Cheetah Press Break

Purpose: This is a strategy designed to work against a man-to-man full court press. The best case scenario is for a long pass to a sprinting speedster for an uncontested lay-in.


Position your players as shown, but realize that Player 1 should actually be standing out of bounds. Player 2 should be a real speedster. This is usually something that you would do in a dead-ball situation, in which case Player 1 can not run the baseline.


On the slap of the ball, Player 2 starts behind Player 1(Again, realize that Player 1 is standing out of bounds), who pretends to hand him the ball. Player 2 then sprints all the way past the key and cuts up and between Players 4 and 5, who have moved apart to create a space. Player 3 sprints straight toward the baseline.


After Player 2 runs through the space, Players 4 and 5 close back up, creating a double-wide screen. Defender 2 is caught behind them, and Player 2 is wide open sprinting toward the basket. Player 1 (Standing out of bounds) throws a long pass that Player 2 can run to and corral for an uncontested drive to the hoop.


If your team is alert enough to set this up in a live ball situation (after a made basket), then Player 1 (Standing out of bounds) has an option to run the base line and throw the pass from the same side as the cutter. In this case, Player 2 should run a slight banana pattern in order to follow the flight of the pass.


Points of Emphasis:

  • The pass should be high enough to get over the defense and placed so that Player 2 can run to it without slowing down.
  • Player 2 should explode into his route after he passes behind Player 1.

Teaching Tips:

  • Tell your team that this play will get them an easy two points.
  • Teach your passer to look at and fake to Player 3 before looking for Player 2.

For more information about breaking presses, check out our comprehensive press break guide and online video.

What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...

jssocials alternate:


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chris says:
2/11/2008 at 9:31:36 PM

if defender 1 is tall, player 1 could not make a good pass


Jeffrey Rice says:
2/12/2008 at 8:05:53 AM

I need a play to beat a 3-2 zone press off the inbound pass after a made basket.

Coach Jeff


Richard says:
2/12/2008 at 8:13:39 AM

Good Morning Jeff,

At my school, we go up against the 3-2 zone, and man to man press. Full court. Got something that might help. We have what is called a 4 across. You can screen for short and over the top passes. If your interested, let me know. Richard


Nupe3 says:
2/12/2008 at 9:03:57 AM

Looks like a good play.


sabrina Armendarez says:
2/12/2008 at 10:55:20 AM

i need a better 1-3-1 half court press breaker. i'm using one that is used for a full court press and works most of the time but, would like to see if you have something better


Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
2/12/2008 at 12:31:54 PM

Here's some information we currently have on press breakers:

There are a couple press breakers in our plays ebook on pages 73 & 76.

If you have not signed up for our two free ebooks on drills & plays and our free newsletter, you can do so at

Here's a link on our website to one of the press breakers mentioned in the ebook:


Casey says:
2/12/2008 at 1:24:35 PM

How could this quick score press break be adjusted so an 8th grade girls team could run it? That's a long pass to make -- especially if it's a dead ball situation and if the D is covering the ball -- What type of player would 3 have to be to maybe have the pass sequence be 1 to 3 to 2?


Joe (Co-founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
2/12/2008 at 5:51:26 PM


This play is probably not fitted for 8th grade girls or any team that does not have a player with proper arm strength & accuracy to throw the ball. If you can think of a variation, please share.


David says:
2/12/2008 at 7:40:01 PM

Casey, If you wanted to run this for *th grade girls, all you would have to do is throw the inbound pass in to your 3 and have her pass it down to the sprinting 2. Use a diagonal pass so the defense is caught comint to the passer


gokhan says:
2/16/2008 at 2:36:24 PM

thank you very much.


JORDAN M says:
2/20/2008 at 4:27:56 PM

hi to all!!!!
i need a defense for one top player!!!!i want to make him not to touch the ball!!


Felix says:
2/25/2008 at 9:27:41 PM


Why not a box and 1. That would be the easiest for youth basketball. Here are some others.

