"In the first half, toward the end of the half, we gave them a little confidence," Chappell said. "They shot the ball really well in the first half, and we were struggling to defend their drives."
The Lions ratcheted up the defensive pressure in the second half, limiting Seton Catholic to 33.3 percent shooting in the third quarter and 22.2 percent in the fourth.
Liberty Christian took a relatively modest 57-46 lead into the final period.
The Cardinals cut the deficit to 10 points early in the quarter, but a traditional three-point play by junior Vincent Phillips after an offensive rebound gave the Lions some breathing room. And the game wasn't in doubt the rest of the way.
Sophomore Cliff Dickman led Seton Catholic with 20 points in the school's first-ever regional contest. Desmond Bane added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Cardinals, who lost the battle of the boards 43-26 overall.
Liberty Christian never has lost in three appearances in the regional semifinals, but Chappell said every year feels different.
"It's fun," he said. "It's a fun experience for the kids. After we beat Lafayette Central Catholic the first year, our kids were on Cloud 9. The next year, we were more business-like, and this year it's even more so. The guys know what they've come to do."
The Lions have met Lafayette Central Catholic in each of the past two postseasons, with each team winning once. But Chappell said the team has no preference in who it plays for the title.
"We don't play to the other team," he said. "We play our way. We may not know who we're playing til we get here tonight. We're going to watch one quarter or so (of the second semifinal) and then get out of here."