03-22 farrash Savage

Farrah Savage was able to seamlessly transition from playing in the post her junior year to running the point as a senior. In her senior campaign she averaged 10 points per game, eight rebounds per game, four steals per game and a block per game, earning her Defensive Player of the Year honors.

If there’s one word to describe Rivercrest Lady Rebels’ Farrah Savage, it’s versatility. Last year, she held down the paint as a dominant post player for Rivercrest. This year, she ran the offense as point guard. Though those two positions are as different as night and day, Savage excelled at each. And at each, Savage was able to exhibit masterful defensive tenacity.

It is for this reason that Savage has been selected as the Red River Valley All-Area Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.

As a senior, Savage averaged 10 points per game, eight rebounds per game, 4 steals per game and a block per game.

“I put a lot of emphasis on my defense,” Savage said. “I think it’s just as important as offense — maybe even more important — so I put a lot of work into my defense and want it to be the best it can be.”

Savage leaves everything she has on the court, and says she treats each and every possession as if it’s her last.

“I’m always playing hard,” she said. “I treat every possession like it’s the last because I think you need to carry that type of intensity.”

Defensively, Farrah’s quick feet allow her to stay in front of opposing ball handlers and deny entry into the post, and her excellent timing allows her to nab steals and reject shots at an astonishing rate.

“Farrah is an incredibly gifted player,” head coach Justin Milton said. “She brings something very unique to the court that not many players can match. We’re a different team when she’s on the court.

“Not only does she work incredibly hard and have great fundamentals, but she’s got God-given athletic abilities that have helped her be successful in just about every sport she plays. Sometimes I think she doesn’t quite see the level of skill and talent she has.”

Savage is versatile enough that she is often assigned to guard the opposing team’s best player, regardless of what position they are, be it a center or a point guard.

“A lot of the time we’re in the zone, and we can put her in whatever position we need to do the most good, whether it’s up top trying to force the ball and get ball pressure, or it might be down low where she can be our leading rebounder,” Milton said. “And it doesn’t matter where we put her; she’s going to get steals, she’s going to get blocks and she’s going to get rebounds. As a coach, it’s nice to have a player that can do whatever you ask of them.”

And Savage is no slouch on offense, either. When running the point, she is a slasher, and prefers to use her quickness to drive into the post, from there, she said, she can dish it off to one of her teammates or take it up herself for a layup that more often than not finds the bottom of the net.

With such strong play on both sides of the ball, Savage could aptly be described as a “stat sheet stuffer” on many nights. One such performance came against Linden-Kildare, when she tallied 12 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, dished out four assists and collected six steals in the dominating win.

Savage also points to a game against Clarksville as one of her best performances of the season, though it came in a losing effort.

“I felt like I played hard, I led the team, and we all played together as a team,” she said.

Though Savage was able to transition seamlessly into the role of point guard this season, it wasn’t one she was thrilled about. Savage said she prefers to operate off the ball, and running the offense from the point was sometimes a challenge.

Despite the new challenge the change presented, Farrah said she readily accepted it for the good of the team.

“At the end of the day, it was for the good of the team and we needed it to win,” she said. “The good of the team is the most important thing, so I was willing to do it.”

“She’s a total team player,” Milton said. “It’s one of the reasons I love coaching her; she is more than willing to do what it takes to win, and she doesn’t think she’s better or act like she’s better than anyone.”

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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