Windsor Locks plays role of spoiler

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor Locks - posted Thu., Mar. 7, 2013
Senior guard and captain Jessica Kuzmickas leads the fast break during Windsor Locks' 60-47 upset over Platt Tech in the Class S state tournament first round. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Senior guard and captain Jessica Kuzmickas leads the fast break during Windsor Locks' 60-47 upset over Platt Tech in the Class S state tournament first round. Photos by Colin Rajala.

For large stretches of the 2012-2013 season, Windsor Locks High School girls' basketball team senior guards and captains Jessica Kuzmickas and Lee Ann Douglas have pushed the Raiders through bumps and bruises on way to their fourth consecutive state tournament berth, but when the Raiders lost Douglas to an ACL injury just before the state tournament it seemed like a debilitating road block.  Kuzmickas’ 17 third-quarter points willed her team to a 60-47 victory over Platt Technical High School in the first round of the Class S State tournament on Feb. 25. 

“Jess has had tremendous third-quarter runs for us all season,” said head coach Doug Knowe. “She doesn’t want her season to end. It’s her senior year, she wants to keep playing. She is a tremendous player and she was determined tonight; she played well off her teammates.”

Kuzmickas took over in the third quarter, scoring 15 straight points while accounting for 17 of the team’s 21 points in the quarter, which helped the Raiders build a nine-point lead going into the fourth. She drained three three-pointers in the quarter. The senior guard also tallied 10 points in the final quarter to ensure Windsor Locks would not relinquish the double-digit lead late in the game.

‘It was a great feeling to spark that rally,” Kuzmickas said. “I lost track of what I was doing. I was just trying to pull everything together for us, looking for open teammates and taking it when I had an open lane. I'll do anything I can to make this team win.”

The Raiders received strong contributions from sophomore forward Dominique Boyd with five points and 18 rebounds.

“Jess is without a doubt our scorer, and Dominque is the glue to what gets us going,” Knowe said. “She gets rebounds that other kids can’t get to. Her energy and second half effort on plays are unbelievable.”

Filling in the big shoes left behind by Douglas was freshman Shayla Cruz, who excelled under the spotlight and pressure in her first state tournament game, tallying seven points and seven assists while causing havoc on the defensive end.

“She comes out, plays hard, she’s just a competitor,” Knowe said. “She’s going to continue to grow as a player.”

Windsor Locks also received contributions from junior forward Amber Curran with five points and 12 rebounds.

Windsor Locks' season came to a close three nights later in the Class S second-round loss to East Windsor.


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