The Hood River Valley boys lacrosse team really did not want to lose a second straight game.
After defending state champ Lincoln rolled through HRV - despite an impressive second half from the Eagles - Tuesday, the Eagles held off a chippy Wilson squad 8-6 Thursday.
"This was an important win for us," defenseman Chris Dirks said. "This was for third place."
The Eagles nursed a two-goal lead for most of the night but saw Wilson close to within 6-5 with 6:57 left to play in the game.
Moments later, Jesse Keopaseuth seemingly put the game out of reach when he scored two goals in a span of 1:30. On the first he stole an attempted feed pass from the Wilson goalkeeper and sandwiched himself between two defenders to flip it into an open net.
"I read him and I knew he would feed it," Keopaseuth said of what got him the goal.
On the next he juked out a defender and got open right in front of the goal and fired the ball in.
Keopaseuth led the Eagles with five goals, while Ian hunt had two and Andrew Thompson one.
Reid Van Mouwirick brought Wilson back with a goal with 1:32 to play while HRV was a man down due to a penalty.
The Eagles played a man down for the final two minutes of the game, but after the Wilson goal they held firm.
Wilson picked up the ball on a turnover with just over a minute left but David DeHart jarred the ball away from a Wilson attacker with a hard hit.
Dirks ran down the ball and the Eagles killed most of the clock to get the win.
"It was good for us to persist in that situation and to maintain that lead," HRV coach Mac Jackson said.
The win sends the Eagles into a key stretch of games with some momentum after an 18-8 loss at home to Lincoln Tuesday.
"We still have a lot of room for improvement," Dirks said.
The Eagles host second place OES on Tuesday and then host Grant Thursday as they get close to wrapping up the first half of their league schedule.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Hood River Valley girls lacrosse team pulled out a close win of its own against Grant with a 14-12 victory.
The Eagles led by five at the half after scoring five unanswered goals but subbed out numerous starters in the second half.
The strategy nearly came back to haunt them as Grant stormed back in the fourth quarter and trimmed the gap to two goals with a minute to play.
However the Eagles hung on to get the win.
Kim Costello scored three goals for HRV, while Kristin Lago, Makenzie Bassham, Margaret Gleasman, Hannah Hurley and Alicia Everett scored two goals each for HRV; Sierra Bentz had one goal.
Costello and Everitt also collected five ground balls each.
The Eagles host St. Mary's Monday night.