Cooper Flagg caught the pass in transition on the left wing and let a 3-pointer fly that hit nothing but net. Just over a minute later, he pulled up from well behind the 3-point line – another shot that splashed cleanly through.

Just over 20 seconds after that, Flagg drained another from straight ahead, playfully sticking his tongue out as he backpedaled down the court before leaving the game to a deafening ovation from the Portland Expo crowd.

If it was the last sight of Flagg playing basketball in Maine, the 2,850 fans who turned out to watch him got the kind of memory they were hoping for.

“I think it was everything we could have imagined, and so much more,” Flagg said. “Incredible energy again. Just a lot of fun.”

The Maine Event that brought Flagg, his twin brother, Ace, and their Montverde Academy team to Maine wrapped up Saturday, with Montverde finishing the two-game set with a 105-58 victory over CATS Academy Boston. In the night’s first game, Kimball Union Academy defeated St. Paul’s School, 65-46.

Cooper Flagg finished with 29 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Ace Flagg totaled five points, five rebounds and two steals.


“Putting the two nights together, it was just surreal to see all the support and love come from the community,” Ace Flagg said.

Once again, the fans saw the skills the Newport natives have honed and added since they left Maine for Montverde in 2022. In the second half, Cooper Flagg took off down the side of the court after a Derik Queen steal, got the feed in transition and dunked less than 30 seconds into the third quarter. Early in the fourth, he rocked the Expo again when he received a pass off the rim from Liam McNeeley and threw the ball down for an alley-oop slam.

It’s the type of athleticism that has grown and developed considerably since his one season at Nokomis High, when he was the center of the state’s attention as a freshman. In the second quarter, he leapt up to snatch a rebound when the ball was still above the shooting square.

In the third quarter, Flagg showed off his familiar defensive instincts by picking off a pass at midcourt, then went in, leaped and windmilled the ball before hammering it home to beat the third-quarter buzzer, to the delight – and bewilderment – of the fans.

“He’ll pull out between-the-legs, 360 (degree) jumpers on me. I have to guard him sometimes and it’s like ‘What is this kid doing?,'” said Landon Clark, a teammate of the Flaggs on the Maine United AAU team who now plays for St. Paul’s. “His instincts are just so much higher than everyone else’s you play against. He’s one of a kind.”

Fans who last saw Cooper Flagg play two years ago also saw the shooting touch that he’s developed. Flagg was 5 for 7 from the 3-point line.


“It’s a great feeling, just knowing that all the hours and reps you put in are starting to show,” he said. “Whether it be IQ, shooting, I’ve just kind of developed all around and continue to get better.”

Montverde Coach Kevin Boyle said Flagg has also improved in areas that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

“I think the ballhandling’s improved tremendously,” he said. “Defensively, he’s gotten a lot better. He had a tendency to almost let guys go by him to punch it off the window.”

Ace Flagg showed the grittiness down low and his own brand of instincts and vision that have progressed since his freshman season. In the first quarter, he battled and gained positioning for a rebound against multiple CATS players, and also had a sequence where he intercepted a pass and quickly got the ball up the court to McNeeley for a dunk.

“He’s very physical. He and Caleb Gaskins are probably the most physical guys on our team,” Boyle said. “He’s really expanded himself to being comfortable on the perimeter … and his shot’s gotten a lot better, he’s starting to get comfortable with his shot. He’s probably a few months behind where Cooper was. … He’s starting to get to that point.”

Ace said he’s felt the outside element growing in his game.


“Playing in Maine and being my height, you get stuck on the post growing up,” he said. “Coming out and now playing out here, I’ve got to be able to play further from the basket.”

Maine fans may not get another chance to see the Flaggs’ next strides and improvements in-state. With Cooper Flagg heading to Duke, the opportunity to play at home again may not come around.

He said any farewell element to Saturday’s game wasn’t on his mind.

“Not really. I think it was more about staying in the moment,” he said. “That’s something people close to me have been kind of preaching to me for a while now, staying in the moment and enjoying what you have in front of you.”

In the first game, Teigan Pelletier, a former Oxford Hills star who transferred to St. Paul’s for his junior year, scored 11 points with 11 rebounds.

“Coming back, you knew it was going to be a crazy game,” he said. “We were trying to block that out, but it was really cool being back.”

Clark, a former Bangor High standout, had nine points and eight rebounds.

“There’s a lot of excitement, to be able to have this experience and play in front of a bunch of familiar faces,” Clark said. “It was cool to be back here and see so many people we’re used to playing in front of.”

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