The young, the middle and the old(er) meet in final matches of Brendan Crockett Memorial

Tyler Styer, James Aranas, John Morra and Oscar Dominguez

The ‘middle’ wins it, stopping the old(er)’s loss-side streak, which eliminated the youngster

At the 3rd Annual Brendan Crockett Memorial, the Philippines’ James Aranas (the middle) went undefeated, downing Canada’s John Morra (the old-er), who’d eliminated two-time USA Mosconi Cup competitor, Tyler Styer (the younger) in the semifinals. The event is held annually to commemorate the passing of former BEF Junior National Champion Brendan Crockett and his brother, Jefferson, who died in a car accident in 2016. A portion of the entry fees were designated for contributions to the Brendan Crockett Memorial Scholarship, which awards $2,000 to a junior player headed into either their junior or senior year in college. The $5,000-added, 10-Ball event drew 157 entrants to Hard Times Billiards in Sacramento, CA.

After being awarded an opening round bye, Aranas began what turned out to be his undefeated run by having to survive a double hill battle (7-6) versus Jeff Franco. He gave up only five racks over his next three – Spencer Ladin (3), Matt Hardwick (1), Chris Wedekind (0) – and then downed fellow countryman Carlo Biado 7-5 to draw Omar Al Shaheen in one of the winners’ side semifinals. Styer, in the meantime, arrived at his winners’ side semifinal matchup against Warren Kiamco after tallying an aggregate score of 35-8, giving up half of those 8 to Jason Williams in the third round.

Aranas advanced to the hot seat match with a 7-2 win over Al Shaheen. Styer joined him after a hard-fought double hill win over Kiamco. Styer ended up on the wrong end of his second straight double hill match, falling to Aranas, who claimed the hot seat. 

Over on the loss side, Kiamco picked up Carlo Biado, who’d followed his loss to Aranas with victories over Ian Costello and Corey Deuel, both 7-2. Al Shaheen had the misfortune of running into a ‘hot’ John Morra, who’d lost his third winners’ side match to Chris Gentile and embarked on what would turn out to be an eight-match, loss-side winning streak that would take him into the finals against Aranas. Morra had already notched five of those wins into his loss-side belt, to include his recent elimination of Roberto Gomez 7-2 and Shane Van Boening 7-1.

Morra chalked up his 6th loss-side win 7-3 over Al Shaheen and was joined in the quarterfinals by Biado, who’d defeated Kiamco 7-2. Morra and Biado fought a double hill battle in those quarterfinals, but it was the old(er) Morra versus the young(er) Styer in the semifinals. Morra edged out in front 7-5, clearing his last hurdle for a shot at Aranas in the hot seat.

Aranas completed his undefeated run with an 11-7 victory over Morra in the finals.