Manitowoc Roncalli trailed by as much as 11 points in the second half but rallied to take down Marshall in the final state semifinal game of the night, 50-43, at the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison.
Marshall held a 26-19 lead going into halftime and looked like they were destined to ride the momentum wave to the Division 4 state championship game on Saturday, but the Roncalli Jets had different plans as senior standout Luke Pautz came alive down the stretch.
The Jets finished the game on a 19-2 run over the last 7:10 and while trailing by seven with 3:06 to go, Roncalli went on their dagger 14-0 run to get the seven-point win.
Pautz led the Jets, as he has done all season long, with 20 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. As a team, the Jets shot 8-for-12 from the free throw line and 6-for-18 from beyond the 3-point arc while only committing eight turnovers.
The Marshall Cardinals had three players finish in double figures led by Craig Ward, who had 14 points and eight rebounds. Cole Denniston and Reid Truschinski finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Cardinals end their season with a 22-7 record.
With the win, Roncalli will take on Milwaukee Academy of Science on Saturday afternoon in the Division 4 state championship game.
Roncalli will be looking for its second state championship in school history, with the first coming in 2018.