Good Luck


coach boon says:
4/23/2008 at 9:58:47 PM

hi i want to execute a play which in live situation where i got shooter and inbounders what tatics do you recommend me to play??


Joe (Co-Founder of Breakthrough Basketball) says:
4/24/2008 at 8:41:07 PM

Hi Coach Boon,

There are more inbounds plays on our website at this link:

You can also see more in our Free Plays ebook which you can download at this link:


preeti says:
5/10/2008 at 4:24:42 AM

If player 1,2 doesn't know lay up thennnnnnnnnnn.................................


Sara Bell says:
1/26/2009 at 6:46:06 PM

These are great plays! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us all. I love the diagrams and your philosophy is excellent!!


zebra says:
5/19/2009 at 12:13:46 PM

Intentionally leaving the playing surface is a violation! Any ref worth his whistle will call this play dead in a heartbeat.


zac says:
10/24/2009 at 2:25:19 PM

good drill but a little confusing. u should show a video of it


Coach B says:
1/10/2010 at 3:54:30 PM

I need a good play to beat man to man. I coach 9 and 10 year old girls. Got three pretty good ball handlers. Hope you can help


Pernell says:
1/29/2010 at 9:52:40 AM

if anyone needs defenseive plays just come to me i dont have allstar plays but if you want wins talk to me


Pernell says:
1/29/2010 at 9:54:30 AM

coach b i would try a 3:2 defemse because it prevents dribble penitration but allows shots on the perimmeter in the conners so get out on the shooters


Coach A says:
2/4/2010 at 1:15:32 AM

I didn't think you were allowed to come from out of bounds and catch the ball without it first touching another player


Coach Partin says:
8/10/2010 at 8:21:02 AM

You are not allowed to intentionally leave the playing floor then receive the pass. This play will result in a turnover for your team. If you modify it so that 3 sets a pick for 2 then runs to their position on the far side of the court it will work. I ran it last season this way and it worked great. I had a real speedster on my team so it was great!


Coach T says:
8/11/2010 at 10:29:10 AM

The player doesn't run out of bounds. It tells you to remember that player 1 is out of bounds. As the other player breaks towards the ball there is a fake hand off. It didn't say run behind player 1 out of bounds.


griffin 24 says:
10/13/2010 at 2:57:04 PM

this looks like a good play! just !thing is wrong i agree with the perso that said what if the ! cant throw over the others deffese


tchic says:
10/13/2010 at 8:46:32 PM

Play is illegal


jay says:
12/27/2010 at 7:20:24 AM

whoever states this is illegal play is wrong. read the wording carefully and read your rule book carefully. Also, if you have a case book read that. Play done properly is perfectly legal.
i'm a coach of 29 years and I run plays in various situations very similar in concept to this one. just trying to help.


ROY G. says:
1/27/2011 at 9:30:59 PM



8/1/2011 at 12:34:27 AM

I actually won a playoff game with my team being down by 1 point!!! Not only did I have NO MORE TIME OUTS LEFT, but there was ONLY 23 seconds left in the game. THIS PLAY REALLY WORKS and NUMBER 2 MUST be your fastest player on the ENTIRE team and NUMBER 1 MUST not only have the best/strongest/accurate arm of the ENTIRE team but he/she must fake pass first to another player just to get his/her defender off balance. Then finally make that game winning pass for an EASY LAY UP!!! Very effective!!!

Thank you!!!!


Caden says:
11/5/2014 at 11:08:47 PM

This is a very good play if you have the right players.


Coach Mick says:
1/18/2015 at 9:31:07 PM

I plan on running this. So is player 2 just cutting in front (along baseline) and looking for a fake pass to player 1 before sprinting through the screen from player 4 & 5?

I've re-read this several times and it sounds like player 2 runs out and then back in.

  1 reply  

Joe Haefner says:
1/19/2015 at 6:30:50 PM

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe you are correct.


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