Final Two Matches Set for Championships

Final Two Matches Set for Championships
by InsidePOOL Staff

The two final matches in the 2008 9-Ball Championships are set for Thursday evening beginning at 7 p.m. Ronnie Wiseman will play against Jeremy Jones in the men’s final, while it will be an all-Asian women’s final between Xiaoting Pan and Ga Young Kim.

In the first semifinal match of the day, Wiseman met Johnny Archer. They traded the first four racks, but then Wiseman won the next three in a row to gain a substantial lead in the shortened race to 7. A break and run put Archer one step closer to his opponent, but in the next rack, he got on top of the 9 ball and had to thin it, attempting to play safe. However, he scratched, and Wiseman took the hill. A rattled 6 ball by Wiseman gave Archer hope when he brought it to 6-4 Wiseman, and then a fluked-in 5 ball gave him yet another game. Archer made it a double-hill match when Wiseman missed a bank shot on the 2. In the final rack, Wiseman pushed out, and Archer declined. A miss by both players on the 3 ball saw Wiseman regain the table, and he played safe behind the 9 ball. Archer fouled, and Wiseman took ball in hand and the 7-6 win.

It was Pan versus Anna Kostanian, who had vanquished Allison Fisher the day prior, in the second semifinal match. Pan took an early two-game lead, but Kostanian fought back gamely, and soon the score was knotted at 4 apiece. Kostanian fouled in the following rack by running out of time and not asking for an extension, and Pan cleared the table. When Kostanian scratched on the break in the next rack, Pan dished up again to reach the hill 6-4. Pan left Kostanian a shot on the 1 ball in the following rack, and Kostanian ran out to the 7 ball, which she missed but left tough. Unfazed, Pan one-rail-kicked in the 7 and pocketed the remaining two balls to win 7-4.

Jasmin Ouschan, the young Austrian who won this event two years ago, met Ga Young Kim, the “Little Devil Girl,” in the third match of the day. Kim, known for her aggressive, confident manner on the table, traded the first four games with Ouschan before taking the fifth game with a break and run-out. A missed jump shot by Ouschan on the 3 ball gave Kim the next rack, and then Ouschan also missed the 6 ball in the following game while shooting it up the rail, giving Kim another game to make it 5-2. When Ouschan missed the 2 ball, Kim took the hill. Kim ran out to the 6 ball in the ninth rack and missed it, but it also escaped Ouschan’s attempt to pocket it in the side. Kim missed again, but Ouschan, left with nothing but a crossbank, failed to make it, and Kim cleared the table to win 7-2.

Jeremy “Double J” Jones and Shawn Putnam met in the last semifinal match of the evening. “Big Bubba” took the first two racks, but Jones countered by capitalizing on errors by Putnam. A safety battle over the 2 ball gave Jones another rack, and then he broke and ran out the next to take a 4-2 lead. Putnam missed a chance to draw closer when he broke, made three balls on the break, and scratched, and Jones made it 5-2 in his favor. However, Jones also scratched on his break next, and Putnam cleared the table. Putnam drew within a game when Jones missed a bank attempt, but Jones took the hill with a break and run in the next rack, making it 6-4. In control of the table, Putnam broke and ran out to the 9 ball but missed it badly to the dismay of his fans in the audience. Jones had no trouble pocketing the final ball to win 7-4.

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