With Scarborough High’s once comfortable lead chipped to four points by aggressive Portland defense, four-year starter Ashley Briggs realized something needed to be done.

“I believe that we came out pretty flat in the second half,” Briggs said. “We weren’t making any shots. They were hitting some and it was like, ‘Well, something’s got to be done. We can’t let them go on a 12-0 run.’ ”

Briggs initiated a third quarter-closing 10-2 run to push the lead back to double digits and Scarborough led by at least seven the rest of the way Tuesday night in a 42-33 Western Class A victory.

Briggs scored six of her team-high 13 points in the spree and also set up Natalie Taylor with a good drive and dish.

Briggs followed that assist with two drives she finished herself.

“Our offense, we spread it out pretty wide, enabling me to make a move, go to the basket and lay it in lightly, softly,” Briggs said.

Brooke Malone, a 5-foot-7 sophomore, added 12 points and competed well underneath against the taller Bulldogs, including two strong defensive rebounds late in the game.

Both teams are 7-6 and Scarborough figures to move up from No. 11 in the Heal point standings. The Red Storm had won twice in their last seven games.

“We haven’t been really good on the road lately,” Malone said. “To get that win under our belts, it just feels so good. It hopefully will put us so we can stay in the playoffs.”

Katherine Johnson led Portland with 14 points. Sydney Fredericks had six points and 11 rebounds.

Elizabeth Donato (6 points) keyed the Bulldogs’ 5-0 run to start the third quarter, getting two steals and drawing two offensive fouls as Portland closed to 25-21.

With 1:52 to play, Donato injured her left shoulder after fouling Briggs and falling awkwardly. Coach Jay Lowery said Donato is likely to miss at least two games.

“That’s the second time she’s done that. She popped it out,” Lowery said. “She did that a couple weeks ago and we lost her for three games.”

In the first half, Bailey Adams of Scarborough was able to penetrate off the dribble with ease against the Bulldogs’ man-to-man defense.

“That’s been a labor of learning for the kids; it’s the first year we’ve run that offense,” Scarborough Coach Mike Giordano said. “But if they understand spacing and how difficult it is to defend the whole half-court, it just makes it easier to get kids the ball where they can score and we’re getting better at it.”

Portland limited Scarborough’s at-the-basket looks in the second half as Frederick and Gabrielle Wagabaza clogged the paint, and Donato and Taylor Sargent provided stiffer on-ball pressure.

“The girls, they played a good game, man-to-man,” Lowery said. “They’re understanding how to box out. They’re boxing out and rebounding, all five of them.”

Giordano also liked his squad’s defense. Portland was averaging 51.2 points per game.

“That team can score a lot of points,” Giordano said. “I didn’t think we’d hold that team in the 30s. I’m very pleased. That’s two games in a row we’ve held teams in the 30s.”