Beldin Late Three Lifts Cameron County Past C-L in D9 Class 1A Semifinals

HYDE, Pa. (D9Sports) – Caden Beldin’s 3-pointer with under six seconds to play gave third-seeded Cameron County a 47-46 victory over second-seeded Clarion-Limestone District 9 Class 1A boys’ semifinals at Clearfield High School Wednesday night.

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“Honestly, we just wanted to tie the game up,” Beldin said. “We weren’t even looking for a three. But he passed it to me, and I was wide open and I had a big shot. You may as well go big or go home.”

Cameron County head coach Mark Guido said the Beldin three wasn’t by design.

Relisten to the game:

“It wasn’t an option,” Guido said of the play that set up the winning shot. “We went a 1-4 low, and we were looking for Dino to create something but Caiden just relocated on his own and it doesn’t get more fairytale than that.”

The Lions got one more chance with 5.6 seconds left.

However, Deon Deas couldn’t get past the pressure from Cameron County’s defense, which caused a loose ball tie up at halfcourt as time expired.

Smart coaching was the key to the tie-up as the Red Raiders had a foul to give before the 1-and-1.

“We were looking for a foul,” Guido said. “You never know. You could foul someone, and the official doesn’t have a good angle and next thing you know it could be a loose ball.”

Cameron County trailed the entire game and found itself down 46-41 with 1:57 left to play, but finished the game on a 6-0 run behind three points from Dino Brown and the 3-pointer by Beldin.

Following a Dino Brown free throw with 25 seconds left, a crucial turnover by the Lions after the inbounds gave the Red Raiders a chance with 23 seconds left.

Clarion-Limestone called a time out after the ball went out of bounds with 13 seconds left.

“(Coach) was saying stay focused,” Beldin said. “We can’t get our heads over ourselves. If we have an opportunity, we have to seize the moment.”

After the inbound from the sideline, Brown drove down the middle before finding Beldin on the wing who got a clean shot off for the eventual game-winning 3-pointer.

Clarion-Limestone led 39-38 with 3:55 left to play and looked like it was going to pull away behind a strong effort from Hayden Callen, who scored six of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Callen was a part of a 6-2 run late in the fourth to extend the Lions lead to 46-41 when he had four points and an assist on Jordan Hesdon’s field goal with under two minutes to play.

But the Red Raiders defense stepped up forcing the turnover that led to the game-winning play while also holding Deas, who had 15 points and three 3-pointers, pointless in the final eight minutes.

Clarion-Limestone kept a steady lead of five leading 14-9 at the end of one and 23-18 at halftime.

The Lions started the third quarter with a 7-2 run and extended their lead to 30-20 after a Deas 3-pointer with 6:21 left.

Cameron County kept chipping away at the lead and cut the deficit to 30-29 following a two minute, 9-0 run thanks to five points from Brown, a pair of free-throws from Beldin and a field goal from Hayden Brown.

“At first we were flustered,” Beldin said. “We couldn’t find anything to do. They were getting offensive rebounds. That was a majority of their points. (At halftime) that was our focal point. We talked about trying to box out and play hard defense like we have been all season.”

But turnovers saw another 6-0 run from the Lions fueled by five points from Deas and the Lions were up 37-29.

Hayden Brown scored six straight points (a field goal as time expired in the third, a field goal and a pair of free throws early in the fourth) to cut the deficit to 39-38.

The Lions did a nice job at responding again and went on a 5-2 run behind a Mitch Knepp free-throw and four points from Callen.

“It was frustrating,” Guido said. “But that’s the thing if I get frustrated with them and don’t show composure how can I expect them to show composure.”

From there, the Red Raiders closed the game out with a 9-4 run in the final three minutes.

Dino Brown finished with a game-high 20 points including four 3-pointers while Hayden Brown tallied 14.

Cameron County will face top-seeded Elk County Catholic (who defeated fifth-seeded A-C Valley, 46-16, in the Class 1A semifinals) in the District 9 Class 1A title game.

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