Midway through the third quarter, it appeared the Blue Jays were on their way to the championship game.
Leading by eight points with 12 minutes to go, the Liberty boys basketball team was in control against North Kansas City in the Cardinal Division semifinals at the William Jewell Holiday Classic. That's when someone put a lid on the basket, and the Jays suffered their first loss of the season.
Liberty (8-1 overall record) could not make shots, and North Kansas City went on a game-changing 21-3 run over the ensuing seven minutes. The Hornets turned a 48-40 deficit into a 61-51 lead.
As a team, the Blue Jays converted only 33 percent of their shots in the game. Junior point guard Jalen Lewis shot only 4 of 22 from the floor. Senior Clayton Adams shot 5 of 13.
The team's leading scorers finished with 15 points each. Brock Matson also scored 15 and was one of the few shooting bright spots as he went 5 of 7 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
With the loss, Liberty fell into the tournament's third-place game. The No. 1-seeded Blue Jays were scheduled to meet No. 2 Grandview, which was upset by St. Joseph Central in a low-scoring affair 46-42, at 10 a.m. at the Mabee Center.
Liberty North will take on Winnetonka in the Patterson Division fifth-place game at noon.