(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) With the status as the top-ranked team in Class 4 and 24 wins to their credit, a berth in next week's Show-Me Showdown seemed like a very real possibility for Lafayette.
That possibility ended Wednesday night with a 49-43 loss to Liberty North in the Class 4 Sectionals at Staley High School.
The Fighting Irish (24-4) had split regular season meetings with the Eagles over the past two years, but hadn't met after district tournament play in that span.
Liberty North got off to a quick start thanks to Brinkley Jolly, who led all scorers with 18 points. Lafayette began to settle in, but had to play a stretch with Xavier Kurth, who got in early foul trouble.
A late three-pointer by Jacob Hanson put the Irish down 21-18 at the break, giving them a rare deficit to make up over the final 16 minutes.
Lafayette came back to tie things in the third, but the deficit soon grew by as many as 11 points. Hanson continued to light things up from beyond the arc, finishing the night with 15 points.
A late push fell just short for Lafayette as they failed to put together an extended run. Jeff Leeson led the Irish with 13 points, while Kurth added 11.