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Manchester Valley senior point guard Mackenzie DeWees talks about her pursuit of the 2,000-point mark.

Manchester Valley senior point guard Mackenzie DeWees has found what she sees as the formula for being the perfect basketball player.

DeWees says she watches 100 hours of film on her team and her opponents every season, religiously practices shooting, and keeps in excellent shape through rigorous offseason workouts.

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On top of that, she mentors the Mavericks’ younger players and competes in the sport year-round for national-level AAU teams.

DeWees also won't allow a nagging injury keep her off the court.

“She really has the drive to be successful,” said Heather DeWees, Mackenzie’s mom and Man Valley’s girls basketball coach. “She is willing to do things other players aren’t willing to do. She has a plan.”

DeWees, the Times Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the past three seasons, has already accomplished a lot and her biggest individual achievement could be right around the corner as her high school career winds down.

If she surpasses the 2,000-point mark (currently she’s at 1,874), it's likely to happen on a sore ankle.

Manchester Valley senior Mackenzie DeWees laughs with teammate Amelia Saunders following the Mavericks' win over the Cavaliers, where she surpassed the all-time county girls basketball career scoring record, in Manchester Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.
Manchester Valley senior Mackenzie DeWees laughs with teammate Amelia Saunders following the Mavericks' win over the Cavaliers, where she surpassed the all-time county girls basketball career scoring record, in Manchester Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO)

The 5-foot-9 DeWees, who is averaging 24.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 4.2 steals per game for the two-time reigning county champion Mavericks, missed four games across nearly three weeks with a sprained left ankle.

She re-injured it again late in the second quarter of a 63-58 loss to Westminster on Jan. 19.

DeWees, who will play basketball at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut next season, got treatment, then played most of the second half, finishing with 18 points in the setback.

“Everybody is saying, ‘You have Quinnipiac coming up. You should take a break,’” DeWees said. “I’m still in high school. I can’t really think about that right now. This is my last year. I am on my home court for two more games.”

Four days after the Westminster game, she totaled 19 points and 10 steals in a win over Century despite having participated in only one full practice since the injury occurred on Dec. 21 against Francis Scott Key.

“She could have sat out six weeks,” said Heather DeWees, who played basketball at Mount St. Mary’s. “Competitors don’t want to miss games. She isn’t 100 percent. She will shoot, ride a bike, and play. The rest of the season she will probably be limited in practices. What can happen is that the ankle swells up and creates immobility.”

The 17-year-old standout isn’t dwelling on the 2,000-point mark.

She already dealt with the fanfare of becoming the county’s all-time leading scorer on Jan. 10 when she reached 1,783 points in a game against South Carroll.

“Is it a goal?” DeWees said. “Not really. My goal is to win every game. If it comes along, I will be super excited and love every moment of it. But I realize there is another game.”

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Heather DeWees said she will appreciate her daughter surpassing the 2,000–point mark considering the challenges the teen has faced.

“She is double-teamed every night,” MV’s coach said. “She is face-guarded. She had a shoulder injury (in 2016) — and it was her shooting shoulder.”

One thing the younger DeWees and the Mavericks are aiming for this winter is a deep playoff run into March.

They have lost in the regional finals the past two years, including to 3A state champion Frederick last year.

The loss still stings.

“It would be the most amazing thing to be part of a state championship,” DeWees said. “(A banner) is something I have wanted put up in our gym for years. I always see the soccer and lacrosse ones. My dream is to have a basketball one.”

College basketball is never too far from DeWees’ mind. She said she texts and talks to Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri and her assistants regularly.

Fabbri said she looks forward to coaching DeWees, who has led Carroll County in scoring for four straight seasons and signed her National Letter of Intent in November after turning down offers from Mount St. Mary’s and Monmouth.

“We have had really good point guards in the program, but she has the ability to make plays and score, and that made her really super attractive to us,” Fabbri said. “Her personality is larger than life. I love this kid. She is like a coach on the floor and she will be leading our troops.”

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