It came down to one shot after Sherman’s girls led for most of the game, only to see Lovejoy go ahead in the final minutes of Friday’s District 13-4A showdown at Bearcat Gymnasium.

It came down to one shot after Sherman’s girls led for most of the game, only to see Lovejoy go ahead in the final minutes of Friday’s District 13-4A showdown at Bearcat Gymnasium.


Sherman senior Jayzhia Softly had a great look on a baseline jumper with about two seconds left. But the shot rimmed out, Lovejoy rebounded, and the visiting Lady Leopards escaped with a 49-48 win in a key early District 13-4A battle.


Sherman (8-10, 3-2) took a 46-45 lead with 1:29 left on a 3-point basket by Sa’Liesha Hunter following J’Lyn Wash’s backcourt steal. After Lovejoy’s Shani Rainey made two free throws to give her team the lead back, Softly stepped to the line with 47.8 seconds left and made both ends of a one-and-one, and the Lady Cats led again.


But Rainey, who led Lovejoy (9-8, 4-1) with 26 points and 11 rebounds, followed with an inside basket at about the 30-second mark. Sherman had three shots to go in front one last time, but missed all three, including the final chance on an inbound play at the buzzer.


Hunter finished with 17 points and six steals for the Lady Cats, while Brelyn Keys added 11 points and Softly ended up with 10 points and eight rebounds.


Sherman was outrebounded once again by a 37-28 margin, but the Lady Cats forced 20 Lovejoy turnovers and only gave up 12.


The Lady Cats did not trail from the 2:38 mark of the first period until the 6:12 mark of the fourth, when the Lady Leopards tied it with a pair of Paige Eberhart free throws. Lovejoy then went in front by as much as 45-40 before Sherman rallied to nose ahead in the final minutes.


Sherman went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter on Wash’s jumper, a Keys 3-pointer, and a bucket and two free throws by Softly to lead 19-12 after one. They led by as much as 10 in the second frame and held off a pair of Lovejoy mini-runs to maintain a 29-23 lead at the intermission.


The Lady Leopards adjusted to an inside attack to open the second half and quickly tied the game at 29-all, but again, the Lady Cats answered with a 9-2 run to go on to a 38-34 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.


The Lady Cats travel to fifth-place Wylie on Tuesday evening for a battle that should shape the rest of the district playoff race.