BELLARMINE-JEFFERSON HIGH — It was nothing short of a dogfight Thursday evening when the Bellarmine-Jefferson High girls' basketball team took on a tough St. Anthony squad in a crucial Santa Cruz League game.
Both teams took turns holding the lead throughout four quarters — with 13 lead changes and nine ties in the second and third quarters alone — with the Guards and the Saints not being able to take more than a five-point lead.
But despite falling behind with less than two minutes left, Bell-Jeff maintained its composure, took advantage of some missed St. Anthony free throws in the final seconds and received a big rebound to earn a 64-60 victory at home.
The Guards (14-6, 3-0 in league), ranked No. 9 in CIF Southern Section Division IV-AA, expected nothing less than a hard-fought battle from the Saints (10-8, 2-1), the No. 10 team in the division. St. Anthony, which has been the league runner-up the last two seasons, has quality wins this season against competitive teams and possesses an accomplished player in 6-foot-3 junior Kendall Cooper.