Cameron Biedscheid will put you on a poster. He’ll rise up and dunk on your head. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again. Biedscheid will drop a three-pointer in your grill. He’ll jab step in your direction, step back, pull up and knock down that triple. If he’s done it once, he’s done it a thousand times.
Biedscheid is the best player in his class in this city, if not the state. A nationally ranked recruit, he’ll take his game to Notre Dame when he graduates from Cardinal Ritter College Prep this spring. A three-year varsity standout, Biedscheid, 18 and a Creve Coeur resident, knows no limitations on the basketball court.
A 6-foot-7, 185-pound forward with guard skills, Biedscheid led the Lions to one of the most impressive weeks in recent memory. He scored 41 points in their win over CBC. He followed that up by going off for 37 points two days later to lift Ritter past St. Mary’s and give Ritter coach Marin Neals his 600th career coaching victory. The following day he scored 26 points in the Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout against nationally ranked Vianney and handed the Golden Griffins their first loss of the season. Yep, that’s a pretty good week.
Cardinal Ritter is 12-4 and Biedscheid is averaging an area-high 32 points per game. An astonishing number considering every team he faces goes out of its way to slow him down. Few, however, have been able to do that.
On the season, Biedscheid leads the Lions in every pertinent statistical category. Whether it’s points (32), rebounds (8), assists (4), blocks (2) or steals (2), he’s getting it done every night. And those are just his averages. There are games when he goes bananas and puts on a scoring exhibition. He’s hitting nearly 39 percent of his three-point attempts, a gaudy number for a guy who can stroke it with the best of them.
For all his big numbers, Biedscheid is focused on one thing and one thing only—winning the Class 3 state championship. He helped the Lions win one in 2010. Last year, they were out to defend their title but were upended in the quarterfinals 80-79 by Elsberry. Now, as a senior, Biedscheid is out to reclaim the ring. But the degree of difficulty has been raised. When the Lions were beaten last year, they lost a big chunk of their regulars. Biedscheid is the only player on this year’s team with significant varsity experience. The lineup is loaded with younger players who haven’t been through the playoff grind. That’s where Biedscheid has had to find his footing as a leader. “I try to motivate them as much as I can,” Biedscheid says. “Everybody on our team is talented. I just try to keep their heads on and keep them confident.”
Neals has said more than once that this version of the Lions is younger and greener than years past. He also has said that the schedule he’s cobbled together is toughest in his career, which is saying something considering he’s in rarified air with more than 600 career wins. In order to reach the heights they want to reach, the Lions will need those younger players filling their roles as best they can. That’s where Biedscheid has to do his best work. “My role is to be a leader,” he says. “I have to know when I need to get people involved and when to take the game over.”
It’s a fine line and Biedscheid admits it hasn’t been easy walking that tightrope. Striking that balance between facilitator and scorer and taking over more of the leadership role have been his greatest challenges this season. “I didn’t get the concept of leadership last season,” Biedscheid says. “This year it’s been a tougher transition than I thought it would be.”