The Normal West High School girls remained within striking distance for three quarters in their Class AA regional game against Champaign Centennial Monday night at Lincoln.
Then Centennial's Kendra Smith got hot.
Smith scored 12 of her game-high 34 points in the final quarter as the Chargers earned a 59-45 victory.
Normal West (5-21) trailed 25-21 at halftime and remained close at 41-34 after three quarters. Smith then sparked an 18-11 fourth quarter Centennial run to put the pesky Wildcats away.
"Give Kendra Smith a lot of credit," said Normal West coach Steve Price. "We gave her a lot of different looks defensively and she rose to the occasion. She hit just about everything."
Normal West did have their chances in the fourth quarter but just couldn't get anything to fall.
"We got some good looks but missed the shots. When we got the rebounds we would miss the put-backs as well," added Price whose Wildcat squad shot only 30 percent from the field. "We started slow and just couldn't find anything that would work consistently."
Sophomore guard Cymone Allen scored 13 points, all in the second half, to lead Normal West.
"Our record doesn't reflect the positive things that we got done this year," said Price. "We've built a decent foundation and we're excited about our young players and the future of the program."
In other Class AA regional action, LaSalle-Peru rolled to a quarterfinal victory over host Streator, 50-18. No other information was available at Pantagraph press time.