The regular season basketball opener for Silverdale Baptist was one to remember.
The Seahawks flourished inside their brand new state-of-the-art Silverdale Center gymnasium — a $12 million facility which includes a video jumbotron. The boys' team claimed a pair of wins to begin the season, handing the Chattanooga Patriots a 71-44 defeat in Tuesday afternoon's opener, then followed with a 69-43 win over Signal Mountain.
"The energy in the gym was electric, especially getting to play in front of the entire student body while school was still in session," said senior guard Cameron Mullins, who let out a roar after a tough three-point play, which was part of his 16-point showing against Signal Mountain. "That truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity and something I will forever be proud to have been a part of."
A pair of Silverdale sophomore guards started the season off red hot. Brett Wright scored 40 points and hit a combined seven three-pointers in the two wins. Meanwhile, fellow sophomore Kelsie Johnson stole the show in the girls' 48-33 win over Signal Mountain, scoring 25 points, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range.
She also blocked a shot for the Lady Seahawks who played outstanding defense in the post.
"To play like I did in our first game in our new home really means a lot," said Johnson, who has contributed to the varsity team since eighth grade. "We have been wanting to play in here for so long and to get a big win to start it all off is really great."
Going from their previous gym, which had limited space for seating, to the spacious new facility, which seats close to 1,200 fans is a massive upgrade and comes just one season after both programs advanced to the Division II-A state tournament. The girls' basketball locker room has theater seating for film study, while the weight room is large enough for multiple teams to train in.
"I was talking to our boys' basketball coach (Slater Belew) the other day about how I feel like we have one of the best basketball facilities in Chattanooga," Lady Seahawks coach Victor Underwood said. "We have a great gym with tournament capacity and the weight room and locker rooms are second to none.
"Silverdale is on the rise as far as facilities and everything in general. It's an exciting time to be here."
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.