Basketball team

Faster, more assertive Montgomery leads the way for the FPC women’s basketball team


Flagler Palm Coast’s Remi Montgomery knows she’s not the same basketball player she was last year.

“I was very calm, shy and slow last year,” said the 5-foot-9 winger. “I feel like I’m starting to come out of my shell.”

Indeed, Montgomery has become a regular extrovert in the field. She is certainly not someone opponents can ignore.

Montgomery has 34 points in the Bulldogs’ first two games this season, including 21 in a 57-42 win on Nov. 19 at Orange City University.

In 20 games last season, Montgomery scored a total of 74 points. She’s already almost halfway to equaling that.

As the only returning PFC starter, the senior knows a lot is expected of her this season and she is ready to deliver.

“I did a lot of change of direction and shifting exercises (during the offseason). And I worked on limiting my dribbling,” she said.

“Last year I couldn’t read the plays, I couldn’t go to the basket. Now I go straight to the basket and shoot the foul, instead of taking two lost dribbles.”

Point guard Brynn Gifford added 13 points against the University, while Shyleigh LeBlanc scored 10 as FPC tied their record at 1-1 after falling to Oviedo 32-31 in their opener the night before at the Bulldogs Gym.

Trailing 31-28, FPC returned the ball with 1:05 left against the Lions. With one foul to give, FPC fouled to force Oviedo into the bounds with 13.8 seconds left. But the Bulldogs were penalized for a technical foul for touching the ball while the passer still had it in her hands.

“Last year I couldn’t read the plays, I couldn’t go to the basket. Now I go straight to the basket and shoot the foul, instead of taking two lost dribbles.”

REMI MONTGOMERY

Samantha Male of Oviedo made a free throw to give the visitors a lead of four. FPC’s Eimy Ayala scored 3 points on the buzzer – his only basket of the game. The ending might have demoralized the Bulldogs, but it seemed to have the opposite effect.

“I think we did what we needed to do offensively and defensively,” Montgomery said after the game. “We are growing a lot.”

The team has already had a lot to overcome. Longtime coach Javier Bevacqua resigned a week after the start of the school year. Two players, including last year’s top scorer Lauren Stewart, were transferred at the start of the school year. Two other players were transferred last month.

And on Sunday evening November 14, four days before the season opened, a valve broke on a hot water tank in the gym, flooding the field with gallons of water.

“It was gushing out from under the door. There was standing water on parts of the ground,” said coach Anthony Wagner, who was in the building at the time. Maintenance workers spent four hours pumping water that night, athletic director Steve DeAugustino said. Days later, blowers mounted against the walls continued to dry under the floor.

“We’ve been through a lot of adversity already,” Wagner said after the opening loss. “But I’m happy with the effort. The girls didn’t stop.”

The Bulldogs had 11 days to savor their first win. After the Thanksgiving break, they resume their season on November 30 at Oviedo Hagerty.