ANDERSON — Monday was supposed to be a tone-setting day for the Anderson girls basketball team.
The Lady Tribe was set to watch film of Lawrence North, Saturday's regional opponent at Decatur Central and the top-ranked team in the state, and begin the mental preparation for the next challenge.
Instead, Mother Nature intervened. Again.
"That's the way we've set the tone all year," Anderson coach Chad Cook said. "It's always been about weather reports. That's the way it's been all year."
At Shenandoah, Chelsea Kilian and her Raiders understand the feeling.
A wintry mix poured down over much of central Indiana on Monday, calling an early end to the school day and cancelling practices. For the recently crowned sectional champions, that meant finding alternative means to prepare for this weekend's big games.
"We're used to having an inconsistent schedule at this point," Kilian said. "The kids are resilient. I'm sure they're at home watching film right now. If they can't get on the court, they'll prepare any way they can."
The snowiest winter on record has given birth to all manner of improvisation.
Anderson (19-4) and Shenandoah (16-4) have navigated the rough terrain better than most. The Indians survived a thrilling Class 4A sectional final with a 43-41 win against Mount Vernon at Connersville on Saturday, while the Raiders crushed Frankton 65-40 in a Class 2A title game on their home court.
Both teams face big obstacles in the next round. And they don't come much bigger than Anderson's next opponent.
Lawrence North (23-1) has been a state championship favorite all season and routed the Lady Tribe 84-45 on Nov. 20. But that result only has the Indians more excited for the rematch.
"That's one we would have done over right after it happened," Cook said. "I'm glad we get the chance to do it now."