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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2015, 10:56 

Posts: 3
What do you recommend as a defense against a team with one athletic wing, who dominates the scoring for a team.

Thughts on stopping or neutralizing


age 13 and we run manto man, 1-3-1 or 2-3

PostPosted: 23 Feb 2015, 11:02 
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What age? What defense do you normally run?

Jeff Haefner

PostPosted: 23 Feb 2015, 11:16 

Posts: 214
Here's what we did earlier this season.....this is 5th grade girls travel ball and we were playing a 6th grade team with a girl that has to be around 5'10, great range out to three point land, can drive, finish through contact, etc.

We defended her tightly so as to make her feel rushed. We wanted to speed the game up and make her play faster than any other team had played. We wanted her to rush shots, to have to drive to create scoring opportunities. And we emphasized playing great help defense to cut off her penetration and force her to score through our help or dish the ball to a less skilled teammate and we'd take our chances that her teammates would step up and make plays. We also rotated 4 different defenders on her throughout the game. These 4 girls were all different in size and ability. One is our smallest player, but quickest defender and she kept this girl in front of her. One was our biggest player with tremendous footowork and length and she bothered this player the most. The other two were somewhere in between and both did great jobs on her. We frustrated her all game and we actually led by 2 with 3 minutes to go and it was tied under a minute to play until this player made a couple strong plays to win the game.

Basically, we forced her out of her comfort zone and attacked her all game.

You also need to consider the way in which that player dominates the it with outside shooting? driving to the hoop? or a combo of both?

PostPosted: 23 Feb 2015, 12:08 

Posts: 900
One strategy I used at the 6th-8th grade level that worked well, was to shut that player down and deny the ball. I'm talking about complete denial, so my best defender basically stayed with that player all the time. Even if we weren't pressing, I had my player deny the throw-in to this player. It looked kind of funky, but it worked. I really had to get it through my player's head that I meant complete denial, I didn't want their best shooter touching the ball. Obviously that would be impossible, however, the over emphasis to my defender worked.


PostPosted: 23 Feb 2015, 18:11 

Posts: 157
A certain part of this strategy depends on what the "star" player does well.

Is this a player that is a pure shooter with a sweet stroke? Or is this player a demon going to the basket?

Does the player have a dominant hand that they like to go to?

We always want to turn a shooter into a driver. We want to make the driver pick up his dribble. We want to avoid any catch and release type shots by having strong close-outs. And we want to make a player beat us doing something they are not good at.

If the player is a pure shooter, then you can't let him get a shot off. Assign his man less help responsibilities in order to stay closer to him when he doesn't have the ball. Adjust other help responsibilities accordingly.

If the kid is a good driver, first be able to answer the question about dominant hand. Make sure the defender is up on his dominant hand and that help is aligned to his weak hand so when he drives, the lanes are cut off.

I always maintain that part of a pack-style help defense is that there are so many defenders in the lane where the driver wants to go, that many times the drive is abandoned without attempting it.

We had a player in our conference this year who beat us hitting a lot of shots from the outside. So the next time we played them I had my on-ball defender (the kid was the primary point guard) to press up on him as he got across half-court and become a driver. The shooter couldn't handle it, it wasn't his game, and he was much less effective the second time we played him.

Against drivers, even if you play on-the-line/up-the-line, you want to hyper help on a dominant driver. On the catch, four off ball defenders aligned to give immediate help, while keeping ball-you-man relationships so they can close back out on their assignment. If this kid is as good as you say he is, you'll be ok having other kids on that team taking more shots to beat you.

Just some thoughts, hope they help.

Brian Sass

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