Queen outdoes top recruit Flagg in McDonald’s win

HOUSTON — 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.

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.

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.

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 score 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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