COSTA MESA — After pleading for a timeout from the sideline with less than three minutes left in the first half, Costa Mesa High Coach Bryan Rice got it a little too late.
Rice yelled toward the referees when Estancia took a two-point lead. No one heard him.
The lead then grew into double digits in just 43 seconds. The whistle finally blew for Rice.
The Mustangs never recovered and it cost them a share of second place in the Orange Coast League and the Battle for the Bell.
Estancia went into halftime on a 14-4 run and pulled away from its cross-town rival in the second half for a 64-42 road victory Thursday.
The Eagles secured second place in league in the regular-season finale and they rung the Bell for the fourth straight season.
The Mustangs (11-15, 5-5 in league) heard the Bell after suffering their worst league loss of the season. That is not how the third-place team in league wanted to return to the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA playoffs next week after missing the postseason last season.