It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for some boys' basketball teams in the South Suburban Conference. Don't tell that to Lakeville North and Lakeville South.
The two teams each knocked off opponents ranked in the top 10 in Class 4A on Friday night. Lakeville North upset No. 7 Edina 71-59 while Lakeville South upended No. 8 Wayzata 71-61.
"It was a good early-season win for us," Lakeville North coach John Oxton said. "Edina is a very, very good team. We have to remember, though, it's still very early in the season."
The league already has the preseason No. 1-rated team in Apple Valley. Add Prior Lake and Eastview into the fray, and the conference looks very deep once again.
"The South Suburban is good from top to bottom," Oxton said.
It also has some of the state's best talent, including Lakeville North's J.P. Macura. The 6-4 junior guard had 54 points, including 30 against Edina, and 12 rebounds in the Panthers' first two victories.
"How far he has come in the last nine months is amazing," Oxton said. "He is really growing as a player. He is by no means a finished product."
One coach hired ...
Eagan has named Melissa Chmielewski as its new softball coach. She succeeds Courtney Dully, who resigned to spend more time with her family.
Chmielewski graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in health and physical education. She was honored as the Summit League player of the year twice as a member of the softball team. She got her master's in education leadership from Minnesota-Moorhead. At Minnesota-Moorhead, she also served as assistant softball coach.
Chmielewski also is coach of the Minnesota Sting 18-and-under team. She has worked as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Irish 18 Gold team as well as Fargo (N.D.) North.
... another steps down
Shakopee girls' cross country coach Mark Neu recently submitted a letter of resignation to the district school board. He was the Sabers' mentor the past eight years.
Neu guided the Sabers to the Class 2A state meet in four of those years. Their highest finish was fourth in 2011. He also serves as the school's wrestling coach. He is in his 12th season with that program.
• Northfield senior Allyson Harris (21 points and 14 rebounds) and junior Anna Pfefferle (16 points and 15 rebounds) each had a double-double as the Raiders' girls' basketball team rallied for a 53-45 victory over Albert Lea in a nonconference matchup. Harris is a 6-3 center and Pfefferle a 6-0 forward.
• Junior goaltender Lexi Brandt made 30 saves for the Prior Lake girls' hockey team in a 1-0 victory over Eastview in a South Suburban matchup. It was her first shutout of the season.