EMERGING Warrnambool Seahawks sharpshooter Wil Rantall says his experienced teammates are giving him confidence to play his natural game.
The Warrnambool College student - one of the youngest on the Big V roster at just 15 - drained 16 points from 19 minutes' court time on Saturday night as a stirring final-term comeback kept the Seahawks' playoff hopes alive.
Rantall said he was relishing the chance to complete his basketball apprenticeship under the tutelage of coach Alex Gynes.
"The group is making me feel a lot more comfortable just to go out and play the basketball that I usually play anywhere else," he said.
"Court time is not a major worry with me - I get what I get, it is team first - but when I am out there I feel I can play freely and the team supports the way I play."
Rantall, who also plays Hampden league under 16 football for South Warrnambool, said he had developed his game IQ and strength against stronger, experienced opponents and identified ways to shoot the three-ball - his main strength - against wily defenders.
He entered the season without any personal expectations instead focusing on the Seahawks' title quest.
"I just wanted to see how many wins we could get for Warrnambool," Rantall said.
"If I can help the team at all, I will do the most I possibly can, even if that's just me pushing the better players at training, I'll do that, just anything to help this town win."
Warrnambool sits just outside the top six with three regular season games in hand.
Making the playoffs is a challenge Rantall - a former Vic Country under 16 representative - and his Seahawks' teammates are embracing.
"I believe things will fall our way hopefully," he said.
"The way we played in the last quarter last week (was impressive) - no selfish team scores 38 points in a quarter.
"It was just a complete group effort in that whole game. Every single person on the floor did everything they possibly could.
"I believe if we have the chance we'll take it with our full reach. We are playing good team basketball - everyone gets along, it's just a good environment to be around. If we do make finals we could really make some mischief."
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