IRVINE — It was a game it could have won.
It was a game it probably should have won.
With just under five minutes remaining in its contest against Orange Lutheran High, the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' basketball team took a five-point lead — its biggest lead of the night — in a CIF Southern Section semifinal Saturday.
The Guards looked in control, and appeared to be well in their way to qualifying for their third championship contest in four years.
However, the Bell-Jeff offense went cold and the team committed mistakes down the stretch in the final minutes of the Division III-A game, and the Lancers took advantage.
The Guards were unable to stave off the charge and Orange Lutheran battled back to win the game, 43-40, at Concordia University in Irvine.