DENTON — A rematch that looked even on paper — a battle for fourth place between teams that was tied at the end of regulation the last time they met — turned out not to be very close at all.
Sherman’s girls shot poorly from the floor in two of the four quarters and couldn’t make up any ground in either of the other two. As a result, Denton High dealt the Lady Bearcats a 43-25 District 5-5A loss Friday night that gravely wounded their postseason odds.
Denton (8-17, 3-5) now holds fourth place by itself and also owns the tiebreaker over the Lady Cats, having also won at Sherman in overtime right before Christmas.
The Lady Cats remain tied with Wichita Falls for fifth place — that is, on the outside looking in — and the only realistic hope for both is for Denton to fall back into a three-way tie and force a play-in. Sherman will therefore be rooting hard for Old High, which visits Denton on Tuesday night.
Junior forward Jamie Means led the Lady Broncos with 16 points, 17 rebounds and five steals. Denton outrebounded Sherman 43-39 and forced the Lady Cats into 27 turnovers.
Sherman (11-16, 2-6) shot just 1-of-10 from the field in the first eight minutes. A 15-foot jumper by 6-foot-2 senior post Jahmaria Tavie was the only made basket by the Lady Cats as Denton — which made just 3-of-18 from the floor itself — took a 10-2 lead.
Kursten Alexander opened the second frame with a 3-pointer, and later Tavie and Te’Aira McShan netted a pair of buckets each. But Denton’s Means countered with eight of her points in the quarter, leading the Lady Broncos to a 25-14 edge at the intermission.
Whatever spark of offense Sherman might’ve had going forward was quickly snuffed out as Denton pulled away with a 10-1 run to start the second half, with an Alyssa Rushing free throw accounting for the lone point. McShan made a traditional three-point play to snap the drought, but the Lady Cats trailed by 19 points at the end of three.
McShan finished with nine points and Alexander with seven to lead Sherman, both coming off the bench. Tavie added six points and a team-high eight boards before sitting out most of the second half, as did point guard Kristen Gittens, who played more minutes than she did Tuesday night but didn’t score while still shaking off flu symptoms.
The Lady Cats travel to last-place Denton Braswell on Tuesday night needing a win to keep a flicker of a postseason hope alive. Sherman had to hang on to beat Braswell at home in their initial encounter on Dec. 16, winning 49-47.
Denton 43, Sherman 25
Sherman 2 12 4 7 — 25
Denton 10 15 12 10 — 43
Sherman (11-16, 2-6): Te’Aira McShan 9, Kursten Alexander 7, Jahmaria Tavie 6, Alyssa Rushing 2, Bre’Shaun Luper 1.
Denton (8-17, 3-5): Jamie Means 16, Sydney Finch 6, Vivica Hughes 4, Alex Bradley 4, Taylor Howell 4, Melissa Rwehumbiza 3, Kelli Oehmler 2, Tiffany McKelphin 2.