Hilliard Cuts up LaGrange Competition
Great Southern Billiard Tour / LaGrange, GA
by Joshua Johnson
Josh Hilliard rewarded a long drive from Florida by capturing first place at the Great Southern Billiard Tour’s April18-19 event. The $2,000-added Peach State Amateur Classic was hosted by Chalk It Up Billiards in LaGrange, GA, where Hilliard moved through the 47-man field undefeated, besting AA-rated player Benny Conway in the finals.
This tournament, the latest in the GSBT’s new A/B structured amateur events, featured some of the stronger amateur players from the South. Along with Conway, Jesse Middlebrooks, Brian White and Randy Jordan were all ranked as AA’s. Some of the A players in the field were Hilliard, Adam Towery, Matt Bulfin, Matt Reid, Ronnie Yarboro, and Jason Jones.
Hilliard arrived in the finals by defeating Jones in a nail-biting hot seat match that saw Jones come from 8-5 behind in the alternate-break format. Jones, breaking on the hill, drew his cue ball into the side pocket off of his break, and Hilliard calmly ran the table to win 9-8. Jones moved to the left side of the brackets to await the winner of the match between Adam Towery and Benny Conway. Conway edged out Towery 10-7 to earn a match with Jones.
Conway got out to an early 3-0 lead, which Jones chipped away at to knot the score at 3-3. Conway went on another run to move to within two racks of the win at 8-4, and though Jones made a late surge, Conway ended up the 10-7 victor. In the final match against Hilliard, however, Conway soon succumbed in the first set of the true double-elimination finals 9-4.
1st Josh Hilliard $1,000
2nd Benny Conway $600
3rd Jason Jones $400
4th Adam Towery $200
5th Mike Basha $150
7th Matt Reid $100
9th Brian White $50