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Flagg, Queen help East beat West in McDonald’s boys’ All-American game

Carmen Mandato / Getty Images Sport / Getty

HOUSTON (AP) — Derik Queen outshined high school teammate Cooper Flagg, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, leading the East team to an 88-86 victory over the West on Tuesday night in the McDonald’s All-American game.

Queen, a bruising 6-foot-9 center and teammate of Flagg’s at Montverde Academy in Florida who is committed to Maryland, had 23 points and eight rebounds for the East. He was chosen the game’s co-MVP, along with Dylan Harper of the West team.

“It’s definitely a blessing to come out here and be around some great guys, some talented guys,” Queen said. “Now, hopefully, me and Dylan will become one of those legends that they’ll remember.”

Harper, a 6-6 guard from Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey and the No. 3 recruit in the 2024 class, according to the ESPN100 rankings, led first-half scorers with 14 points and finished with 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to come out here and compete with the 24 best players in the whole country,” Harper said. “We were showing who were really are in the matchups, and it was the best.”

Flagg, the 2024 Gatorade Player of the Year who will play at Duke next year, thrilled the crowd in the second quarter with a step-back 3-pointer. A few plays later on the defensive end, Flagg swatted a layup 25 feet the other way into the first row. The 6-9 forward is from Newport, Maine, but played his last three years of high school basketball at Montverde Academy. He finished with eight points, six rebounds and three assists.

No. 2 recruit Ace Bailey and Harper will play together for Rutgers next season and played on the same West team on Tuesday night. Bailey, a 6-10 forward from McEachern High School in Georgia, had six points and five rebounds.

Boogie Fland, a 6-3 point guard signed with Kentucky, had 17 points for the East team and also won the game’s sportsmanship and leadership award.

“I feel like what separates us, yeah, we’re the best 24, but we have to be able to adjust to who we’re playing with,” Fland said. “We know when to take over and we know when to share the ball. We came out here, and we were playing within ourselves and playing within our team. I feel like that’s what stood out the most about us.”

Tre Johnson, a 6-6 shooting guard from Dallas who will play at Texas next season, hit a few big 3-pointers, including one that tied the game at 86 with a minute remaining. He tried one more at the buzzer for the win but missed, finishing with 17 points for the West.

Ian Jackson, a 6-4 small forward signed to North Carolina, had 21 points for the East team.

Jalil Bethea, a 6-5 guard committed to Miami, won the dunk contest on Monday night. He had three points on Tuesday.

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