COLUMBUS, Ohio -- With weather conditions that created even a neighborhood drive to be a challenge, the Bulldogs from Bloom-Carroll made the 30-mile one-way trip to north side Columbus and left DeSales High School with an upset victory.
The upset was just a Des Watson missed three-point attempt in the final seconds away from a Bloom-Carroll heartbreak.
The Bulldogs, who led most of the game, looked to be in control until midway through the fourth. Bloom-Carroll was in front 50-40 until Watson took the game into his own hands.
The senior Davidson-commit, who had more than half of his team’s total points with 28, saved his best period for last. Watson scored or assisted on each bucket, which resulted in nine points and an assist.
With Bloom-Carroll’s lead knocked down to three and less than 90 seconds to play, the Bulldogs gave up back-to-back turnovers forced by the Stallions press, and gave DeSales the final possession down one.
The Stallions came out of a timeout and inbounded to Watson with 7.6 seconds left. The Bulldogs instantly double teamed him as Watson took a three, a foot beyond the arc, just to rim out as the Bulldogs held on, 50-49.
The victory took a combined Bulldogs team effort, but was led by junior Evan Dozer, who spent most of the game paired with Watson.
Dozer led a fast start, as he scored 10 of his team-high 14 points in the first quarter, which included a well-contested three against the Stallions superstar. The wing guard also led his team with five rebounds and added three assists.
The Bulldogs received balanced contributions from Jared Rose (8 points), Joe Luckhaupt (7), Chase Alwood (7), and CJ Carmichael (5).
Junior Da’Shan Clark also added five points, but made his biggest impact with a game-high five assists.
Beyond Watson, the Stallions struggled to get much consistent offense from anywhere else.
Senior Austin Mann made two three-pointers and finished with six points, while Atticus Schuler added five.
DeSales’ Obed Achirem gave his best support on the defensive end and the glass. The senior led the Stallions with six rebounds and three steals.
The Stallions (10-4) were on a seven-game win streak, but have now lost two of their last three, both in close fashion. They have a quick opportunity to get back in the winning column as they travel to Bishop Hartley on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (10-5) will get to enjoy this victory until they host Teays Valley on Friday.
Evan Dozer (6'2 WG / Bloom-Carroll / 2022): Mr. Do-It-All for the Bulldogs on Monday. First, let’s start with the offense. Dozer was an absolute bucket in the first half, as he hit on two first-quarter triples and created his own space in the lane. Even when his scoring ceased in the second half, Dozer would not let a lack of offensive production stop him from being a difference maker. On Monday, we saw the junior accept the challenge of being the primary defender on Watson, which included Dozer drawing a charge foul, diving for loose balls and textbook box-outs. We enjoyed Dozer’s confident, but humble demeanor that never waned. Dozer has had a breakout junior season and makes for the type of player that can deliver big moments in March.
Des Watson (6'5 WG / DeSales / 2021): Even in defeat, Watson still looked to be in a league of his own. Despite facing some of the best defense he’s seen all season, Watson went for a game-high 28 points. Although he struggled from deep with just one made three-point attempt, Watson did a good job particularly in the fourth quarter of attacking the basket and converting at a high-rate around the rim. We also saw two emphatic dunks that showcase why he’s one of Central Ohio’s most talented prospects. Watson continues to be on a scoring rampage this season, averaging nearly 27 points a game, and has the all-star ability to keep DeSales competitive in almost any game.