IT'S been two weeks since McKenzie Mott was unleashed in the Queensland State Netball League, but the Wide Bay Thundercats rookie has quickly warmed to the task.
Mott, 16, was one of the bright spots for the Thundercats in their tough double header at Hervey Bay PCYC at the weekend.
The home side was caught off guard by the fast-starting Suncoast Lynx on Saturday night, trailing 31-3 at half-time before eventually falling 57-13.
They redeemed themselves to a certain degree yesterday, matching the first-placed Brisbane North Cougars early in the game.
But thanks to their superior volume of goals landed in the shooting circle, the Cougars kicked on to capture a comprehensive 70-20 win.
After seeing limited time in her first state league match at Hervey Bay PCYC on Saturday, Mott proved what a valuable addition she is to the Thundercats team by playing the entire match against the Cougars.
Mott netted a sensational 88% of her shots (15/17) and the 185cm-tall shooter said she enjoyed every moment playing in front of a bumper crowd.
"I think it made more ready and felt I had to do more than I was previously doing," the Bundaberg talent told the Chronicle after yesterday's match.
"I felt more comfortable with everyone around and it was a real buzz."
Mott, who took up netball at seven, has represented Wide Bay schoolgirls on multiple occasions and has been part of the regional academy squad the past two years.
A sheer delight to watch in full flight, Mott adds height, youth and energy to the Thundercats' front court as well as a hunger to improve, highlighted by her eagerness to hone her skills in the QSNL this season.
"It's a good environment to play in and to improve yourself and develop," she said.
"You realise quickly how hard some of these players are so you have to be strong to match them.
"But it's a step up in level and it might help me get seen more with better players around me and show I can play good netball."
Regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in Wide Bay, Thundercats coach Kerrianne Farrelly said Mott had a bright future ahead and believed this year's experience would serve her well towards her goal of representing Queensland.
"Her confidence more than anything is what came through today (against the Cougars yesterday) and then next week that will come through even more," she said.
"Her potential is all there.
"Her along with Taylor (Crossley), they are our future and it's exciting to have these two players coming through and doing well at the moment."
Going forward the Thundercats will have to find ways to create more opportunities for Mott, whose combination with fellow young gun Crossley continues to get stronger.
Libby Daniels' shift to wing attack gave the team more composure in the attacking third, but again it was the defence work of captain Katrina Tate, of Hervey Bay, and Gympie's Heidi Stanton that shone through in both games.
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