LAKE CHARLES — McDonogh 35's magic finally ran out.
The No. 18 Roneagles, the lowest-seeded team among all classifications at this year's Sugar Bowl/LHSAA boys basketball tournament, weren't able to seal the deal and punch the school's first ticket to the title game.
Despite a dandy effort from senior Kendrick Dandy, McDonogh 35 fell 62-56 to No. 3 Woodlawn-Shreveport in the Class 4A semifinals Tuesday at Burton Coliseum.
"I really wanted this game," Dandy said. "I tried to come in and give it my all."
Dandy, playing in his final game for the Roneagles, finished with 30 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter.
But it still wasn't enough in a back-and-forth game that wasn't decided until the final minutes.
McDonogh 35 led 53-49 with 3:10 left after a pair of free throws by Dandy. But the Knights answered with a 6-0 run capped off by Terrell Daniels' 3-pointer. Two more free throws by Dandy tied it again before Woodlawn's Tra'Michael Moton converted a 3-point play that gave the Knights a 58-55 lead with 52.9 seconds left.
Woodlawn made three more field goals to extend the lead and put it out of reach, ending 35's Cinderella run.
"It was a wonderful ride," Roneagles coach Kevin "Woo" Sanders said. "We came up a little short in that we had some untimely turnovers in the fourth quarter and it came back to bite us. Woodlawn withstood our little surge to start the fourth quarter and then they came right back at us and we didn't meet the moment. They made the plays that needed to be made."
Woodlawn (31-5) advances to Friday's 6 p.m. championship game to play No. 1 Westgate or No. 5 Carencro.
The Roneagles (20-15), meanwhile, saw their season end after a playoff run that featured wins over No. 15 Bastrop, No. 2 Bossier and No. 23 St. Martinsville.
"I love the competitiveness that we showed the last month of the season," Sanders said. "I gave them a challenge that they weren't meeting their potential. They stepped up and started competing at a much higher level and that's what catapulted us to getting here."
No one stepped up quite like Dandy, who finished eight points shy of his career-high 38 points. The 6-foot-3 forward made 11 of 17 shots from the floor to go with his team-best 9 rebounds.
"Once he got into a rhythm in the game, he can score in bunches," Sanders said. "I'm proud of him that he showed up as senior on this stage and was able to showcase his skills and lead his team at this level."
Dandy scored 11 of his points in the first half that ended with the Roneagles trailing 26-25. Antonio Warren hit a pair of big 3-pointers in the half: one at the end of the first quarter and another to start the second quarter to trim the deficit to 17-16 after being down by as many as 9 midway through the first quarter.
In the second half, Dandy picked up right where he left off. He scored McDonogh 35's first seven points of the third quarter. The game was tied 38-38 after three, setting up the thrilling fourth quarter that included a 9-0 Roneagles' run.
"It was a game of runs," said Woodlawn coach Kenneth Sykes. "This is the way we have been playing all year. We find a way to win. These guys have been grinding it out all year. These kids won't ever give up."
Moton led Woodlawn with 20 points and Jalen Brooks finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Dandy was the only McDonogh 35 player to score in double figures.
Warren and Derrick Lewis scored six points each for a team that was making its second ever tournament appearance and first since 2015 when former Roneagle standout Dejon Jarreau and Bryson Gresham suited up for 35.
"They came to meet the moment," Sanders said about this year's team. " Our record is not indicative of how good we were. We had a topsy-turvy year. We came together at the end and to be able to be playing in March is great. It's a good thing for our program to get back here. Hopefully we can sustain it and get up here and win one and then win the second one."