Home, sweet home – Chargers play host after five seasons on the road

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 11, 2005

After 157 games on the road, the Cornerstone Chargers finally brought one home.

Cornerstone’s varsity boys and girls teams each recorded blowout victories in front of the school’s first-ever home crowd Friday night.

Before the weekend

games, the Chargers had not had a home court since the school opened eight years ago as a ministry of Columbiana’s Bethel Baptist Church.

&uot;To turn around and see all these fans on our side was amazing,&uot; said Tim Smith, coach of the boys team.

Smith, who helped build most of the athletic programs at Cornerstone, began coaching the boys this season after several years with the girls team.

He has seen a lot of prayer over the spot now covered by shiny hardwood flooring.

&uot;Our kids prayed on a dirt spot for five years (for a new gymnasium),&uot; Smith said.

For many of those associated with Cornerstone Christian School, Friday night was as much about answered prayers as it was high school basketball.

&uot;They got to see what God can do,&uot; Smith said.

Cornerstone’s players didn’t waste any time breaking in the new gymnasium.

The Lady Chargers set the tone for the night by running away with a 46-15 win over East Memorial. Marybeth Willis led Cornerstone with 20 points while Aubri Smith added 10 points for CCS.

Following the girls’ lead,

Cornerstone’s varsity boys defeated East Memorial in an 86-44 rout.

Jamal Prentice had a triple-double for the Chargers, with 15 points, 19 rebounds and 12 assists. Jon Ray pulled down 10 rebounds to go along with his team-leading 20 points. Jonathan McKinney scored 18 for CCS.

The night was a little extra special for point guard Ty Youngblood, who scored his 1,000th career point with his first basket of the game.

&uot;It was great,&uot; Youngblood said. &uot;Especially being the first game (in the new facility).&uot;

Youngblood, a member of the Chargers varsity squad since the seventh grade, had 14 points in the contest to go along with five assists, four steals and three rebounds.

Smith said the junior player has spent countless hours shooting free-throws in the newly constructed gym, even before it was completed.

&uot;He would show up early to shoot before we had paint on the floor and even before we had the heat on in the building,&uot; Smith said