One week after it happened, the great ice storm of 2013 is still creating plenty of schedule chaos — especially for Sherman’s girls leading up to tonight’s rivalry basketball game against Denison.

One week after it happened, the great ice storm of 2013 is still creating plenty of schedule chaos — especially for Sherman’s girls leading up to tonight’s rivalry basketball game against Denison.

Sherman schools have been closed since last Friday because of the still-icy streets, which has completely shut down the team’s activity because of a district policy. The forced idleness has frustrated Lady Bearcats head coach Beth Tallant to no end.

"They said no school, no games, no practice," Tallant said. "We haven’t practiced for eight days. We had a shootaround last Thursday, and I don’t count that."

The Lady Cats haven’t played since Dec. 3, and their game at McKinney North has been moved to Saturday at 4 p.m., making tonight’s contest against Denison at 6:15 p.m. at Bearcat Gymnasium their actual District 13-4A opener.

Meanwhile, the Lady Jackets got back into action Thursday night with a home game against Wylie East, and will be playing the second of a back-to-back at Sherman.

"I don’t know if you can get a sense of normality," Denison head coach Rod Been said. "We’re both out of our routine. Starting district like this is messed up, but it’s equal. We’re both messed up."

Sherman will make the return trip to Denison’s gym on Jan. 17.

Granted, the girls’ basketball series between the Lady Cats and Lady Jackets has more resembled a hammer-and-nail rivalry in recent years, with Sherman having won the last seven meetings going back to Denison’s most recent victory, 42-34, in January 2010.

But Been, in his second season at Denison, is hopeful his charges can steal one tonight.

"I like our scenario," Been said. "We have a chance to knock off our rust a bit. We had a tournament canceled last week. I had a light schedule purposely, but I didn’t factor in the weather."

Been has reason to be optimistic. Sherman, a top district finisher each of the last three seasons, has struggled out of the chute and is 2-7 against a tough schedule.

The guard-heavy Lady Cats are still trying to adjust to a lack of height following the graduation of Ashley Crockett, who now plays for LeTourneau University.

But they can score with the best of them, led by senior point guard Sa’Liesha Hunter, who averages about 20 points per game with a season-high of 33 against Melissa; and shooting guard Jayzhia Softly, who had a career high of 34 points against Irving in the Allen Lady Eagle Classic.

The order of games — Denison first before the McKinney North juggernaut — at least gives Tallant some hope that the Lady Cats can ease back into competition. Tallant also planned to scout Thursday night’s Denison-Wylie East game in person.

"Maybe we can knock the icicles off our hands a little before the second half (against Denison)," Tallant said, "and then try to come up with a good plan against North."

Tallant, though, said she is not taking the Lady Jackets lightly this season, especially with the outside penetrating ability of leading scorer Jamiah Ballard.

"The girls understand how important this game is every year," Tallant said. "They will come out ready to play. But they have to play within the realm of everything that’s going on. They know if they get tired, they’re coming out. It’s going to be a battle, for dang sure."

Denison (1-5) has shown glimpses of turning the corner this season, including a 77-47 rout of Whitesboro in the Pottsboro tournament a couple of weeks ago.

"That’s the only time we’ve put four quarters together," Been said. "The first half of the Melissa game, we played well, but we let them score three straight baskets and it got away from us."

Along with Ballard and Bailey Nixon coming off the bench, Been is hoping that inside players Sahara Crawford and Dara Williams can take advantage of the size disparity.

On the other hand, Been also knows the Lady Cats will press constantly and try to keep Denison from setting up in halfcourt.

"We can’t win a high-scoring game," he said. "We need to take care of the basketball. If we can keep our turnovers down, I like our chances to be in the game in the second half.

"They’re going to try to get the ball down the floor, so we have to wall up and keep the ball out of the paint. We can’t let them drive and penetrate."