COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Led by coach Pat Murphy and star junior forward Desmond Watson, DeSales easily handled their CCL rival Bishop Watterson on Friday night, beating the Eagles 63-50.
The Stallions stumbled out of the gate. They fell behind the Eagles 8-0 early in the first quarter. Led by Davis Boone, Bishop Watterson executed their offense well early, finding the junior multiple times on his opportunistic cuts to the basket.
However, the Stallions roared back behind the inspired play of Watson, who started to get the ball in the half-court offense from his teammates. Watson used three field goals and three free throws to score nine first quarter points and tie the game at 15 the end of the frame.
Boone, a 6-foot-2 junior wing, scored eight points in the quarter to lead the Eagles.
The teams traded baskets early in the second quarter before Stallions coach Pat Murphy unleashed a zone press that disrupted the Eagles offense. A 7-0 run highlighted by a Watson dunk led the Stallions to a 36-28 halftime lead.
The Eagles were led by 16 points from Boone in the first half.
The second half started with a spurt that would put the Eagles away for the night. Led by the versatile Watson and their small back court of Kobe Righter and Austin Mann, the Stallions got five quick points from Righter, followed by a triple from Mann to increase their lead to 42-30.
Minutes later, both Jonathan Thompson and Righter would get a steal and layup to take the score to 46-30 in favor of the Stallions. A 14-2 run was capped by four free throws from Watson to give the Stallions an 18-point lead before ending the third quarter with a 55-40 lead.
Watson would sit out most of the fourth quarter and end the game with 23 points which included two slam dunks, eight field goals, and a perfect 7-for-7 showing from the free throw line. The junior wing added eight rebounds and five assists.
Backcourt mates Righter and Mann both scored 14 points for DeSales.
The Eagles got 19 points from Boone, who was held to a lone three-pointer in the final half. Fellow Eagle juniors Gavin Green and Mason Graney came alive in the second half to finish with 11 points and 8 points respectively.
With the 63-50 victory the Stallions move to 2-1 on the season. Dropping their second straight game, Bishop Watterson falls to 0-2 early on in the year.
Des Watson (6'4 WG / DeSales / 2021): After growing almost two inches over the summer, Watson seems ready to become one of the best players ever to come out of his high school. His athletic ability on the court might be the best to ever hit the floor of the parochial school on Karl Road, putting him in the rarefied air of Antonio Daniels, Nick Kellogg and Chris Daniels.
While there is room to improve on all areas of his game, he has a solid handle, a good shooting touch, elite leaping ability, defensive potential and a solid basketball IQ. It is hard to imagine him not leading the Stallions in every major statistical category on the season. He is simply the best dribbler, passer and scorer on the team. As he goes, so will go to the Stallions.
However, at this point in his junior season, there is no doubt that barring the unforeseen, Des Watson is going to make a major college basketball coach happy when he signs his letter-of-intent. He is a must see for Hoops fans in the area.