Hatch Makes It 9 out of 10 Wins
Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour / Parsippany, NJ
by Skip Maloney
With an undefeated weekend on April 25-26, Dennis Hatch made it nine wins out of ten stops on the Joss Northeast 9-Ball Tour. The $2,000-added event drew 41 entrants to Comet Billiards in Parsippany, NJ.
Hatch’s journey began with a bye in the opening round, followed by victories over Russ Stepnowski, Matt Tetreault, and Chris Taomina that put him among the winners’ side final four. As Hatch squared off against Shaun Wilkie, Tom McGonagle faced Dave Grau. Hatch and McGonagle sent Wilkie and Grau west by identical 9-7 scores and faced each other in the hot seat match. Hatch gained the hot seat with a 9-4 win.
Meanwhile, on the one-loss side, Hatch’s eventual opponent in the finals, Al Lapena, was working his way back from a second-round defeat at the hands of Holden Chin. Victories over Jason Michas and Joe Korsiak put him into the money rounds, where, after wins over Chris Taomina and Ken Kerner, he squared off against Grau. It was Matt Tetreault waiting for Wilkie. Lapena got by Grau 9-2, as Wilkie dropped Tetreault 9-4 and the two met in the quarterfinals. Lapena moved into the semifinals against McGonagle with a 9-4 win over Wilkie.
After steamrolling over McGonagle 9-1, Lapena opened the true double-elimination finals against Hatch by trading racks with him to 3-3. Lapena didn’t know that when he sat down to allow Hatch to break the seventh rack he wouldn’t get back to the table again until Hatch was on the hill. Hatch missed a shot in the twelfth rack, and Lapena stepped back to shoot for the first time in just over half an hour. He missed a subsequent shot, and Hatch made a second set unnecessary by finishing it 9-3.
1st Dennis Hatch $1,400
2nd Al Lapena $980
3rd Tom McGonagle $750
4th Shaun Wilkie $550
5th Dave Grau $400
7th Ron Piotkowski $200
9th Mike Wong $100