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Smithville, Lincoln Prep advance to championship

Go figure. The third time was the charm.

The Liberty North girls basketball team earned its first win of the year in its third game, pulling away from Raytown for a 45-25 victory in the consolation semifinals of the Liberty North Invitational tonight at the Liberty North Fieldhouse.

Falling behind 14-6 early in the second quarter, North scored the final 14 points of the opening half to open up a 20-14 lead at the intermission. Raytown pulled within four (23-19) early in the third quarter, but North closed the quarter on an 11-2 run for a commanding 34-21 lead after three and scored the first five points of the fourth quarter as well for a 39-21 advantage.

Senior forward Bebe Gist keyed Liberty North's comeback effort in the second quarter, igniting the rally with a 6-0 personal run. She finished with a game-high 14 points. Tamia Emerson added eight points off the bench.

North (1-2 overall record) earned the right to face St. Pius X in the tournament's fifth-place game at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in the auxiliary gym. Pius, which trailed by nine at halftime, used a fourth-quarter comeback to knock off Liberty, 35-31. The Warriors limited the Jays to 10 second-half points and knocked down 8-of-10 free throws down the final stretch to secure the win.

On the winner's side of the bracket, Lincoln Prep knocked off Kearney, 45-35. The game was tied at 30 after three quarters, but the Blue Tigers owned the final eight minutes. Smithville took care of St. Joseph Central, 49-30. The Warriors, who were led by Trace Mosby's 15 points, outscored the Indians 29-12 after halftime.

Championship Night Schedule (Friday, Dec. 9)

7th Place: Liberty vs. Raytown, 4 p.m. (Auxiliary Gym)

5th Place: St. Pius X vs. Liberty North, 7 p.m. (Auxiliary Gym)

3rd Place Game: Kearney vs. St. Joseph Central, 4 p.m. (Fieldhouse)

Championship Game: Lincoln Prep vs. Smithville, 7 p.m. (Fieldhouse)

Liberty Sports Editor Chris Geinosky can be reached at 389-6654 or chris.geinosky@libertytribune.com.

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