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East Tennessee State women’s basketball coach Brittney Ezell is trying to figure out some things about her team in the middle of a 12-day break between games.
Right at the top of the list is whether forward Destiny Mitchell will be fit to resume her senior season. Mitchell has been out with a stress fracture in her leg since the opener a month ago, and her team has gotten off to a 2-5 start.
She has been practicing to some extent since late last week, but the coach isn’t ready to make a call just yet on whether Mitchell will suit up again or take a redshirt season. Progress has been hard to gauge.
“It’s hard to say because she’s so badly out of shape,” Ezell said Wednesday. “What we’re trying to decipher is whether it’s fatigue or she’s still injured. She and I are going to talk later today and we’ll revisit the whole issue on Friday.
“I want her to get the most out of her senior year. That’s what I’m weighing right now, what’s best for her long term.”
The Lady Bucs play again Sunday at fifth-ranked Kentucky. They’ve been off for finals since Dec. 3, when they lost 92-71 at Vanderbilt.
Preparing for Southeastern Conference opponents back-to-back is problematic for ETSU, but the Lady Wildcats are more so.
“They play a different style that’s hard to simulate,” said Ezell. “They’re really athletic and press the entire game. I’m sitting here watching some tape on them right now, and they’re good. Playing them right before Christmas, I hope they’re in a giving mood.”
ETSU basketball legend Tom Chilton is now a Hall of Famer in his native Indiana.
Chilton was recently voted into the Class of 2014 that will be inducted on March 26 in New Castle. He’s a resident of Madison, Ind., who was a one-man gang at Austin High School in the mid-1950s, averaging 23 points and 22 rebounds as a senior, and 21 and 19, respectively, as a junior.
Chilton headed to ETSU in 1958 and scored 1,801 points in just three seasons there; his 26.1 career average is seven points better than anyone else in school history. He was inducted into the ETSU Hall of Fame in 1980.
Perhaps the best question is, why did Indiana take so long?
ETSU placed three soccer players on the NSCAA All-South Region teams announced Wednesday, the fourth straight year the Bucs have been represented.
Goalkeeper Ryan Coulter and midfielder Itode Fubara made the first team, while forward David Geno was a second-team selection. All three are seniors.
Coulter was named the Atlantic Sun Conference goalkeeper of the year for the second straight year after posting 10 shutouts. The Irishman holds the ETSU career records for wins (30), shutouts (25) and saves (179).
Fubara ranks among the top five in program history for goals (8), assists (13) and minutes played (6,525). The native of Nigeria has been first-team all-conference three times and is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which will be announced next week.
Geno, of Kingsport, is the Bucs’ all-time leader in goals (26), assists (19) and points (71). The conference player of the year as a junior, he was slowed by injury this season but still tied for the team lead in points.
The senior class compiled a record of 45-25-12 over the last four years, with two NCAA tournament appearances.
The cost of 2014 season tickets for ETSU baseball have been reduced to $75 for all seats in Thomas Stadium, and the requirement for BASA membership has been lifted for seats down either baseline. Those under the canopy behind home plate still require membership.
The student section for games has also been moved closer to the action.
“We wanted to make tickets more accessible and affordable for our fans,” said ticket manager Brandon Hudson. “The students really came out and supported the baseball team last season, so we wanted to reward them with better seating.”
The season-ticket drive will continue until Feb. 3, when seating for single games will begin. Those will cost $10 for seats behind home plate and $5 for those down the baselines.
Call the ticket office at 439-3878 or go online to etsubucs.com.
Several ETSU athletes got off to good starts on the indoor track and field season last weekend in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Katerina Vodova won the long jump with a leap of 5.88 meters. Dede Edgecombe took second in the 60-meter hurdles (8.51), while Katlyn Mack was runner-up in the paul vault (3.65). Lexi Burley took third in the triple jump (11.74).
The ETSU men got second-place finishes from Diego Lawrence in the long jump (7.07) and Brett Squibs in the pole vault (4.85).
Both teams have about a month off before returning to action Jan. 11 at the Orange & Purple Classic in Clemson, S.C.