Not long removed from being outside the playoff mix altogether, the Plano boys basketball team’s momentous second half continues to pay off.
The Wildcats won their fourth consecutive game on Tuesday, cruising past Flower Mound 69-40 to take sole possession of third place in District 6-6A. Plano improved to 6-5 in conference play with the victory — momentarily clearing the logjam of Plano East, Lewisville and Hebron, all of whom are now tied for fourth place at 5-6.
The Wildcats got contributions up and down head coach Dean Christian’s rotation with 10 different players scoring in Tuesday’s win, led by 12 points from junior Xavier Williams and 10 points from senior Johan Bennett. Senior Jackson Hamilton and junior Makhi Dorsey added nine apiece.
Plano put Flower Mound out of reach early on with a 34-16 halftime lead, buoyed by a smothering defensive effort in the second quarter where it outscored the Jaguars, 12-3.
The Wildcats entered the night in a tie for third place with Plano East and Lewisville — both of whom suffered losses to the top two teams in the district.
The Panthers played first-place Coppell to a draw through two quarters, tied 29-29 at the half, before the state-ranked Cowboys shifted gears over the final two quarters en route to a 65-55 victory to win their 12th game in a row.
The Farmers, meanwhile, trailed the second-place Marauders by just one point through three quarters, but were outscored over the final eight minutes 22-15 on their way to a 51-43 loss. Marcus (9-2) stayed on the heels of Coppell (10-1) in the race for the district championship with three games to play. With the Marauders leading third-place Plano by four games, Tuesday’s results assured that Coppell and Marcus will comprise the district’s top two seeds, in some order, in the playoffs.
Hebron managed to pull even with East and Lewisville behind a big second half against Plano West. The Hawks were tied at the half against the Wolves 25-25 before closing the game on a 30-14 run to seize a 55-39 victory. David Deal scored 16 points for the Hawks and finished as one of three double-digit scorers for the team, while West got 10 points from senior Terrance Sanders.
Hebron hosts Lewisville at 8 p.m. Friday in a game rife with playoff implications. That same night, Marcus visits East while Plano travels to West — both for 7 p.m. tipoffs.
Second seed up for grabs on girls side
As the final night of the regular season looms, two of the four playoff seeds have been decided in 6-6A girls basketball. Plano East, fresh off capturing the outright district championship last week against Plano, has locked up the No. 1 seed, while Hebron will enter the playoffs slotted fourth overall.
The final two berths will belong to Plano and Lewisville, but the seeding remains up in the air as both teams sit at 9-4 and tied for second place heading into Friday night. The Lady Wildcats avenged a prior loss in district play by defeating Flower Mound 45-39 on Tuesday while Lewisville used a strong first half to distance from Marcus early for a 51-38 victory.
The Lady Wildcats currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Lady Farmers but still face must-win territory Friday at home against rival Plano West, while Lewisville will look to keep its hopes afloat with a road game against Hebron.
Playoff seeding looms large in the bi-district round, with the top two seeds in 5-6A expected to be state-ranked Denton Guyer and Allen. Both are still in the hunt for the district title, with a win Friday by Allen over Denton Braswell creating a split for the district championship. Whoever winds up as the No. 2 seed between Allen and Guyer would play the third-place finisher from 6-6A in the opening round.