2012 BEF Junior National Champions Crowned
Shuffett, Miller, Hampton and Larson Triumph

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) crowned four winners in the 24th Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships. Nearly 130 junior pocket billiard players from 28 states gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Romine’s High Pockets on July 11th -15th. Players took aim to win a title, scholarships, prizes and an entry into the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) World Junior 9-Ball Championships. In the 18-and-under boys’ division, Landon Shuffett of Greensburg, KY prevailed, while Briana Miller of Allentown, PA, defended her title in the 18-and-under girls’ division. In the 14-and-under boys’ division, newcomer Zachary Hampton of Rocky Mount, VA was victorious and April Larson of Bloomington, MN captured her first title in the 14-and-under girls’ division.

bef allison 2012 BEF Junior National Champions Crowned

The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) crowned four winners in the 24th Annual BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships. Nearly 130 junior pocket billiard players from 28 states gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Romine’s High Pockets on July 11th -15th.

The top finishers in the 18-and-under boys’ division were native to junior billiard competition. Landon Shuffett, winner of four (4) consecutive Junior National titles from 2007 – 2010, proved that he didn’t forget how to win after taking a year off from competition in 2011. Shuffett steadily proceeded through the winner’s bracket with wins over Kevin Sun 9-5, Ryan Ponton 9-1, Zachary Leonard 9-2, and William Chappell 9-1 before losing to Brendan Crockett 5-9. Crockett, runner-up in the 2011 Junior Nationals and 2009 champion of the 14-and-under boys’ division, effortlessly cruised through the winner’s bracket without a loss. Crockett defeated Tyler Howell 9-0, Daniel McComas 9-3, Joey Torres 9-5, Tyler Styer 9-5 and Landon Shuffett 9-5 to claim the seat as the only undefeated contestant in the 43 player division. On the one-loss side, Chad Behnke diligently proceeded to win an impressive 8 matches after losing his first match to Brady Behrman 6-9. Behnke shot his way through Austen Warner 9-2, JC Torres 9-7, Logan Zuponcic 9-0, Jonathan Ailstock 9-5, Zachary Leonard 9-2, Kevin Sun 9-8 and Tyler Styer 9-4 before a rematch with Brady Behrman, winning 9-3. With only one more match to win for a chance to rumble with the undefeated Crockett, Behnke fell short by only 3 games, losing to Shuffett 6-9 in the semi-finals. Shuffett gladly embraced a rematch with Crockett and an opportunity for another title. In the race to 11 finals, an unforeseen scratch by Crockett when the score was 7-4 caused a shift in the ebb and flow of the match. Shuffett seized the opportunity to tighten the gap and then followed with a break-and-run, narrowing the score 6-7. The alternate break format allowed Crockett to get back to the table. He gracefully took charge, pocketing eight balls, but scratched while getting position for the 9-ball. Staying focused and determined to win, both players edged their way to a 10-10 match, each needing only one more game to win the championship. Shuffett won the final game and his fifth title as Junior National Champion.

The showdown in the 18-and-under girls’ division featured Briana Miller and Taylor Reynolds. Advancing to the 15-18 year old bracket this year, 15 year old Reynolds was determined to prove that age is not a factor in winning. Reynolds steam-rolled her first 3 opponents, Tessa Brown 7-0, Carly Fristoe 7-0 and Cristina Watson 7-0, before being slowed down by Briana Miller. Miller needed only one game to take charge of the winner’s bracket, but the trailing Reynolds confidently won the next 5 games to win the match 7-6 and took reign of the winner’s bracket. Miller made her way by defeating Sarah Bridgman 7-0, Ashley Fisher 7-2 and Juli Poutry 7-2, before losing to Taylor Reynolds 6-7. Miller collected her composure and ambushed her next opponent Ashley Fisher 7-1 and earned an opportunity to defend her title. Miller tamed the fierce Reynolds in the finals, winning the match 9-7 and claiming her sixth title as Junior National Champion in the girls’ division.

In the 14-and-under boys’ division, Zachary Hampton, first time attendee at Junior Nationals, received an initiation by losing his first match to hometown favorite Sergio Rivas 6-7. Hampton’s light-hearted demeanor and determination carried him through the one-loss bracket defeating Joshua Goodknight 7-0, Michael Darling 7-0, Mahkeal Parris 7-6, Cody Carter 7-2, Seth Chilcutt 7-0, Ricky Evans 7-3, Mason Koch 7-5 and Shawn Begay 7-3, before a rematch in the semi-finals with Sergio Rivas. R Read more ...