Playing at the Kohl Center for the first time since 2019, the Macks (29-1, 13-1 Western Cloverbelt Conference) fell behind right away to the Pirates (26-4, 13-1 Trailways West Conference), then made a surge, but still trailed by seven at the half.
In the second, however, the McDonell seniors found another gear. After trailing by as many as 11 in the first half, the Macks pulled out in front, working their way to an eight-point advantage. Fall River, however, proved their mettle, not only tying the game but taking the lead late. But in crunch time, for the second time in as many games, McDonell hit big shots, made critical hustle plays on both ends, and held on in the final seconds to advance to Saturday's state title game.