HOOD RIVER — Once again Hood River Valley threatened to overtake the Buckaroos late with their frenzied high-paced attack.
The Eagles got within one, but this time the Buckaroos managed to avert the heartbreak, hanging on to earn a 61-58 victory at The Pit.
The Buckaroos (12-7, 2-2 CRC) held a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter. That lead was down to one in the closing seconds, but Caden Smith sank a pair of free throws to make it three and seal the win.
The opening two minutes of regulation felt like deja vu for the Bucks. Hood River Valley (10-8, 2-2 CRC) came out firing, drilling a trio of bombs to grab a 9-2 lead. Pendleton would defend the perimeter better for the game’s remainder, however, limiting HRV to just five makes in the subsequent 30 minutes of play.
“We were going ‘Oh, boy, here we go again,” Pendleton coach Brian Broaddus said. “Thankfully the cooled off and only made five for the rest of the ball game.”
With the Eagles long range held in check, Pendleton closed the period on a 17-3 run to grab a seven-point edge.
Pendleton did much of its damage in the paint behind the 6-foot-6 Wes Persinger. The senior center had a game-high 24 point and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Smith made just one field goal — a three-pointer — but hit 8 of 10 free throws.
In a tight game, Broaddus lauded his team’s ability to convert at the charity stripe. The Bucks shot 14 of 16 as a team.
Also improved from the first meeting was ball control. Hood River Valley’s frenetic pace forced 31 Pendelton turnover in game one, but the Bucks nearly cut that number in half, finishing with 16.
The win along with Hermiston’s victory over The Dalles places the Buckaroos in second place in the CRC through four games.
PENDLETON 61, HOOD RIVER VALLEY 58
PEN (12-7) 19 19 9 14 — 61
HRV (10-8) 12 19 10 17 — 58
PENDLETON — S. Green 7, Q. Cockburn 4, K. Quinn 3, W. Persinger 24, Roe 4, Smith 11, Bradt 4, George 0, Hancock 0.
HOOD RIVER VALLEY — Kuechmann 2, Clarke 2, Ziegner 11, Buckley 5, Ellsworth 9, Noteboom 11, Roberts 9, Hunter 8, Tegman 0, Stinzi 0, Walker 0.
3-point field goals — PEN 3, HRV 8. Free throws — PEN 14-16, HRV 8-13. Fouls — PEN 19, HRV 13.