The Portland West girls fell behind in the first half and mounted a rally over the final 12 minutes of action but fell to visiting Rucker Stewart 50-35 last Monday evening.

The Panther girls trailed 9-4 after one period of play and faced a 30-16 deficit at intermission. The Purple came back with a strong second half in trimming the Ram margin to six with one quarter remaining.

Portland West stayed close in the fourth stanza but couldn’t complete the comeback.

“We have started slow in every game this season,” Coach Rachel James explained. “We woke up in the second half. It was nice comeback tonight We couldn’t get out of the hole we dug.”

The Panther girls trailed throughout the first half despite eight points from Lillie Whitehead and four from Savannah Pippin. Rucker Stewart led by five at the end of the opening six minutes of took a 14-point margin in the lockerroom at the break.

Pippin led the second half rally with 14 points including six in the third period. After trailing by 11, the Purple bounced back with eight straight and trailed 31-25. The Ram girls closed out the action with a basket and led 33-27.

A Pippin bucket closed the gap by six, six 35-29 but the Ram girls pulled away by holding off the Purple down the stretch to post the victory.

Pippin finished with 18 points to pace Portland West with Whitehead adding ten, Lexie Williams contribute four, Aryanna Caldwell had two and Jaylen Pero rounded out the scoring with one.

Rucker Stewart was led by Janaysa Newsom with 21.

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