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Pantagraph staff

The Normal Epiphany Grade School girls basketball team advanced to the Class 7A semifinals thanks to a suffocating fourth-quarter defense and Jess Reinhart's scoring down low Monday.

The Knights (25-0) downed Pana Sacred Heart (17-1) 44-28 in the quarterfinals of the Illinois Elementary School Association state tournament at Moweaqua. Reinhart followed up a 29-point effort in the first round with a 28-point outburst against Pana.

"They were a little bit small and Jess had free reign inside against them," Epiphany coach Greg Reinhart said. "Our defense really shut them down in the fourth quarter."

Holding a 10-point lead heading into the final quarter, Epiphany outscored Pana 10-6 for the 16-point victory. Allie Norton added 10 points for the Knights.

Epiphany will face Springfield Blessed Sacrament (21-1), a 38-37 winner in overtime against Jacksonville Our Saviour, at 7:30 p.m. today in the semifinals.

In Class 7AA at Riverton, Normal Parkside grabbed a quick 9-3 lead after the opening quarter, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Alexia Taylor, but Washington erupted for 17 points in the second quarter and won 30-14. Parkside ended the season 20-3.

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