Van Boening and Fisher go the distance

Davis and Ouschan ousted in semi-finals
By Paul Berg, Inside POOL Magazine Staff
After some early errors under the heat of the ESPN lights, South Dakota’s Shane Van Boening recovered from a 3-0 deficit facing Maryland’s Mike Davis. The selection of the BCA players for entry into the 9-ball Championships, Van Boening rallied to a 7-6 win, earning another shot at deadly Dennis Orcollo in tomorrow afternoon’s single race to seven final. While the spotlight of the finals in a major is new for the third generation pool player, Alison Fisher and Karen Corr are very familiar with the grand stage. With a 7-5 victory over last year’s champion, 21 year-old Austrian sensation Jasmin Ouschan, WPBA #1 Fisher earned a rematch with her chief rival, having gone down 9-3 to #2 Corr in their winners’ bracket finale last night.
In the men’s semi-final, Van Boening missed an unnecessarily long 7ball in the first rack, and miscued shooting the 2ball in the third. Davis aced those opportunities to run out and sandwiched a smash and clear job between them in the alternate break format to take a commanding advantage in a set shortened for television. With a scratch in the next game, Davis allowed Van Boening back into the match, and the trend of pocketing the cue ball would cost Davis dearly as Van Boening capitalized on four more fouls.
Van Boening’s level of play jumped dramatically after Davis opened the door. After Davis botched a break and run with a chance to take back control (hooking himself for the 7-ball and amazingly pocketing it with a two-rail kick only to catch the most brutal of his scratches), Van Boening ran out from the break and suddenly had his first advantage up 5-4. Davis scratched on his subsequent break, and could only watch as Van Boening expertly cleared the tight layout, keying his work through congestion with a cross-side 4ball bank and taking the hill.
Davis capitalized on Van Boening’s positional error on the 8ball and resultant miss in the next rack to draw within a game, and then a 5ball miss to knot the affair at six. Van Boening would not be denied however, and broke and ran out with very little need to move the cue ball much from ball to ball in a road map pattern, dashing Davis’ hopes and relegating him to an impressive third place finish.
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Also left in third, Ouschan was similarly close to victory despite shaky play, but made too many mistakes against the unflappable Fisher. At the outset, neither participant in this rematch of last year’s final could muster a ball on the snap, with the first five games going in the loss column for the breaking player and giving Fisher a 3-2 advantage. “The Duchess of Doom” finally shook that curse in the next game, eventually finding the heart of the pocket with a cross-corner 7ball bank to seal a winning run-out. Ouschan was able to keep close with a long 6ball bank of her own in the next rack that helped her bring the score to 4-3 Fisher’s favor, but her newfound confidence with a soft break showed in a break and run-out that padded that lead.
Ouschan showed the fire that was on display in her array of strong victories this week, blasting the balls hard and turning her cue ball loose in a very different style of break. The white landed with adequate position, and Ouschan quickly worked her way to an early nine courtesy of the nearby 5ball and slammed it home. “The Ice Princess” earned an equalizer in the tenth game, running out with ball in hand after a marvelous kick-safety on the 5ball which Fisher was able to kick at for contact only to scratch.
It would unravel from there for Ouschan, as her powerful break sent two balls into pockets and one cue ball over the rail and off the table. Fisher cleaned up to take a 6-5 lead, and despite running to a 3-9 combination from the break and missing, Ouschan got in line for a clearance only to miss the 7ball and allow Fisher a three ball out for the victory.
Orcollo and Corr will get a chance to finish undefeated performances against their most recently deposed opponents, as Van Boening and Fisher try to reverse the results of the winners’ bracket finals. Stay tuned to for the last day of play in the 9-ball Championships and the BCA Open team events from the Riviera in Las Vegas.