As good as advertised. And now state champions.

The Nokomis Regional High boys’ basketball team and its star 6-foot-7 freshman, Cooper Flagg, came to Portland on Saturday and showed a Cross Insurance Arena crowd of more than 5,000 fans why the Warriors have been the top story in Maine sports all season.

Nokomis (21-1) controlled the action from the outset and shut down a very good Falmouth team, 43-27, in the Class A state championship game to win the school’s first boys’ title.

“They’re true basketball junkies. They love the game,” Nokomis Coach Earl Anderson said of his team. “And they love each other. They’ve grown up with each other. These are close-knit communities and close-knit families.”

Flagg led all scorers with 22 points and also grabbed 16 rebounds. His twin brother, Ace Flagg, who is 6-6, scored six points and Madden White, a junior, scored eight.

Maine basketball had an abbreviated season without playoffs because of pandemic restrictions in 2020-21. The arrival of the Flagg twins was highly anticipated. Preseason victories over Class AA powers Edward Little and South Portland put Nokomis at the top of the must-see list for fans, and they seldom disappointed.


“I think the whole state was excited about having high school basketball back,” Anderson said. “That wasn’t a real season last year and … I think these guys an added extra dimension of excitement.”

Cooper Flagg said outside expectations “didn’t really matter. We won this for ourselves and our community. We’re just glad to bring this back to our community.”

Nokomis did it starting two freshmen, two sophomores (guards Alex Grant and Connor Sides) and a junior (White). Freshman Dawson Townsend was the top reserve.

“Nokomis basketball, it’s come so far,” said White. “We were 1-17 two years ago my freshman year, and now we have the Gold Ball. It’s a great feeling.”

Falmouth (19-3) struggled to find shooting space. Jack Stowell led Falmouth with eight points. Zach Morrill had seven and Judd Armstrong and Brady Coyne each scored six.

“Our shots weren’t falling. We were kind of rushing on offense,” Coyne said. “We didn’t play our best today.”


Cooper Flagg made his presence felt quickly, at both ends of the floor. Nokomis took a 19-12 lead into halftime. Flagg ran the court to tip-in transition misses. After bringing the ball up the floor and getting his team’s offense rolling, he worked inside and had 14 points with nine rebounds in the first half. Equally impressive was his ability to guard Coyne, a Mr. Maine Basketball finalist, on the perimeter and still react quickly to alter other players’ shots, shut down passing lanes and clean the defensive boards.

“He’s so good. It’s his athleticism,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan, who has directed the Navigators to six state titles in nine championship game appearances. “He can guard on the perimeter. He can guard inside. He’s one of those generational players who comes along just once in a very seldom.”

Ace Flagg got more involved in the third quarter with two baskets on strong post moves, and White hit the Warriors’ only 3-pointer of the game. Nokomis led 30-21 after three quarters and stretched the margin to 36-21 early in the fourth, as the Flagg twins and White each scored a basket.

“It came down to defense,” Anderson said. “(Falmouth) is a team that scores 74 points a game and we held them to 27. I know they wanted to slow the game down and limit possessions, but we’ve shown all year we can win at any tempo.”

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