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Morra making waves at Turning Stone Classic
Feb 25, 2007, 12:23 AM

By virtue of a 9-3 drubbing of pro Tony Crosby that put him in the Bracket A hot-seat match, 17-year-old John Morra is turning heads at the $25,000-added Turning Stone Classic VIII.

Not long removed from his decision to forgo his last year of high school to hit the pro circuit full time, Morra has shown that he belongs with the big boys at the Turning Stone Casino Resort this weekend in Verona, N.Y. Although he has benefited from an uninspiring draw, he displayed pro-level speed in knocking off Crosby Saturday night.

I used to have jitters bad when I played a good player, but now Ive seen pretty much everyone, said Morra, a former BCA juniors champion. Im part of the crowd now, pretty much. Its a good feeling.

His decision to earn his high-school degree via a correspondence course seems to be panning out.

I want this to be my career, he said. Ive been playing pretty much since I was five years old. I never really had any other career in mind.

Guaranteed at least a tied-for-fifth finish (his best performance at a major pro event so far), Morra will meet Santos Sambajon at 11 a.m. EST Sunday in the Bracket A hot-seat match. Sambajon of the Philippines beat Stevie Moore in their semifinal match, 9-6.

Over in Bracket B, Joey Korsiak will meet Jose Parica in the winners side final. The up-and-down Korsiak has been on a tear, and easily handled Filipino Warren Kiamco, 9-5, in their semifinal. Parica won a slow-as-molasses, hill-hill match against Johnny Archer to advance, running out at the 2-hour-30-minute mark after Archer whiffed on a 1-rail kick at the 1 ball.

The evening ended with the eliminations of Shawn Putnam (9-8 loss to Steve Moore), Tony Crosby (9-8 loss to Rodolfo Luat), Jeff Kennedy (9-3 loss to Warren Kiamco) and Paul Song (9-2 loss to Johnny Archer).