TAHNI Porter is soaking up as much netball nous as possible.
A season of hard work paid off for the North Warrnambool Eagles starlet - who has spent time in both open and juniors throughout 2021 - on Saturday as she secured her maiden Rebekah Moroney Memorial Medal as the Hampden league's 17 and under best and fairest.
Porter, who accrued 23 votes, defeated Koroit talent Millie Jennings in a one-vote thriller which was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Porter said her time playing under Skye Billings in the Eagles' open grade side could be attributed to her rapid rise in 2021.
"It's actually been really good, because what I learn in open I can put in my under 17s game as well," she told The Standard.
"Open keeps me fit so it's a pretty good (combination). I've learned so much from Skye. She's taught me how to move around the goals and also how to play through midcourt as well.
"I had a run in centre a bit in the under 17s as well as open which was good to switch positions a little."
Porter said the chance to build versatility early in her career was a major plus.
She said Billings' willingness to give juniors an opportunity in open netball and senior grades meant youngsters embraced their chances.
"She's really good at doing that and it's something we, as juniors, are really thankful for."
The teenager, a lifelong Eagle, started her career at the club alongside brothers Jalen and Tate.
Her 17 and under side finished fourth overall while the Bushfield-based club's open grade side was fifth.
Tate, who now features at Warrnambool and District league club Merrivale, finished second in the senior best and fairest count this past Thursday.
Terang Mortlake's Grace Wareham and Cobden's Holly Duynhoven were tied for third on 21 votes.
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