Raiders' sights set on tournament

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Dec. 27, 2012
The 2012 Windsor Locks captains are (l-r) LeeAnn Douglas, Jessica Kuzmickas and Sam Swanson. Photos by Colin Rajala.
The 2012 Windsor Locks captains are (l-r) LeeAnn Douglas, Jessica Kuzmickas and Sam Swanson. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Windsor Locks girls’ basketball team has made the Class S state tournament for three consecutive seasons, and the senior class expects to go a perfect four out of four in tournament appearances this February. The Raiders have gotten out to an impressive 4-2 start on the season and just need four more wins in their final 13 match-ups to qualify for this year’s state tournament.

“Our first goal is definitely states; we want to carry on the tradition of bringing our team to the tournament, especially in our senior year,” said senior captain Jessica Kuzmickas. “We have a team that can win a state championship. The bond we all have, the team chemistry, is stronger than it’s ever been, and I think it’s something you need to win a championship.”

The Raiders pride themselves on their work ethic. They say they give 110 percent in practice, whether it is going full speed in a drill, touching the line during sprints or running to their spots. The Raiders strive to be the hardest-working team in the state, and when they are tired, they push themselves to "go one more."

Their hard work pays off on the defensive side, where they expect to stymie opponents, night in and night out. Windsor Locks’ defense is an "illusion," according to head coach Doug Knowe, and causes lots of problems for many teams. Senior captain and guard LeeAnn Douglas will bolster down the defense for the Raiders and is expected to record a lot of steals while forcing lots of turnovers and errant passes because of her length. Windsor Locks expects its defense to facilitate its offense by getting out in transition and scoring easy baskets after turnovers. The Raiders will force opponents to their weak hand and challenge all shots.

Kuzmickas has solidified herself as a proven scorer and is expected to spur the offense for Windsor Locks. Helping out the senior captain are a duo of forwards, junior Amber Curran and sophomore Dominique Boyd. Both have made significant strides in the off-season to develop their game and become legitimate scoring threats.

Windsor Locks will also look for strong contributions from senior Francesca Benea and Shyla Cruz.

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