There is no need for the Schenectady Christian basketball teams to leave their Scotia campus to play a home game anymore.
The school opened a brand new gymnasium in grand style last Friday. The girls team downed Loudonville Christian 65-22 in the afternoon, and the boys team followed with a 54-45 victory over Cambridge in the evening.
The beautiful part about tonight was that we played in our own facility, said Schenectady Christian boys coach Chad Bowman. "It certainly wasn't the game itself."
The gleaming gym gives Schenectady Christian its first true home since the mid 1990s when its basketball teams played in the school's tiny gym. The teams played "home" games at Perth Bible Academy outside Amsterdam and Scotia-Glenville High School's old gym over the last several seasons.
"It's a dream come true," said boys team senior guard Kelsey Collins. "I love being here in this gym. It feels great."
It took a little time for both teams to adjust to their new surroundings. The girls team led Loudonville Christian 11-7 after the first quarter, but soon broke the game wide open with a 22-2 second quarter. The Falcons cruised after that to earn their second win of the season.
Ashlyn Slater led Schenectady Christian with 26 points, while Bethany Goodrich contributed 15 points and 14 rebounds. Monica Compton added 12 points.
While the girls team had no trouble with Loudonville Christian, the boys team found itself in a battle with Cambridge, one of the perennial powers in the Wasaren League. The Falcons (1-0) built a 30-21 halftime lead, but had to fend off several Indian rallies in the second half to pull out the win.
"We toughed it out and kept fighting," said Collins.
The newness of the facility might have played a role. The tight rims on the baskets meant that shooters had to be particularly accurate with their shots. Otherwise, the ball would bounce away.