If Saturday’s Class A state championship game comes down to a final shot for Cony, there’s a good chance the ball will be in Mia Diplock’s hands.

The senior point guard has consistently delivered for the Rams this season and during the Eastern Maine tournament. In last week’s regional final against Edward Little, Diplock got the call twice down the stretch and came through both times.

Diplock won a game on a last-second shot as a sophomore, but it wasn’t until this season she felt comfortable taking a game over.

“I didn’t want to be considered a selfish player,” Diplock said. “This year I’m not afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

No one’s feelings are hurt. Diplock may not be the only option in crunch time, but her teammates are happy to see her take big shots.

“She shoots the ball really confidently,” teammate Melanie Guzman said.

Nor is Diplock afraid to keep shooting. She was cold in the first half of the Edward Little game but shot herself out of a slump.

“I think she’s got the prettiest shot in the state,” Cony coach Karen Magnusson said. “She knows if she misses she can go on shooting and score again.”

At 5-foot-8, 150 pounds, Diplock is a tough matchup for most defenders, too quick for the big players and too big for the quick players.

“When I go in for layups, I can normally get over (smaller players) and protect the ball,” she said.

Diplock is a versatile offensive player who can shoot 3-pointers or go inside. In the final two minutes against Edward Little, she twice posted up smaller defenders and scored baskets that put the Rams ahead. It’s been a breakout year for Diplock, who averaged 16.2 points and 4.8 assists a game this season.

She was named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Southern Division Player of the Year and later most valuable player in the Eastern Maine tournament. She is also one of 10 semifinalists chosen for Miss Maine Basketball.

Diplock is as good a defender as she is an offensive player. Magnusson usually assigns her to the other team’s top scoring guard or forward.

“She’s got fast hands,” the Cony coach said. “She gets a lot of deflections.”

None of this came easily. Diplock plays AAU ball from March to July and works on her game whenever she can. Playing AAU ball has helped her ballhandling skills and raised her game in general.

“When you play out of state, it’s a lot faster pace,” she said. “You get used to having to protect the ball more.”

Diplock drew the attention of several colleges while playing AAU, including a couple of Division I schools, but she decided she wanted to stay in-state and narrowed her choices to Colby and Bowdoin. After visiting both schools and talking to the players she decided to play for former Cony star Julie Veilleux at Colby.

“I just connected with the team better at Colby,” said Diplock, who also hopes to play lacrosse for the Mules.

A three-sport athlete — she also plays soccer — Diplock said sports helps her manage her time better and she’s at her worst between seasons.

The Rams are 21-0 going into Saturday’s game against McAuley. Something Diplock never saw coming.

“I knew we’d have a strong team returning,” she said, “but I don’t think anybody thought we’d be this good. We’ve been playing together for so long and we’re all really good friends.”

Outgoing and personable off the court, Diplock is all business on it.

“She has a great personality,” Magnusson said. “She’s really funny. When she gets on the court it’s a switch.”

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

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