In each of the past five years, the Eagles have won their first-round game at the William Jewell Holiday Classic.
Three times they have reached the championship game, and twice they won it all - including last year with a title-game victory against Rockhurst. The Liberty North boys basketball team will not add to those totals this year after suffering a stunning 75-44 loss against upstart Center in the opening round of the Patterson Division.
Playing for the first time in more than a week, the Eagles looked a step slow all night. Center on the other hand came firing out of the gate, opening a 25-13 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Yellowjackets nailed four 3-pointers in the opening frame, and three more in the second in the second quarter to take a jaw-dropping 49-19 lead into the Mabee Center locker room at halftime.
Center (7-0) was led by Franck Kamgain's 18 points, all of which came in the first half. Four of his teammates also scored double figures. Ten different players put their name in the scoring column for North (5-3), but none reached double digits. Robbie Hanson and Tyson Cathy scored eight each.
After dropping the opening-round game, Liberty North was forced to make a quick turnaround and play Kansas City East at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 28) in a consolation semifinal game. East was blown out, 73-34, by top seed Park Hill.
Here's a look at the complete results from day one:
Patterson Division: First-Round Scores
No. 1 Park Hill 73, KC East 34
Center 77, No. 4 Liberty North 45
No. 2 Raytown 72, Winnetonka 35
No. 3 Blue Springs South 54, Fort Osage 48
Nelson Division: First-Round Scores
No. 1 Lee's Summit West 65, Smithville 31
No. 2 Park Hill South 81, Lincoln Prep 62
No. 3 Blue Springs 59, Kearney 52
Oak Park 67, No. 4 Rockhurst 58