WESTBROOK — Jack Fiorini of South Portland hyperextended his knee in the first two minutes of the opener a week ago and missed the rest of that game.

In the last two games, the 6-foot-5 junior has been a force inside to help the Red Riots to a 3-0 start. Fiorini’s latest effort sparked South Portland to a 52-43 win over Westbrook in a SMAA basketball game here Friday night.

Fiorini scored 18 points, with 15 coming in the second half as the Riots outscored the Blue Blazes 16-6 in the third quarter to pull away.

South Portland stretched its lead to 13 before a late spurt by Westbrook cut it to five with a minute remaining on a basket by Derek Breunig. South Portland countered with a basket a few seconds later and was never in danger of letting this one slip away.

“We wanted to come out and dominate the boards,” said Fiorini.

And the Riots did just that. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t finish early on, and the Blazes (1-2) jumped out to a 7-1 lead.

Westbrook led 7-4 after a sloppy opening eight minutes. The Riots started to control the boards and the game in the second quarter. They also started finding the range.

Trailing 9-4, South Portland got a 3-pointer from Kam Harper. After Breunig scored for Westbrook, Matt Pelletier drilled a 3 from the far corner for the Red Riots, starting a 10-0 run. Pelletier had another 3 in the run, this one from the opposite corner, while Ruay Bol, a talented 6-foot-5 sophomore, came off the bench to hit two baskets. The Riots had taken a 17-11 lead after their early six-point hole.

Westbrook, though, rallied just before the half as Bailey Ryan hit a 3 from the side and then stole the ball and went three-quarters of the court for a layup to give his team a 22-20 lead at intermission.

Fiorini scored the first two baskets of the third quarter. Blake Fillmore scored for the Blazes to tie it.

Sean Jany, who played sparingly for the Blazes because of foul trouble, picked up his third with 5:25 left in the quarter and went to the bench.

The Riots dominated inside the rest of the way with Fiorini, Bol and Jordan Jackson. From a 24-24 deadlock, the Riots outscored the Blazes 12-4 to close the quarter.

When Bol and Fiorini opened the fourth with baskets, it was 40-28.

South Portland felt it needed to pound the boards because it didn’t have 6-foot-5 Jaren Muller, who sat on the bench in street clothes. It was the second straight game that Muller didn’t play. Afterwards, Coach Phil Conley said it was “a coach’s decision.”

The Blazes missed the slender, 6-foot-7 Jany, who might have given the team help inside. Still, it would have been tough against South Portland which at times had four players 6-foot-4 or better on the floor.

“Jack Fiorini was fantastic in the second half,” Conley said. “He was a force in the middle. He’s still not 100 percent.

“I thought the key to the game was in the second half when we held Westbrook to one shot on most of its possessions. We really stepped up on defense. We rebounded very well. Ruay Bol was very active and kept the ball alive on the boards, which enabled us to score,” he said.

Last season, South Portland went 6-12 and missed the tournament, a year after playing for a state championship.

“It was important for us to start out well this season,” said Conley.

Fiorini, who added five rebounds, now has had back-to-back double-figure scoring games. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds against Sanford.

Fiorini wore a bandage on his knee and has been doing rehab.

“I’m playing through some pain,” he said.

Pelletier added 11 points for South Portland, while Bol finished with 10. Fillmore led Westbrook with 12.