MIDLOTHIAN — John Tyler secured its place in the Division I 7-on-7 State Tournament Saturday by winning its semifinal at the Midlothian SQT. The Lions defeated Magnolia West, 38-21, in its semifinal to qualify.

The two finalists of every SQT earn automatic bids to the 7-on-7 State Tournament. The Lions were denied in the semifinals of the Tyler SQT by Longview, but made no mistake on Saturday.

"Our guys played great," said JT coach Reginald Coleman. "They were a totally different team from two weeks ago."

The Lions were unbeaten in their pool — 39-19 over Mansfield Summit; 45-21 over Duncanville and 40-18 over Waxahachie.

JT struggled in pool play last weekend at the Rowlett SQT. Coleman believes that his team overcoming early struggles will make it stronger now at state.

"I told the guys that our backs are against the wall and how bad did they want to get back to state," Coleman said. "The guys showed it today."

John Tyler joins fellow ET qualifiers Longview, Robert E. Lee and Whitehouse for the Division I 7-on-7 State Tournament, which will take place July 12-13 at Southwest Williamson County Regional Park in Leander.

Many ET teams will also be in the Austin area for the Division II 7-on-7 State Tournament, scheduled for July 11-12 at Williamson County Regional Park. They are: Canton, Carthage, Chapel Hill, Crockett, Gilmer, White Oak and Wills Point.

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