Trying to win a third-straight state championship while losing one of the best players in the state would be a challenge for any team.
But if one team could do it, it would be the Twinsburg Lady Tigers.
Head Coach Julie Solis is entering the season off to a great start already, leading the Tigers to a 5-0 record. And she's done it without the size of Malina Howard, who is suiting up for the University of Maryland this season.
"Malina is a great player and it was great to have her but our identity is a lot different," Solis said. "It makes a difference not having someone who's 6'4"."
Solis said her team is playing well so far and trying to learn to play together. She's happy with their start.
"We're going with what we have," Solis said. "We think we're still pretty talented."
She will especially look to senior Char-dell Dunnigan to pick things up where Howard left off. Solis believes Dunnigan is a "difference maker."
"She's played pretty well throughout the year her continuing to get better is what's making us good," Solis said.
Dunnigan knows that her play is key in the team's success this season and her role is much bigger than in past years.
"It's different because i"m playng more," Dunnigan said. "I was behind her (Malina) last year as her sub but the team depends on me more this year."
Twinsburg beat Mentor 69-36 on Saturday and hosts Solon at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night.
The Tigers beat the Comets in the playoffs last year on their run to the state championship.