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In this week’s Playbook Series, learn a trio of game-winning quick hitters submitted by high school basketball coaches from around the country. These plays have proven to be effective and can be used for special situations at the end of a quarter or at the conclusion of the game. One play featured even provided a high school team in Texas a thrilling semifinal victory in the state playoffs. For each play, be sure to follow the set-up and action before seeing them simulated live on the basketball floor.
Submitted by Josh Thompson, Head Boys’ Coach, Bishop McGuiness Catholic HS, Kernersville, NC
Overview: From a stack set, this play offers a few three-point options and even the possibility of an open drive to the hoop.
The Set-Up: Player 1 takes the ball out on the sideline. 3, 4, and 5 are all stacked in the lane, with 3 down low, 4 in the middle, and 5 at the free throw line. 2 is on the opposite side of the court just above the three-point line. 2 should be your best shooter.
The Action: 4 and 5 downscreen for 3. 3 uses the screens to curl to the top of the key and receives the pass from 1. If open, this should be your first option. Meanwhile, 4 and 5 clear out to the ball side corner of the floor. If 3 isn’t open for a shot, 1 comes into play and runs behind 3 for a handoff. Player 1 then has the option of turning the corner for a drive to the hoop or kicking the ball out to an open 2 for the three-pointer.
Submitted by Bruce Biedinger, Lutheran HS, San Antonio, TX
Overview: Coach Biedinger ran “Victory” in the state semifinals with his team down by one point with five seconds to play. He had the ball out of bounds on his side of the court and facing a man-to-man defense. Biedinger’s squad ran the play and hit the game-winning shot with just one second left on the clock.
The Set-Up: Player 3 starts inbounding the ball on the sideline. 2 and 1 are just out in front and stacked. 1 V-cuts to the hoop and then back up top and receives the pass. 5 and 4 are on opposite low blocks, with 5 on the near block. 2 flashes to the ballside wing and 5 posts strong and looks for the ball. 3 runs to the near corner after making the pass.
The Action: 1 begins to dribble across the top of the key. 4 makes a quick cross screen for 5. As 5 comes off 4’s screen, 1 hits 5 with a pass. If 5 is not open, 1 looks for 4, who curls up in the lane after setting the screen. Or 1 looks for 3, who’s coming off 2’s downscreen and flashes to the top of the key/wing for a shot. The goal is to eliminate all helpside defense by overloading the ballside area and then attacking the weakside.
Submitted by Kevin Sutton, Assistant Coach, George Washington University, Washington, DC
The Set-Up: Get in a box formation, with your bigs on top (around the top of they key), and guards on the bottom (low blocks). 3 inbounds on the sideline.
The Action: 1 screens for 2. 2 comes off the screen and flares to the near corner. 5 screens down for 1 and 1 comes off of the pick and sprints to the top of the key. 4 then flares to the far-side wing. 5 then posts up hard on the block. From here, player 3’s progression should be 2, 1, 5, and then 4.