By PATRICK MURPHY
INDIANAPOLIS ¬– A Terre Haute team won the 9-Ball Extravaganza Invitational American Poolplayers Association tournament for the first time on April 24 at John Wayne’s in Greenwood, Indiana.
The 9-Ball Extravaganza Invitational is an APA-sanctioned tournament hosted by Matt Gillespie, a League Operator for the Central Indiana APA, and Danielle and Jesse Hecht, League Operators from Louisville. The tournament started on April 22 and ended on April 24. The winning team won $4,000 among the players. The team’s tournament included players from Louisville, Illinois and Indiana and there were about 54 teams.
Road to the finals
It’s My First Time, captained by Chad Barnes, a Skill Level No. 6, consisting of eight players from either Terre Haute or Bloomington. Barnes, David Siegel, a Skill Level No. 9, Josh Rilenge, a Skill Level No. 3 and Zachary Thralls, a Skill Level No. 3, all play in Terre Haute. Meanwhile, Michael Montgomery, a Skill Level No. 4, and Brandy Weddle, a Skill Level No. 2, play in Bloomington. Rodney Smith, a Skill Level No. 5, and Steven Wright, a Skill Level No. 7, play in both Terre Haute and Bloomington areas of the APA.
“I had never meet Mike or Brandy before,” Barnes said. “By Sunday, it was if we had all played together for years.”
It’s My First Time won their first-round match against Side Pocket, a team from East Central Indiana APA located near Wabash, and then lost to Russia Sucks, a team from Louisville, in the second round. That put the Terre Haute team in a must-win situation to advance to the redraw bracket.
“We didn’t let the loss in the second round affect us,” Barnes said. “By the next morning, we were moved on from it and were ready to play. The loss made a single-elimination, one round sooner for us and caused us to have to win two more matches to make the redraw. With some new players, I believe that playing the extra matches came in handy for us down the stretch.”
It’s My First Time won four straight matches to advance to the redraw. Then, the Terre Haute team won three matches in the redraw to play in the championship match against Team Bongat, a team from Illinois.
Team Bongat had lost their first-round match of the tournament and then won five straight to advance to the redraw.
Team Bongat had the momentum and pulled away before It’s My First Time made the first match close. The Terre Haute team won the second match and fourth match to make the match points close to even.
The championship came down to the final match against It’s My First Time’s Siegel, needing to make 75 points, against Team Bongat’s Tony Esparza, a Skill Level No. 7 needing to reach 55. Siegel won the match for It’s My First Time.
“It was a huge win for Siegel,” Barnes said. “David came in clutch for us throughout the whole tournament. I believe that we played 10 matches and David played in nine of those and lost just one. He played a couple 9s, several 7s, a couple 6s and one 5. However, with 9-Ball scoring all the points matter. We wouldn’t have been in a position for David to close out our matches had the other four matches played not ended the way they did.”
9-Ball Extravaganza winners and runners-up
Winner: Bruce Evans (Indianapolis)
Runner-up: Timothy Parish (Mississippi)
Winner: Eric Burdsdall Jr. (Clayton, Indiana)
Runner-up: Derek Sander (Evansville)
Winner: Tony Saur (Louisville, Kentucky)
Runner-up: John Lindish (Camby, Indiana)
Winner: Ron Solgot (Indianapolis)
Runner-up: Emilio Alfaro (Indiana)