Oakland Mills junior guard Miriam McKenzie writes with her left hand, eats with her left and shoots a basketball with her right. That dexterity comes in handy on the court.
McKenzie can take the ball to the basket virtually whenever she wants with a crossover dribble, an ability to dribble the ball with both hands, and her knack for finishing with either hand.
She also can shoot. In the first round of the regional playoffs, she hit a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded to lift Oakland Mills over Edgewood.
But her game-high 28 points Tuesday weren't enough as visiting Douglass won in the Maryland 2A South Region quarterfinals, 48-44, after causing several late turnovers.
Still, McKenzie led the Scorpions to a 13-9 overall record and a 12-6 mark in Howard County. Last season, Oakland Mills went 10-12 and 7-11 in the county.
McKenzie's lone weakness, Coach Seth Willingham said, is that she doesn't speak up as much as he would like.
She prefers to lead by her play.
But McKenzie said she does get frustrated on the court, even though she doesn't show it.
"I just hope [my teammates] will fix it by themselves or that Coach will fix it," she said.
When Oakland Mills had trouble breaking the press this season, McKenzie took over at point guard. When center Brittney Robinson had to go to the bench with an injured shoulder Tuesday, McKenzie took control inside. McKenzie averages just over 21 points and 13 rebounds per game.
"She puts on that swagger when she's on the court," Robinson said. "She's quiet and calm, but you know she's all about business. We expect her to put up big numbers."
McKenzie broke her left arm falling down stairs at church when she was 6 years old. It was right when she was starting to get interested in sports, and a few months later, she started playing basketball. But because of her arm, she learned to shoot right-handed.
McKenzie said that she wouldn't be as talented had it not been for the accident.
"I watch her tapes sometimes, and you can see her go under the basket with the ball in her right hand and switch it to her left for a little floater," Willingham said. "Then I'll see her do a reverse layup with the other hand."
In order to give McKenzie competition during practice, Willingham sometimes guards her. To get her to come out of her shell, he talks trash to her in the process, telling her she can't drive past him.
"She's still that quiet player," Willingham said. "But when that switch goes on, she's super competitive."