Lady Cats end two streaks against Lady Jackets
No one for the Sherman Lady Bearcats had ever earned a victory against their rivals, and very few of them had ever won a district game.
In the matter of an afternoon, all of that changed.
After holding the upper hand in the rivalry for a half-decade, the Denison Lady Yellow Jackets got in gear when it was far too late and for three quarters Sherman took advantage by forcing a flurry of turnovers and using a balanced attack for a 45-33 victory over Denison in District 10-5A action at DHS.
The victory snapped the Lady Bearcats’ 23-game district losing streak which dated back to 2018 and part of a stretch where they had lost 31 of 32 district games. It also ended a nine-game losing streak against the Lady Jackets.
“This is a big, big win for us. If anything it’s an exhale moment for them,” first-year Sherman head coach Kara Skinner said. “There was a lot of frustration. They know they can do it. It does a lot for them in terms of their morale and their mental game.”
Abby Khader scored 10 points, Brooklyn Fielder added eight points, Ally Baker chipped in seven points and Andre’sha Luper, Jayla Jones and Destiny Briscoe all finished with six points for Sherman (3-5, 1-2), which plays at Lovejoy on Tuesday.
“We have some kids who can play solid minutes and give our starters a break,” Skinner said. “A lot of teams don’t have a luxury of going deep into your bench.”
Jade Fry scored nine points while Camryn Nixon and Faith Shaw each finished with six points for Denison (3-10, 0-3), which takes a five-game losing streak into a road game against McKinney North on Tuesday.
Sherman built up a 13-2 lead after the first quarter and continued to widen the gap after Denison went scoreless for the final six minutes of the frame following Nixon’s layup.
“Very, very proud of their efforts on defense,” Skinner said. “We saw some strong signs of applying what we’ve worked on in practice and success with that in games. We also had a great scouting report. That was huge.”
The Lady Bearcats got three-pointers from Fielder and Jones in the stanza as well as a three-point play by Khader.
Sherman’s defensive effort continued into the second quarter. Nixon had the only basket by the Lady Jackets for the first seven minutes, a span that also included a free throw until Ashley Brown’s three with a minute remaining in the half.
Khader had six points in the quarter as six Lady Bearcats scored in the first half. Sherman went into the locker room with a 22-8 advantage that was about to get close to 30 points by the end of the third quarter.
Denison had 10 turnovers in the first quarter on the way to 26 in the contest and made just 3-of-18 free throws, including a 1-of-10 effort in the first half.
A 10-0 run in the middle of the frame keyed by Luper, Khader and Baker pushed the lead up to 32-10 as Denison was in the middle of a nearly five-minute scoring drought.
The Lady Jackets were on their way to another single-digit quarter while Sherman got a three from the right corner by Baker and the lead hit its high-water mark of 27 points (39-12) with 20 seconds to go in the third.
The only blemish for the Lady Bearcats was the fourth quarter when they managed just six points and finished with nine turnovers as Denison was able to get within 12 points at the final margin.
“I think the two elements of that is we do have a young roster starting three sophomores, a junior and a freshman. Sometimes I have to stop and remember a bunch of them are sophomores,” Skinner said. “And how many times have these kids been in that position in the fourth quarter, to have to run out the clock and protect a lead like that?”
The Lady Jackets had a 9-0 run during a four-minute span capped by back-to-back steals and layins from Shaw which had the deficit down to 16 with 3:18 remaining.
Briscoe hit a free throw and notched a putback with just over two minutes left to get the margin back to 19, which ended up being needed as Denison ended the game on an 8-2 run to get within the final 12-point margin.
The Lady Jackets had more points in the fourth quarter (19) than they did in the first three combined (14).
“It was too little, too late,” Denison head coach Brock Giles said.