Close, but no free throws.
That, and the third quarter blues that have plagued Hood River Valley boys basketball team all season, yielded a hard-fought 51-38 defeat Tuesday to Pendleton at Vannet Court.
Hood River Valley shot 31 percent from the field and 33 percent from the line.
Ryan Wheat led with 14, and six rebounds; Austin Clarke added 10 and Luke Kopecky nine points and six rebounds.
“We played well defensively and rebounded the ball well but have to shoot better to win games,” coach Steve Noteboom said.
The Eagles led 19-18 at the half, but Pendleton burst with 10 unanswered points in the first three minutes of the third.
Austin Clarke hit a three to make it 28-22. Wheat scored twice and Cesar Romero made a slicing move to cut it to 32-27, followed by a putback by Wheat to make it 34-29.
The Eagles drew a bit of momentum heading into the fourth when Eli Fults drew a charge at the end of the third.
Pendleton was scoreless in the first three minutes of the fourth, and the Eagles tied it at 36 on a three by Clarke and a layup by Kopecky.
Pendleton then went into a stall, holding the ball on the perimeter.
In the final three minutes, when HRV had to foul, Pendleton made good on seven of eight free throws, while HRV managed just one of six down the stretch, and Pendleton found its outside range.