Lightly Recruited Dominic Morra Packs Punch for Lake Braddock Bruins

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, January 16, 2009

In a Lake Braddock basketball practice this week, Dominic Morra finished off an intense, 10-minute, three-man weave drill with a right-handed layin that spun off the glass and through the basket.

But Morra wasn't done.

Without looking back to see his shot through the net, he ran to a white tarp divider that separated the junior varsity and varsity practices and delivered a flurry of punches -- a right cross, left hook and right uppercut -- that sent a series of loud pops throughout the Burke school's gymnasium.

The sequence was appropriate for Morra, a 5-foot-10 senior and four-year starter. He has approached each of the Bruins' first 12 games like a fight, using a body-punishing bevy of moves to earn himself an astounding 17.7 free throw attempts per game.

"I'm kind of good at [drawing fouls] and some of it's acting," said Morra, who is the area's leading scorer with 31.8 points per game.

Headed into tonight's key Virginia AAA Patriot District matchup at No. 9 T.C. Williams (10-2, 5-0), Morra has gone to the free throw line 212 times, hitting 159 (.750).

He has attempted 81 more free throws than National Christian's Dante Taylor, who is second in the area with 131 attempts. Landon's Christian Webster (118) and Westfield's Chris Kearney (117) are the only others who come close to Morra's eye-popping attempts.

"If you told me as a freshman and sophomore, when I was a natural point guard, that I would wind up averaging [31 points per game] or whatever it is right now, I would have told you you were crazy," Morra said. "But things have happened to our team that have changed the situation."

Lake Braddock's 13-man roster lists seven players at 5-11 or shorter.

"Our tallest player is 6-3," said Morra, whose back-court running mate is 5-4, 145-pound junior Patch McLucas.

The lack of height has forced Lake Braddock (9-3, 3-2) into a fast-break system, in which Morra has been encouraged by Coach Brian Metress to attack in transition and use his body to draw fouls.

"We're not as big, so if we can foul out their big players, we don't have to play the inside game anymore and we practice that," Morra said. "We practice playing without a post player. So if we can get their 6-6 and 6-7 [players] in foul trouble, well, the ball's in our court now."

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