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Next stop for Bull Dogs senior: Franklin College

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Hanna Ballard has been able to have a relaxing spring break, knowing that her college decision is behind her.

The lone senior on Columbus North’s 25-1 girls basketball team this past season recently made a verbal commitment to play at Franklin College. Ballard picked the Grizzlies over fellow Division III and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference members Hanover, Manchester and Earlham. She plans to major in marketing.

“I just really liked the atmosphere and really liked the team and the coaches,” Ballard said.

“After going to all the schools, I just liked Franklin the best.        It was the best fit for me.”

Ballard averaged 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.0 steals a game this season. Her 78 steals rank eighth on North’s single-season list.

After missing most of her sophomore year with a torn ACL, Ballard tore her other ACL last spring but was back on the court for the start of her senior season.

“Hanna has had a really strong last two years, having to overcome some adversity this year with the injuries,” North coach Pat McKee said. “It showed her commitment and dedication, and I think the colleges were impressed by that. I know Hanna is really pleased with the opportunity in front of her at Franklin.”

The Bull Dogs went 81-19 in Ballard’s four years, including 48-5 the past two seasons. North won Conference Indiana titles the past two years, were Class 4A state runner-up in 2012 and Hall of Fame Classic and sectional champions this season.

“I think we had a great team, and we made a lot of really good accomplishments,” Ballard said. “I wouldn’t change anything.”

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