The third try was nearly the charm for the Plano West 7-on-7 football team.
The Wolves’ skill position players continued their offseason on Saturday with an appearance at a state-qualifying tournament hosted by Hurst LD Bell. Competing in its third SQT of the summer, West advanced past the pool play stage for the first time after posting a 2-1 record.
Needing one more win to punch their ticket to the Division I state tournament, which takes place on June 24-26 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station, the Wolves fell short against Denton Braswell in the qualifying round in a 26-12 loss.
West gave itself an opportunity after an impressive showing throughout the morning in a nip-and-tuck trio of pool games. The Wolves were edged in their first game of the day in a 26-20 loss to Mansfield but bounced back to defeat host Bell 42-18 and Lake Highlands 27-19.
Although that amounted to a 2-1 finish in pool play, West wasn’t alone — sharing first place in the pool with Lake Highlands and Mansfield. With head-to-head tiebreakers not favoring any of those three teams, the pool winner was instead decided on total points scored in pool play.
The Wolves, bolstered by their big showing against Bell, totaled 89 points on the morning compared to 65 points for Mansfield and 60 for Lake Highlands.
Averaging 29.7 points per game in pool play, West wasn’t able to carry that momentum over against Braswell.
Finishing 2-2 for the day, the Wolves built off prior SQT showing that included appearances at the Plano SQT on May 8 (1-2) and the Grapevine SQT on May 22 (1-2).
Only two weeks of qualifying tournaments remain to determine the final participants in the state tournament. Dallas-area SQTs will be hosted by Arlington Lamar on Friday and by Keller Fossil Ridge on June 18.
No Plano ISD high school has qualified for this year’s state tournament yet — the last to do so was Plano East in 2018. West’s last appearance at state came in 2016, which capped a stretch of seven consecutive qualifications for the event.
Prestonwood up and down at 1st SQT
Prestonwood Christian has found recent success competing against public schools in 7-on-7, qualifying for the state tournament in 2017 and 2018.
The Lions made their first SQT appearance of the summer on Saturday in Hurst but came away with just a 1-2 record in pool play. Competing in Pool E, Prestonwood played all three games close but dropped narrow decisions to Irving MacArthur (28-25) and Mesquite (13-6) before closing out the morning on a high note by outlasting Arlington, 34-28.
Prestonwood finished 1-2 alongside Arlington and MacArthur, while Mesquite ran the table with a 3-0 record built on defense. The Skeeters surrendered just 8.7 points in their three pool wins.
Other local teams who participated in the SQT were Lake Dallas (1-2), Frisco (1-2), Lovejoy (2-1) and Sachse (2-1).
In addition to Braswell, Lamar and Trophy Club Byron Nelson wound up securing qualifications for the state tournament.