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In final moments of the fourth overtime in the game that just didn't seem to want to end, Liberty made a play that will be remembered.

The Class 2A West Region Section 2 semifinal with visiting Francis Scott Key was deadlocked at 76, and the Lions had possession. The same thing happened at the end of regulation, and the first three overtimes, but Liberty couldn't finish the job in any of those circumstances.

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This time, the ball got knocked loose near the top of the key before Steven Goetz corralled it. He quickly flipped the ball to Jack Selby, and Selby drilled a 3-pointer as time ran out to give Liberty a wild 79-76 victory over Key on Tuesday night.

Liberty (14-9) advances to the sectional final on Thursday at Century. The Knights beat Oakland Mills in the other section semifinal Tuesday.

This game appeared as if it might last until Thursday. The Lions beat Key (12-12) in both regular-season meetings, but this one remained close the whole way. Liberty missed on shots in those final seconds of regulation and the first three OTs before Selby made his second game-winning shot of the season — he did it earlier against South Carroll.

"[Goetz] picked it up, and he got it to me," said Selby. "I just tossed it up. I didn't know what to think."

The winning shot came from the right side, and Liberty's game-long patience finally paid off. Key liked to push the pace, drive to the basket and cause trouble. The Eagles finished with 36 free throws, several of which came during the overtimes.

However, the Lions remained patient with their motion offense, eating up large chunks of time in the fourth quarter plus all four overtimes and repeatedly making good passes and plays.

"They just refused to lose," Liberty coach Brian Tombs said. "We found opportunities to make plays and [win]."

Tombs said, with a smile, that he agreed with Selby on the game-winning 3 —neither was 100 percent sure the ball was heading into the basket.

But they were hoping.

"I thought it had a chance," Tombs said. "I was praying it would go in."

Justin Brookhart led Liberty with 23 points, including 10 in a third quarter when the game's pace really picked up after the Lions ended a sloppy first half with a 19-18 lead. Goetz helped with 17 points while Selby finished with 16.

Amir Cole led the Eagles with 23 points, and Drue Giles added 20. Both players proved tough for the Lions to stop. Giles, a guard, repeatedly drove through traffic, got the basket and gave Key many offensive chances.

But Liberty answered that with that patient motion offense it used throughout much of the game. The Lions simply ran the clock down over and over.

Key's only real chance late in an overtime came near the end of the third extra period when Giles tried to slice through the lane but lost control of the dribble with around 20 seconds left, and Liberty got the ball back before missing a shot at the buzzer.

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After that, though, Liberty took care of business in that fourth overtime. Key coach Ryan Kimble said several of his players were upset afterward. But he took a lot of pride in how hard they played throughout.

Westminster came to Oakdale with a game plan and had the Bears on the verge of losing on their home court. The Owls were aware their opponent had only lost

"I've got no complaints," Kimble said. "That's what high school basketball should be; our kids dug in each time at the [end of the periods] and got a stop, but that last time Jack just got off a really good shot."

Then he gave a sad smile.

"Four overtimes? You know, I don't think my heart could have taken a fifth one."

Francis Scott Key (76): Josh Brown 3, Drue Giles 20, Anthony Murray 8, Greg Horrocks 3, Noah Vipond 8, Amir Cole 25, Rashad Giles 7, Grant Stanton 2.

Liberty (79): Nick Tilson 4, Jack Selby 16, Ronak Morgan 3, Ben Brown 7, Justin Brookhart 23, Tristan Kent 9, Steven Goetz 17.

Halftime: Liberty, 19-18.

Regulation: Tied. 55-55.

1OT: Tied, 63-63. 2OT: Tied, 68-68. 3OT: Tied, 72-72.

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