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Ballinger smashing records at Campbellsville

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By Sharon Graves

A former Carroll County Lady Panther basketball standout is shattering records left and right for the Campbellsville University Lady Tigers.

Whitney Ballinger, a 6-foot, 3-inch, sophomore, has broken two shot-blocking records there, and could put one of those out of reach for years to come.

“Breaking the record just sort of happened. I didn’t even know I was close,” Ballinger said in a recent telephone interview.

But Ballinger doesn’t have her sights set on more records, “just winning more games,” she said.

Ballinger took over in the second half of a recent game against St. Catherine College, blocking her 77th shot on the season and breaking the official school record of 76. She also scored 21 points toward the Lady Tigers’ 79-66 win, pulled down 10 rebounds and went 8 for 18 from the field, according to CambellsvilleTigers.com. CU Hall-of-Famer and All-American Andrea Deaton Smith held the 76-block record, according to the Tigers’ Web site.

Ballinger currently is responsible for 78 blocked shots so far, with  seven regular-season games remaining, as of Friday, Feb. 6.

In a game against  Lindsey Wilson College, she blocked eight shots, breaking the old single-game record of six set by former CU All-American Kristin Patton, according to the Web site.

Ballinger said she is having fun at Campbellsville University and loves doing it all: shooting, rebounding and shot-blocking. “I try to keep it balanced,” she said. “It helps you get in a rhythm, and it leads to great things on each end of the court.”

To top it off, Ballinger was tapped as the Mid-South Conference Player of the Week for Jan. 25-31. She also earned the honor in November.

The Web site also credits Ballinger with being a one-woman wrecking crew, logging a double-double in a recent game against Midway College – scoring  10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in limited minutes.

In a game against 10th-ranked University of the Cumberlands, prior to the St. Catherine’s game, Ballinger exploded for 26 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocked shots. The Lady Tigers won 79-71.

Campbellsville is in Division 1 of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, with a perfect 5-0 record in the Mid-South Conference and ranked 13 in the nation.

The team’s overall record stands at 20-3;  Ballinger is ranked in the top 20 of four different individual rankings.

She ranks third in Division 1 in blocks per game, with 3.39; seventh in defensive rebounds, with 6.609 per game; 13th in total rebounds, with 9.348 per game; and 17th in field-goal percentage, with 54 percent.

Ballinger is a 2006 graduate of Carroll County High School, where she played for the Lady Panthers. She has been spotted in the stands recently, cheering on the Lady Panthers of 2009.