Portland placed three players in double figures and finished with 12 3-pointers as it rode a fast start to a 75-56 win over South Portland in an SMAA boys’ basketball season opener Friday night at the Portland Expo.

This was a marquee first game, pairing two teams expected to be at the top of Class AA. With a new five-class setup this season, Portland is in Class AA North while South Portland is in Class AA South.

The Bulldogs took any possible drama out of this one when it started the second quarter with an 11-0 spurt. Pedro Fonseca, a freshman, scored the first five points of the quarter. After a basket by Ben Griffin, Amir Moss hit two straight baskets.

Portland, which reached the Class A state championship game the previous two seasons, outscored the Red Riots 24-11 in the second quarter to open a 41-23 lead.

“When you’re hitting the 3-pointers, it negates a lot of your mistakes,” said Portland Coach Joe Russo. “I feel this is one of the better shooting teams we’ve had. When you make a few 3s, it can be demoralizing for the other team.”

Moss led the Bulldogs with 20 points – 14 in the second half. Fonseca finished with 14 points, and Joe Esposito, fresh off a memorable football season, added 12 points – all on 3-pointers in the first half.

Portland’s first two baskets were from beyond the arc, both by Esposito. Fonseca followed with the first of his four 3-pointers. Both would hit one more in the opening quarter as the Bulldogs led 17-12.

Jack Fiorini, South Portland’s 6-foot-6 forward, scored 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter. The Red Riots led 2-0 on a basket by Moses Oreste, then had an 8-6 lead after a basket by Fiorini. Fonseca followed with his first 3-pointer and Portland never trailed again.

“When Portland is hitting the 3-point shot, they’re nearly impossible to guard,” said South Portland Coach Kevin Millington, who is in his first year with the Red Riots after 18 seasons at Windham.

“They have quick players, so if you rush out to defend the 3-point shot, they go by you. But I feel we got enough positives from this one. The players are still learning our defenses and getting accustomed to the offense. We’re going to be a dangerous team by January.”

South Portland came out strong at the start of the third quarter, but the Moss brothers – Amir, a senior, and Terion, a sophomore point guard – combined for Portland’s final 11 points of the quarter to help the Bulldogs maintain their lead. Terion had six points and Amir five.

“I was a little frustrated in the first half,” said Amir Moss, one of the team’s two returning starters. “I settled down in the second half.

“We got our fast break going in the second quarter. We run in practice and we just continued it over into the game. This team has a lot of chemistry.”

Portland outscored the Riots 9-2 to open the fourth quarter. Fonseca started it with another 3-pointer, and then Terion Moss spotted his brother underneath and fed him for a layup.

“We gave each other a quick glance,” said Amir Moss. “I knew the pass was coming.”

Terion Moss finished with eight points.

Ruay Bol had nine points for South Portland.