The Denison Yellow Jackets head to a basketball game hoping that a track meet breaks out.
If the match-up with the Sherman Bearcats gets played at a fast tempo, Denison feels its chances to come away with a victory will increase. It is a feeling based on the way the Jackets have approached their entire season — a stretch that has seen them be more competitive.
“With our style of play, we can step out there any given night and give ourselves a chance. It’s a good feeling knowing you can be competitive,” Denison head coach Chet Byerly said. “Going against Sherman, it’s always big in everybody’s minds. The atmosphere’s going to be fun.”
The plan for both sides is to have a lot of points be scored as Denison (8-15, 1-3) travels to Sherman (13-10, 2-1) in District 5-5A action tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“I heard they were playing a different style and I was impressed with how they’re getting up and down the floor,” Sherman head coach Marcus Klingsick said. “I think it’s going to be a high-scoring game.”
It is a key match-up for both teams with the second half of the district schedule right around the corner. The Jackets would have a chance to get to 3-3 for the start of the second half since they host winless Wichita Falls on Tuesday before a bye on Friday while the Bearcats sit in a tie with Denton for third place but just a game back of co-leaders Wichita Falls Rider and Denton Ryan, who square of tonight.
Denison, which has already won more games than it did last season, is coming off a 60-47 loss against Ryan. Mykel Anderson scored 10 points, Rustin Workman added eight points and Dontre Flowers and Devonte Fulce chipped in five points apiece.
“We didn’t shoot very well but we forced 28 turnovers,” Byerly said. “We’ve got to create turnovers and create things in transition for us to have a chance.”
Last Friday the Jackets beat Braswell for their first district win after the Bengals beat Denison twice during tournaments.
“We’re fairly evenly matched with them and we needed to shoot well and that’s what we did,” Byerly said.
Sherman is coming off a 72-56 victory against Wichita Falls. Jeremy Norvell had 28 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Jaylyn Cleamons added 12 points and seven rebounds, Blaise Bentsen chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds and Kemonte Dowdy scored eight points.
Bentsen has added another weapon to the core group that is seeking a playoff return after the junior transferred from Texoma Christian and has settled into the lineup following an early-season injury. There are still plenty of opportunities and the Bearcats are making the most out of the touches they get.
“They want to win. They’re happy with that,” Klingsick said. “That’s really impressive this group. It’s not about getting mine.”
Sherman rebounded from a 64-63 loss against Ryan when Sherman held a six-point half-time lead and went to the fourth quarter tied. The tean had to sit with that for a week since it had a bye before blasting Wichita Falls.
“I thought we did a really good job bouncing back. We don’t want to have that feeling again anytime soon,” Klingsick said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
Sherman has shown an ability to pile up points as well, so the outcome against Denison may have the scoreboard consistently being updated.
“If we play like we’re capable of, I like how our style matches up with them. There’s times we have five three-point shooters out there,” Byerly said. “I think against us, they’ll accept the pace and try to do their thing.”