Mills, and the other against Kiamco in one of the winners' side semifinals. Archer won 58% of his games (68-49). 

Van Boening opened the proceedings with the shutout over Mills and then went through Willie Oney, Robb Saez, fellow Mosconi Cup teammate Mike Dechaine (9-7) and survived a double hill battle against Jayson Shaw, which moved him (Van Boening) among the winners' side final four for the match against Kiamco. Archer opened up with a victory over Bob Cunningham, and then went through Manny Chau, fellow Mosconi Cup teammate Dennis Hatch (9-7), Ron Casanzio and Shaun Wilkie, which moved him into the other winners' side semifinal against Karen Corr.

Van Boening did his shutout number on Kiamco, as Archer was busy sending Corr west 9-4. Van Boening took an early 3-0 lead in the hot seat match that followed, but Johnny went on a run that put him out in front by four when he reached the hill. Van Boening came back to force a deciding 17th match, but Archer hung on to sit in the hot seat, having won what proved to be his last match.

Corr moved west to pick up Thorsten Hohmann, who'd survived two straight double hill duels versus Deuel, first, and then Jayson Shaw. Kiamco drew Dechaine, who'd eliminated Shaun Wilkie 9-4 and then, fellow Mosconi Cup teammate, Hatch 9-3. Hohmann put an end to Corr's bid with a 9-5 win, and in the quarterfinals, faced Dechaine, who'd defeated Kiamco 9-7. Dechaine proved to be the third Mosconi Cup team member to go down, falling to Hohmann in those quarterfinals 9-7. 

Van Boening got his second crack at Archer with a 9-6 win over Hohmann in the semifinals. The final race-to-13 battle stayed close for a little while, but Van Boening took over once Archer had chalked up his fifth rack. Van Boening had a three-point lead at the time, and he kept it going to the eight-point lead that gave Van Boening the title.