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Kopp sets record, relatively speaking Tops cousin's career WNY mark

Franklinville's Samantha Kopp had another career night against Randolph, but this one will be awfully hard to top.

The 6-foot-3 senior became Western New York's all-time girls basketball scoring leader Thursday, pouring in a game-high 36 points in leading the Panthers to a 58-56 CCAA II triumph over the Cardinals before an estimated 600 during Senior Night at Franklinville.

Kopp passed her cousin Joelle Connelly's mark of 2,300 career points by canning a pair of free throws with two minutes left. Kopp now has 2,303 points, while her mother Laura ranks fourth in Western New York history with 2,196 points.

"I'm kind of speechless," said Kopp, whose free throws pulled her team within 56-54. "It's incredible. I couldn't have done it without my teammates."

And it was one of Kopp's teammates that made sure she experienced the thrill of victory on a night when she achieved a milestone against Randolph. Bridget Fox sank an 8-foot jumper with three seconds left off an inbounds play to break a 56-56 tie. Kopp, who scored a career-high 52 points last month in a 64-60 loss at Randolph, scored the game-tying basket 27 seconds earlier.

"Getting 52 points against them last time was nice but it was nothing compared to tonight," said Kopp, who also had 20 rebounds and eight blocks. "I'm so happy we won."

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Boys basketball

Williamsville North clinched its first division title since 1993, beating Lancaster, 88-57, in ECIC I. Alex Barth recorded a triple-double (17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) in the win for the Spartans (18-1, 13-1).

Sweet Home rallied from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to remain unbeaten in ECIC II with a 61-54 win over Williamsville East. Keron Briggs had 22 points in the win, while Reginald Burke made seven straight free throws with under two minutes left for the Panthers (16-1, 10-0), which went 16 of 21 from the line in the fourth.

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Hockey

Thomas Meka had a goal and an assist for St. Joe's in a 4-1 win over St. Francis. With the win, the Maruaders (19-2-4, 12-1-4) clinched the top seed for the Monsignor Martin Association portion of the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation playoffs, which begin next Thursday with a quarterfinal matchup between No. 4 Bishop Timon-St. Jude and No. 5 Nichols.

St. Joe's, which will play the winner of Timon-Nichols in the Feb. 25 semifinals, clinched the top seed by virtue of going 4-0 in the games against the non-public schools in the format used to determine playoff seeding. St. Francis will face No. 2 Canisius in the other semi.

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Bowling

The Section VI girls tournament at Thruway Lanes was postponed until 9 a.m. Feb. 24 due to weather and power outages. The boys championships will go on as scheduled at 9 a.m. today at Thruway.

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