Tonight likely won’t be Savage’s finale

SS senior guard hopes to play in college

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 5, 2008 - Tonight will be the last high school basketball game for Jessica Savage, but it probably won't be the last game of her career.

Savage, a guard for the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats, will likely play in college and will meet in the next few weeks with coaches from LeTourneau and Abilene Christian University.

But first, Savage and her two fellow seniors, Stephanie Conley and Starkeisha Wright, will be honored before their final game tonight against Paris at Wildcat Gym. The game is scheduled to tipoff at about 7:30 p.m.

Savage transferred to Sulphur Springs from Winnsboro as a junior. In the last two years, she has hit a total of 55 3-pointers, including 38 this season in 26 games. Twice she has made four treys in a game and has made at least one 3-pointer in all but three games this year.

SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo said it is Savage's range that draws notice from other teams.

"I don't think I've ever known a girl who shoots that far out," said Carrillo. "That's her trademark. Other teams may not know her name, but they knew she can shoot the long threes.

"I felt like she has had a great year. She struggled a little bit last year with her shooting, but this year, she found her shot and kept it. Everybody has their off night, but she's been consistent for us."

Savage said the transfer to Sulphur Springs was made easier because she was active with the Harvest Trinity Church of God in town before she switched schools, so she already knew other SSHS students.

"At first, it was kind of scary, but it really was an easy transition," she explained.

Carrillo said Savage's personality also helped.

"Jessica fits in with the other seniors. She's provided some stability, and I think she's a good fit," the coach said. "Jessica's one of the most likable girls on the team. Everybody gets along with her."

Her personality includes her strong faith. She is a member of the drama team and leadership team at her church.

"She has great Christian morals," Carrillo said. "I feel like she's the moral backbone of our team, because she doesn't just talk it, she lives it."

When she gets to college, Savage won't just be playing basketball, she will also be training for a career in sports medicine. She has been a student trainer this year.

"At first, I thought about being a sports journalist, but my mom brought up the idea of helping athletes instead of writing, and that sounded like fun," Savage said. "I've had lots of fun with it this year."

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