TWO teenage netballers are playing key roles in a Hamilton Kangaroos' side aiming to finish the Hampden league season on an upwards trajectory.
Goal shooter Hollie Phillips and Jedah Huf, who's had stints in goal defence and wing defence, have been shining lights for the Kelsey Lewis-coached team in 2021.
The pair also represented the Bottle Greens at the Netball Victoria association championships in Ballarat on Sunday and were part of the victorious 17 and under side.
Lewis said she was thrilled with how Phillips and Huf had settled into open-grade competition.
"It is great to see, especially after having last year off, as we didn't know where we were going to be or where the netball levels would be at," she said.
"They have really adjusted and stepped it up when they've needed to.
"They are playing against some of the top netball girls in the league and they're taking it up to them which is great to see."
Phillips, 17, is one of the Hampden league competition's most prolific scorers.
MORE NETBALL: Five-week challenge: Fight for fifth spot
The Monivae College student drained 43 goals, while working alongside Hayley Sherlock in the goal cirlce, in the Kangaroos' 54-33 win against Port Fairy at Gardens Oval on Saturday.
"Her confidence has just grown each week and she's fitted into the team nicely and taken a senior role on like she's been there the whole time," Lewis said of Phillips.
Huf, 17, is doing her work in the defensive end of the court.
She has impressed the coach with her ability to adapt to different situations.
"'Jeds' is just developing so well," Lewis said of the Hamilton College student.
"She's actually moved out to wing defence in the last few weeks and she's really adjusting nicely and reading the play well."
Huf has two experienced players to learn her craft from - goal keeper Rhianne Lewis and goal defender Jessica Crane.
"Rhianne and Jess have been really strong and forceful in the defensive ring," Lewis, who is coaching from the sidelines, said.
"They're just picking balls off left, right and centre.
"Their rebounding and intercepting has just been brilliant and it's been growing and growing the last few weeks."
Hamilton Kangaroos have a 3-10 win-loss record.
They have at least six games remaining with the league yet to formally announce plans for the final two home-and-away fixtures after a two-week coronavirus-enforced break earlier this year caused chaos to the schedule.
"We set goals as a team and individual goals," Lewis said.
"The girls have said they're going to try and win four of them.
"We do come up against Cobden and South Warrnambool towards the end and they (the players) want to just limit the margins from the first round (against those top-three teams).
"It only went wrong in one quarter so it's more than doable.
"They just need to play a consistent four-quarter game and stick it out with them."
The Roos' first challenge is Warrnambool - a team it beat in round two which has since gone onto rise to fourth on the ladder.
"(Goal shooter) Amy (Wormald) didn't play last time and she is obviously a dominant factor but I think Jess (Crane) will probably be playing on her," Lewis said.
"With the height of Jess, she's going to match up to her quite evenly.
"Jess is still going to have a massive job to try and shut Amy down because she's so influential."
The round 11 game is at the Kangaroos' Melville Oval home base at 1.15pm on Saturday.
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