Cooper Flagg's double-double pushes Montverde past Long Island Lutheran in City of Palms championship | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 14.
  • Cooper Flagg’s double-double pushes Montverde past Long Island Lutheran in City of Palms championship

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    By SAM LANCE

    Cooper Flagg made sure he and his Montverde (FL) Academy teammates would have a joyful Christmas.

    The 6-foot-9 Duke commit went for 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to lead the No. 1-ranked Eagles to a 73-59 win over Long Island Lutheran (NY) in the City of Palms Classic championship game on Saturday night in Fort Myers, Fla..

    “This is all I wanted for Christmas,” Flagg said on ESPN post-game. “We went out and got the dub and now I can have a great Christmas. Wins in the stocking that’s all it is.”

    Flagg imposed his will athletically to help Montverde secure its sixth City of Palms Classic tournament title since 2010. Under coach Kevin Boyle, Montverde has also won three of the last four tournaments since 2019 — with the 2020 tournament cancelled due to COVID-19.

    Flagg had several highlight plays in this game — including quite the sequence early in the third quarter — where he threw down an alley-oop slam and immediately followed with an emphatic block on defense.

    Other Montverde players in double-figures included five-star Indiana commit Liam McNeeley (15 points), five-star undecided center Derik Queen (12 points) and four-star Baylor commit Rob Wright (11 points).

    The No. 5 player in the 2024 class — VJ Edgecombe — showed out for Long Island Lutheran with 20 points and seven rebounds. He and 2025 four-star shooting guard Kiyan Anthony, the son of former NBA star Carmelo Anthony, were the only two players in double-figures for Long Island Lutheran.

    The 6-4 Edgecombe is down to five schools — Kentucky, Duke, Baylor, Florida and St. John’s — and said Friday night he would announce his decision “this season.”

    Anthony had 14 points, including a big 3-pointer to bring Long Island Lutheran within single-digits at 64-55 with 4:35 to play. Montverde put its foot on the pedal after that shot and only allowed one more basket to end the game. Montverde led 40-28 at halftime and controlled the whole game, never trailing.

    Full game statistics can be found here.

    The City of Palms Classic originated in 1972 in Fort Myers (FL) as a local Christmas basketball tournament. However, it has since evolved into one of the premier high school boys’ basketball events in the country.

    Now in its 50th year, the City of Palms has showcased numerous future NCAA Division I players and NBA talents, including six No. 1 NBA Draft picks (Cade Cunningham, DeAndre Ayton, Ben Simmons, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, John Wall and Kwame Brown). The tournament has also seen over 1,000 of its players advance to Division I colleges, with 77 playing in the NBA in the 2021-2022 season alone.

    It’s likely Flagg will add another No. 1 NBA Draft pick to the tournament’s history. He would be Boyle’s fourth No. 1 pick overall.

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