Mountain View boys basketball coach Gary Ernst has racked up wins by the 100s in short order, which is why he's the state's winningest coach in the sport. It's possible the longtime Toros' mentor notches No. 800 when his team crosses the border later this week to Canada to play in the 32nd annual REB Classic at Jasper Place HS in Edmonton, Alberta.
Ernst became the state's winningest coach in February of 2012 with victory No. 775 against Rincon in the first-round of the state tournament. Mountain View won 18 games last season and is 3-0 this year heading to Tuesday night's home game with St. Mary's. Ernst has 796 victories at present. A win over St. Mary's would put him three from 800. Mountain View will play at least three games and possibly four in Edmonton Dec. 12-14. The Toros may have get a game ball with win No. 800 through customs if they continue their winning ways.
Mountain View's girls basketball team was pretty much knocked out of contention last season by injury -- the season-ending kind. This season the Lady Toros are still plagued by physical ailments, but so far none for the year.
Top returning scorer and ASU commit Armani Hawkins hasmissed four games due to a stomach ailment. Christine Miller has missed a couple due to an ankle sprain after missing the last year and a half with a knee injury. Cherokee Davis has missed major time of late with a hand injury. All three are starters. Mountain View is 3-5 thus far. Four of its five losses have been by two points.
Coach Henry Bribiescas said Hawkins was undergoing tests for appendicitis. Davis is being examined for a possible broken bone in her hand. None of those diagnoses have been confirmed as of Monday afternoon.
Two wrestling invitationals take place in Mesa this weekend. Red Mountain hosts the Nate Johnson Memorial Dec. 13-14 with 16 teams in its field. The tournament is a team dual format with two pools of eight teams. Teams in Pool A are Desert Edge, Red Mountain, Cesar Chavez, Brophy, Willow Canyon, Shadow Mountain, Marcos de Niza and Camelback. Teams in Pool B are Chaparral, Tolleson, North, Westview, Verrado, Payson, Globe and Millennium. Wrestling begins Friday Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. with each team having five matches. Action resumes Saturday (Dec. 14) at 8 a.m. with two more duals. Final bracketing matches take place between 1 and 4 p.m.
Skyline High hosts the Coyote Open Wrestling Invitatiaonal, a 16-team tourney with an individual-bracket format. Teams entered are Alhambra, Basha, Casa Grande, Cortez, Desert Mountain, Florence, Higley, Highland, Horizon, Mesquite, Notre Dame, Saguaro, Skyline, South, Tempe and Westwood. Wrestling begins Friday Dec. 13 at noon and runs through the early evening. Action resumes Saturday at 9 a.m.