The championship coaches in Wednesday’s 5A Division I boys basketball final are record breakers, and the winner will set another record.
If Mountain View defeats Corona del Sol in the 5A-I final at Glendale Arena, the Toros’ Gary Ernst will become the top coach in state 5A history in terms of titles won.
Ernst, who has coached Mountain View to four titles and Chandler to one, is tied with Phoenix East’s Royce Youree with five 5A titles apiece. Ernst and Youree went head to head in Ernst’s second title game appearance in 1981, when he coached at Chandler. East prevailed that night, 68-38.
This will be Ernst’s eighth appearance as a coach in a 5A title game, the most ever.
Meanwhile, Corona del Sol coach Sammy Duane Jr., in his third season at Corona and sixth overall as a head coach, surpassed the school record for wins in a season when the Aztecs notched No. 28 over Mountain Pointe in the semifinals. The mark of 27 was held by his father, Sam Duane Sr., when Corona del Sol won the 4A title and went unbeaten in 1981.
Earl may return Monday: Corona del Sol senior guard Demetrious Earl, who missed Wednesday’s 5A-I semifinal against Mountain Pointe with a high fever, may be able to return to practice Monday, Corona del Sol coach Sammy Duane Jr. said.
Earl has been diagnosed with viral pneumonia. He won’t be cleared to practice, if all goes well in his recovery, until Monday. Earl has averaged 15 points and nearly four assists per game this season.
‘‘That’s a good thing about having a week off for the championship game,’’ Duane Jr. said.
Racking up the miles: The Pedersens, Gary and Kelli, have been busy this season keeping up with their basketball playing daughter and son, Kayla and Kyle. This past weekend was just as hectic if not more, but the payoffs have been good.
Last Friday afternoon Kyle and the Fountain Hills boys took on Winslow in a midafternoon 3A semifinal at Glendale Arena. They had to load up quickly and head east to Red Mountain to catch Kayla and the Mountain Lions take on Xavier in the 5A Division I quarterfinals.
With both teams winning, their travels weren’t complete. On Saturday night, it was back to Glendale Arena for the 3A final with Seton Catholic, won by Fountain Hills, 61-54. Sunday was a day of rest before another trip to Glendale for Red Mountain’s 71-27 romp over Tucson Salpointe in the semifinals. One more stop at Glendale Arena on Wednesday will complete a whirlwind tour.
Simon garners another honor:
St. Mary’s guard Dymond Simon will be one of 24 prep girls basketball players from around the country to compete in the 2006 McDonald’s All-American High School game set for March 29 at San Diego State University. Simon has helped her team to the 5A finals for the third straight season. She has signed a letter of intent to play this fall at Arizona State.
Football, volleyball facing possible changes: Football games that are blowouts would be shortened and all volleyball matches would be lengthened if two items are passed today at a meeting of the Arizona Interscholastic Association legislative council.
A proposal called the “football speed up rule” would implement a second-half running clock if a team leads by at least 42 points at halftime. The rule would be applied to all five of the AIA’s conferences. Currently, the biggest schools — 4A and 5A — have no mercy rule. In small school conferences (3A, 2A, 1A) if a team leads by at least 42 points at halftime, the game is called. If the proposal passes, that would be eliminated.
Another proposal calls for all volleyball matches to be changed to best-of-five games rather than the current best-of-three.
Tournament updates: Today is the final day of pool play in the Scottsdale Quarterback Club tournament. In Pool A, Chaparral can clinch a spot in the title game with a win over Dobson. In Pool B, either Chandler or Desert Mountain will advance. Both teams are 4-0 and play today at 3:45 at Desert Mountain.