Here’s a look at Thursday’s playoff schedule:
In softball, Tucson, Cienega and Sahuaro are all competing at Rose Mofford in the third round of the 6A (for the Badgers) and 5A Championship Brackets. Mountain View and Ironwood Ridge are playing in the 5A Elimination Bracket, also at Rose Mofford. There is no room for error for the Mountain Lions or the Nighthawks.
In 4A semifinal action, Canyon del Oro and Salpointe are battling it out at Hillenbrand Stadium at 6:30 p.m. The winner will advance to the 4A State Championship game to be played Tuesday, May 9 at ASU at 7:30 p.m.
The 6A and 5A Boys Volleyball Play-In Tournament is taking place with Rincon, Ironwood Ridge, Sahuaro and Buena all hosting. Tucson, Sunnyside, Pueblo, Mountain View and Flowing Wells are all traveling.
The winners will advance to the state playoffs, slated to start on Saturday, May 6.
Sahuaro head coach Sandy Novak is currently tied with former Rincon/UHS head coach Juanita Kingston for the most wins in the history of Southern Arizona at 671. If Sahuaro gets past Pueblo, then Novak will own the record. Novak already holds the record for wins in boy’s competition at 269.
Novak’s 269 wins may never be broken due to Bill Lang retiring form the boy’s side at Ironwood Ridge but Lang is on pace to one day break 700 overall wins.
SOUTHERN ARIZONA COACHING LEADERS
Juanita Kingston, Rincon/UHS
455: Girls (1 championship & 1 runner-up)
216: Boys (1 runner-up)
Sandy Novak, Sahuaro
402: Girls (2 runner-up)
269: Boys (1 championship & 1 runner-up)
Bill Lang, Ironwood Ridge
417: Girls (2 runner-up)
6A Round 3 at Rose Mofford, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 Hamilton at No. 3 Tucson
5A Round 3 at Rose Mofford, 7:30 p.m.
No. 1 Cienega vs. No.5 Chaparral
No. 3 Sahuaro vs. No. 2 Shadow Ridge
5A Elimination Bracket, 6:30 p.m.
No. 9 Mountain View vs. No. 6 Verrado
No. 6 Ironwood Ridge vs. No. 10 Queen Creek
4A Semifinal at Hillenbrand, 6:30 p.m.
No. 1 Canyon del Oro vs. No. 5 Salpointe
6A BOYS VOLLEYBALL PLAY-IN
At higher seed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 23 Maryville at No. 10 Rincon/UHS
No. 19 Tucson at No. 14 Westwood
No. 24 Sunnyside at No. 9 O’Connor
5A BOYS VOLLEYBALL PLAY-IN
At higher seed, 6:30 p.m.
No. 24 St. Mary’s at No. 9 Ironwood Ridge
No. 22 Pueblo at No. 11 Sahuaro
No. 17 Queen Creek at No. 16 Buena
No. 18 Mountain View at No. 15 Seton Catholic
No. 21 Flowing Wells at No. 12 Centennial
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com