The Lakeville North girls’ basketball team was getting tired of the number three. That’s where it had finished in the South Suburban Conference standings for five consecutive years.

This season the Class 4A, No. 3 Panthers reverted to their old form, winning the conference crown for the first time since the 2010-11 season. They finished 17-1 in league play, three games ahead of preseason favorite Eastview.

Former Panther Shelly (Soule) Clemons is in her fourth season as coach. Eastview won the league title in back-to-back years in her first two seasons while Shakopee claimed the conference crown last season. Lakeville North went 4-0 against those teams this year.

The Panthers, 24-2 in the regular season, haven’t had as much trouble advancing to the state tournament. They have won the Section 1 championship three of those five years.

Top performances

• Rosemount senior twins Alec and Luke Loehr combined for 60 points, leading the Irish boys’ basketball team to a 76-58 victory over Farmington. Alec finished with 32 points while Luke had 28. The tandem is combining for 36 points per game.

• Senior goalie Jeremy Manzella turned in a superb performance for Eagan’s boys’ hockey team in the Class 2A, Section 3 quarterfinals. Manzella made 45 saves as the Wildcats edged Rosemount 2-1 in overtime.

Ron Haggstrom