These days, just about everything is recorded. Some captured memories take on a more personal tone than others.
For head girls’ basketball coach Kim Hansen, it was the Tigers’ in the district semifinals that ended their 2010-2011 season with an 11-12 record.
And as the old saying goes, the tape never lies.
As the Tigers host Magnificat tonight to open their season, Hansen sought to remind her players of the physical thrashing her team experienced at the hands of the Lady Arcs and hopes they will be better prepared for the 2011-2012 campaign with a crucial lesson in mind.
“We’ve preached every day that in order for us to be good, we have to compete so much harder in practice with each other. If we do that, then we’re not going to get surprised by a team like Brush that just jumped all over us,” Hansen said.
The Tigers begin that quest at 7:30 p.m. with the familiar senior tandem of Jasmine Harper and Supriya Frierson up front. But the team will feature an entirely different backcourt as former leaders and have both graduated.
Sophomore Ashaunti Abshaw will take over at shooting guard and transfer Jasmine Rasul, a senior, will step in at point guard. Sophomore Arion Jackson, who often played in a backup inside role last season, will be the third guard.
Coach Hansen sees potential in the athletic Abshaw, who is coming up from the junior varsity squad, but she said the backcourt’s inexperience might limit some of their efforts early in the season.
“We’re going to be very strong and dominant in the inside game, but the guard position, one through three, is very inexperienced and youthful. I think we’re going to take some knocks. I think we have an incredible amount of athletic ability, but we have so much to learn,” Hansen said.
Tonight’s task won’t be an easy one. Magnificat is ranked seventh in The Plain Dealer Top 25 preseason poll after going 21-2 last season and reaching the Division I district finals. Last season, the Blue Streaks knocked off the visiting Tigers, 56-33, at the beginning of December.
“When it comes to Wednesday, we want to show that we’ve really learned some hard lessons. Mags is a tough opener. But it’s kind of like, ‘bring it on,'" Hansen said. "We’re going to do the very best we can, because we know what kind of team we need to be or want to be.”
Cleveland Heights' schedule features tough out-of-conference matchups against Lake Catholic, Eastlake North, St. Joseph’s Academy and Mentor, now a member of the Northeast Ohio Conference, along with Lake Erie League rivalries against Warren G. Harding, Maple Heights and Shaker Heights.
Hansen’s goals for the team are clear this season — win the LEL title and better its previous year’s result in the tournament.
“I think those are lofty goals, but they are certainly within the reach of these kids, but we’re not close to it yet,” Hansen said.