Simply put, McKinley was more comfortable with the faster pace, and would finish by hitting 58.4 percent of its shots (31-for-53), while the Gaelic Knights, forced to speed up as it fell further behind, would only manage to make 36.5 percent (19-for-52) of its attempts.
Still, there was just enough time for Ludden to try to recover. Hackett and Kaigler hit baskets late in the period to start the Gaelic Knights off on a 19-8 run that cut the deficit in half, to 63-53, with more than five minutes to play.
It would get no closer, though. After an exchange of 3-pointers, Lovell Smith's basket made it 68-56, and McKinley's defense made that double-digit margin stick in the final minutes as an injury to forward Jack Rauch made Ludden's task even tougher.
Hackett finished with 21 points, while Kagler had 20 points. Antoine Montgomery and Cameron Littlejohn each had seven points.
For McKinley, who advanced to face Burke Catholic in the state Class A final, Smith led the way with 23 points, while Marcus Morris drained five 3-pointers to account for most of his 21 points. Samuel Smith got 10 points.
Ludden's weekend was not over, though. On Sunday, many of the Ludden faithful would stay in Glens falls as head coach Pat Donnelly was inducted into the New York State Coaches Hall of Fame, on St. Patrick's Day, exactly one year to the day after the Gaelic Knights topped Watervliet in the 2012 state final.
This is still a young team. Though Littlejohn, Montgomery and Cory Poplawski graduate, Kaigler, Hackett, Rauch, Zach Walser and Kyle Hawk return in 2013-14, with two Glens Falls trips behind them, looking for a third.