Double-Hill Battles Spell Victory for Laney
Great Southern Billiard Tour / Marietta, GA
by Skip Maloney
Mike Laney survived two double-hill battles in his final two matches to go undefeated in the Great Southern Billiard Tour’s stop the weekend of September 20-21. The $2,000-added event drew 32 amateur billiard players to the Marietta Billiard Club in Marietta, GA.
Earlier in the day, Laney had joined Kevin Wright, Jared McGee, and Junior Farias among the winners’ side final four. In the first of their two match-ups, Laney sent Wright west with an 8-3 victory, and after McGee sent Farias over to join him 8-4, Laney and McGee squared off in the hot seat match that ended with the first of Laney’s double-hill victories.
On the one-loss side, it was Jeff Tabet and Dustin Byrd emerging from among the tournament’s final 12 to face Wright and Farias in the battle for advancement to the quarterfinals. Tabet advanced with an 8-2 victory over Farias, as Wright, working his way back to a rematch against Laney, defeated Dustin Byrd 8-6.Wright dropped Tabet into fourth place 8-4 and turned to face McGee, the last obstacle on his journey back to a rematch against Laney. McGee dropped into third place when Wright handed him his second straight double-hill defeat.
While it looked, early on in the finals, as if Laney were going to conclude his tournament bid undefeated, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, Wright fought back to tie it. At that juncture in the final match, it turned into a grind that brought them to 5-5. It looked, after Laney had gone ahead 6-5, as if Wright was in a position to win the game and tie the match for the fourth time, but he hit a side pocket with the 5 ball so hard that it bounced back out of the pocket and onto the floor. Laney cleared the table and reached the hill first. Wright battled back to hill-hill, but he scratched shooting at the 3 ball in the final game, giving Laney the ball in hand he needed to close it out.
1st Mike Laney
2nd Kevin Wright
3rd Jared McGee
4th Jeff Tabet
5th Dustin Byrd
7th Matt Reed
9th Jefferson Taylor