If this season goes anything like last year, Farmington and Shakopee will be top competitors in a crowded South Suburban Conference race.
Farmington, which won last year's conference championship, returns three key players, while Shakopee is coming off a state tournament appearance following a Class 4A, Section 2 title. On Tuesday, both squads start new South Suburban campaigns as they square off in our Top Game of the Week.
Farmington, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News from Dec. 4, has challenged opposing defenses early this season with an experienced offense that helped the Tigers win 24 games last season.
Among those veteran returning players is their record-breaking scorer, Molly Mogensen. Earlier this season, the senior guard broke the team's all-time scoring record at 1,438 points. As of Saturday, the career points total for the Creighton commit is 1,478. The previous record, which stood for 32 years, was set by none other than Mogensen's mother, Julie.
Mogensen is one of three players on Farmington's roster who were named to last year's Class 4A all-state honorable mention list. She's joined by Sophia Hart and Paige Kindseth, who each average more than 10 points per game.
Farmington (3-1, 0-0) is coming off its first loss of the season, a 77-52 defeat at home on Dec. 6 against No. 1-4A Hopkins.
Shakopee, meanwhile, has also proven it has the offensive firepower necessary to put points on the board early this season.
Fresh in returning Sabers' minds is a run to last season's Class 4A state tournament. The Sabers were seeded third in the Class 4A, Section 2 tournament but twice defeated higher-seeded teams, including a 41-39 victory over Eden Prairie in the title game.
Through three games this year, Shakopee (3-0, 0-0) has averaged more than 56 points per game, with Natalie Holte helping drive the offense. The junior guard, who averaged 11.5 points per game last season, has seen an uptick to 14.7 points per game this season, including 17 in a 58-53 win against Chaska on Dec. 3.