WINDHAM – Tanner Hyland scored 14 points to lead South Portland to a 44-32 victory over Windham in a Southern Maine Activities Association boys’ basketball opener Friday night.

Both teams suffered through fairly severe opening-night nerves.

In fact, it took 3 1/2 minutes for the first point to be scored, and Windham didn’t score until the final minute of the opening quarter.

The teams combined for only 12 points in the first quarter, which ended with South Portland ahead, 7-5.

Windham made it 7-7 with the opening basket of the second quarter, but South Portland outscored the Eagles 12-4 for the rest of the period to take a 19-11 halftime lead.

Hyland paced the Red Riots with eight points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer that provided South Portland with a 13-point lead after 1:30 of the period.

“We always say in the locker room that coming out for the third quarter, the first three minutes are the most important of the game,” said Hyland.

“We came out, got five quick points and forced them to take a timeout. We just came out really hot and didn’t let up at all.”

Windham attempted to stay in the game with 3-pointers but it didn’t work.

After starting the game 0 of 8 from beyond the arc, Windham opened the third quarter with three consecutive 3-pointers.

But the long-distance shots were the only points the Eagles managed in the period. South Portland used a 16-9 advantage to pull away to a 35-20 lead.

“Well, we’re going to struggle offensively no matter what night it is,” said Windham Coach Kevin Millington, who watched his team score in single digits in the first three quarters.

“You know, it’s the first game of the year and I think that any coach that’s been around a while like both Phil (Conley of South Portland) and I have, first games are sloppy. The guys are just coming off football and soccer, and they don’t quite have their legs under them yet.”

Playing without Nolan Allen, a 25-point-per-game scorer last season who suffered a torn ACL in football, Windham did show some offensive life in the final quarter. Tom McGowan scored nine of his game-high 16 points as the Eagles clawed within 10 points, but the Red Riots took command again.

Jack Tolan finished shy of a double-double for the Red Riots with nine points and 11 rebounds.