The Bulldogs look to build off the success they had last season.
Out-manned and undersized, Flagler Palm Coast’s boys basketball team overachieved during the 2018-19 season.
The Bulldogs won 13 games, losing 12. They finished runner-up in the district after losing a close game to Mandarin. And they played a tough game in the first round of the FHSAA State Basketball Playoffs before succumbing to Sanford Seminole 66-55 in the Seminoles’ own gym.
“It was tough,” FPC head coach Gary McDaniel said. “We had to play a particular way to be successful.”
The Bulldogs overwhelmingly relied on senior forward D’Mahgio Warren. They counted on him to score, rebound, pass and defend. When he was off, the Bulldogs were off.
Although Warren graduated last year, the Bulldogs may be in better shape this season, according to McDaniel.
“D’Mahgio did a lot for us, and I put a lot on his shoulders because of the makeup of the team,” he said. “But now we have more people who can do things instead of relying on one player to do a whole lot. I have the length that I didn’t have. I have versatility. The problem here is that they’re young and inexperienced. But they’re catching on fast.”
FPC is bolstered by several football players with some high school basketball experience: Jonathan Richard, Altarik Lumpkins and Tyrique Graham.
“They’re football players who also play basketball,” McDaniel said. “I think these kids bring some game with them.”
The Bulldogs are led by junior guard Desmond Neal and sophomore guard Marcus Walker, who were both on varsity last season.
Despite the “surprising” success last year, how it ended was still disappointing.
“I think we did better than we thought we were going to do,” Neal said. “But we could have played more as a team.”
Walker added: “We want to keep going hard.”