If there were any doubters about East High's chances to be a power in Yale Cup play this season, they went into seclusion on Thursday.
East, rated No. 5 among large schools in The News' poll, recorded an important 76-64 win over Riverside to stay unbeaten in league play. East is 9-0 in the Yale Cup, 14-2 overall, while Riverside fell to 10-5 and 6-2.
"This was an extra special win in the Yale Cup," a happy East coach Starling Bryant said.
East had a 35-31 lead at the half, but took control in the third quarter. That's in spite of the fact that key senior Henry Mingo went to the bench early in the period with his fourth foul.
"It was the third quarter when we got away from them," Bryant said. "Dominique Jackson had a couple of big plays. Dallas Gary had nine points in the third quarter alone. Then Jackson in the fourth quarter was 7 for 8 from the free throw line."
Mingo came back to action in the fourth quarter and got some key rebounds to keep Riverside at a distance. Jackson finished the game with 25 points, while Gary went past the 1,000-point mark for his career as he had 17 for the game. Sheldon Brown led Riverside with 20 points.
"The kids from Riverside played hard. They didn't back down," Bryant said. "Now we've got Lafayette, McKinley and Grover coming up. We're kind of excited, but we've got a lot of work ahead of us."
In other Yale Cup play, McKinley -- the No. 6 large school -- coasted to an 83-46 win over MST Seneca. Kevin Chillis had 19 points and five assists for McKinley. Eric Hall of Seneca led all scorers with 20 points. . . . Bennett scored 47 points in the second half to pull away from Burgard, 68-45. Deon Artis had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for the Tigers. . . . Grover Cleveland leaned on Kenyon Edwards in an 87-65 win over South Park. Edwards had 32 points and 16 rebounds. . . . Clark Tritto had 23 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for City Honors in a 68-50 win over Buffalo Arts. Marcus Smith added 15 points and nine rebounds. . . . Hutch-Tech sophomore Maurice Miles had 17 points in a 74-62 win over Lafayette.
*MONSIGNOR MARTIN: Lorenzo Joseph had 24 points, including some key shots down the stretch, to lead Niagara Catholic to an upset of No. 2 small school St. Mary's, 59-57.
Joseph made 5 out of 6 free throws and hit a three-pointer in the fourth quarter for the Patriots (4-16) to get their first win in 10 league games against the Lancers (11-6, 4-4). Steve Beck, a 6-foot-10 junior for Niagara Catholic, had 13 rebounds and five blocks.
Dan McFarland had 22 points for St. Mary's, which was coming off three straight wins over Monsignor Martin large schools (St. Francis, St. Joe's and Canisius). Niagara Catholic hosts St. Joe's Tuesday.
*ECIC I: Kyle Perla had 11 assists to set a school record in the category (374, breaking Brian Dux's mark), as Orchard Park beat Lancaster, 65-37. . . . Williamsville North's Alex Barth had 24 points in a 76-62 win over Hamburg. . . . Ben Cecchini had 15 points and Carlos Rivera added 14 in Jamestown's 84-41 romp over West Seneca West.
*ECIC II: Lake Shore took a key game against Williamsville South (No. 8 large school), 55-50. Erik Marx had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Sean Bellomo added 18 points and 13 rebounds. . . . Iroquois bounced back from a tough third quarter to beat West Seneca East, 66-64. Chris Evans led Iroquois with 20 points.
*ECIC IV: Dondre Alexander scored 20 points for Lackawanna as the Steelers defeated JFK, 62-45. . . . Alden stayed unbeaten in the league with a 54-41 win over Cleveland Hill. Christian Barczykowski had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Alden.
*IAC: Anthony Donaldson had 28 points in Falk's 85-73 win over St. Mary's School for the Deaf, which was led by Michael Lumley (36 points).