The 6-foot-9 Watson scored 8 points in the fourth quarter — including a couple of dunks — when the Lions outscored St. Rose, 25-15. “I’m happy that Akil was able to lead us and help us put it away,” said North Carolina-bound point guard Simeon Wilcher, who scored 8 points and improved to 17-0 in his career in the State tournament games. “He always played like that, that’s why it’s not surprising. But he played real well tonight, and I’m happy for him.” Watson and Wilcher were joined this season by Mackenzie Mgbako, the 6-8 wing who is part of Duke’s No. 1 recruiting class. “Of course it was difficult, new players, new team, you just gotta work around it and figure out what’s best, and we brought it home,” Watson said. Watson stays in touch with Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, the Arizona State head coach and former Duke and St. Anthony’s High School star. He said Hurley tells him, “Just what I’m doing here, being aggressive, rebounding and just playing all positions.” Photo: @NJHoops Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter Follow ZAGSBLOGHoops on Instagram And Like ZAGS on Facebook
Akil Watson with the reverse to make it a 9-0 run for Roselle Catholic. RC leads St. Rose 52-44 with 5:20 left. pic.twitter.com/xf9uoakwgW— Matt Manley (@Matt_Manley) March 4, 2023
By ADAM ZAGORIA PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Akil Watson plays alongside one teammate headed to Duke and another to North Carolina. But in the team’s state championship game Friday night, it was Watson who was the most dominant offensive force in a 68-59 victory over St. Rose in the New Jersey Non-Public B State championship game at Jersey Mike’s Arena. Watson finished with 23 points and was dominant in the paint and around the basket. “It’s my last season playing New Jersey so I just left it all on the floor,” Watson said.