The new Catholic gym made its basketball debut on Tuesday as the Knights played Booker T. Washington Magnet, but Myles Butler didn’t understand a lot of the hype.
Butler played in the old gym last year, but has been dressing out in the new gym since September as a member of the football team, working out in the weight room and practicing on the new gym floor.
“We’ve put a lot of work in with morning workouts, me starting with football,” Butler said. “It’s kind of fun to play in the new gym. It’s new for basketball but football it’s the same thing because we got used to it. But for the fans, it’s probably new. For us, it’s regular, another game.”
Butler was one of three players in double figures as the Knights swamped BTW 67-21, building a 20-point lead in the first half and cruising to their fifth win in seven games this season, sending Catholic fans home happy from the historic first game.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Catholic coach Mike Curry said. “There was a lot that went into the production and everything, but my main focus, and I told the guys, with all hoopla with everybody talking about the new gym and the video presentation – which didn’t go as planned, we had a little glitch – but we had to keep the main thing the main thing. We had a basketball game to play. I was just happy the guys were focused on the task at hand.”
BTW managed just one field goal in the first quarter as the Knights jumped out to a 15-3 lead. Justin Bufford scored 23 points and Butler and Johntarius Green each had 11 in the rout.
Earlier in the evening, the Catholic girls made a similar splash, jumping out to a 10-0 lead on the way to a 55-31 victory to improve to 5-0. Catholic coach Jill Clark spent 15 years in the old gym before finally coaching a game in the new one.
“It was nice,” she said. “The lights in here are a little brighter, much more room. Just the fact that it’s so big and the lights are much better, it’s a good environment to play in.”
Lorren Pharrams scored 14 of her 19 points in the first quarter and Nona Johnson added 14 as the Knights overwhelmed the Yellow Jackets.
“We did some good things tonight, but we’re too sloppy,” Clark said. “We’ve got to learn to take care of the ball a lot better than what we’re doing. We play hard, we’ve just got to take care of the ball.”
Both teams will face Montgomery Academy in Knights Arena on Friday, which promises to be a bigger test for a team that includes seven players who just completed football two weeks ago.
“The football guys started off slow but we’ve picked it up together because we’ve had practice together and understand each other’s games,” Butler said. “We’ve got to fix the little things, like passing the ball, but that’s part of the game.”