By IZZY GOULD and JOHN C. COTEY
Published February 22, 2007
Wanted: One shooter
Mitchell's Kristi Hopper wanted to go to a school that wanted her.
Florida Southern basketball coach Jarrod Olson wanted a player who could shoot.
Sounds like a marriage made in Polk County.
Hopper, Mitchell's all-time leading scorer after a career in which she tallied nearly 1,500 points, said she has orally committed to Florida Southern, a Division II school in Lakeland. She'll officially sign in April.
Hopper, who made an unofficial visit to the school over the weekend, said she also considered Nova Southeastern but it was the Moccasins' presence at Mitchell's season opener and just about every home game after that that sold her on Florida Southern.
"They actually came to our first game, that was the first time I saw them, and he kept coming to all the games," said Hopper, who led Mitchell to a 25-3 record and district title this season. "I liked that he showed me that much interest. And I'm lucky to stay close to home."
Hopper said Olson told her he needed a shooter, and she fits the bill after averaging 17.2 points this season.
She was one of the top 3-point shooters in the state, making 74 in 28 games, including five or more in seven games.
Anderton to Eastern Illinois
She likes the small-town feel, the cold weather, the coach and the pre-med program.
There wasn't much Zephyrhills junior Ashley Anderton didn't like about her visit to Eastern Illinois' hitting camp last month, so she orally committed.
There were other benefits.
"The good thing is my uncle and aunt live an hour away," Anderton said. "I'm a big family person."
And because Anderton virtually earned a full scholarship, her parents plan to use the money they saved for her education to travel to games.
Anderton hit .395 last season with three home runs and 24 RBIs.
She also considered Illinois State, Bradley University and Wright State.
Call up to varsity pays off
Gulf eked out a 1-0 victory over Springstead on Tuesday thanks to a JV call up.
With the bases loaded, Bucs sophomore Jamie McCullough hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh in her first varsity at-bat.
"She unloaded a ball off the leftfield fence for the win," Gulf coach Rick Hohenthaner said. "I don't think she realized what she did was a walkoff."
The win pulled Gulf to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in district and conference play.