Quick Hitter Play Against the 1-3-1 Zone

This is a great play that will get you an easy lay up against a traditional 1-3-1 zone. As long as the bottom player of the 1-3-1 zone covers the corner, this play should be very effective.


  1. The play starts with:

    1 on one side of the court with the ball.
    2 in the corner on the same side as 1.
    3 on the opposite block.
    4 on the ball-side block.
    5 on the opposite elbow area.

  2. The play is initiated by 2 and 3 crossing underneath each other.

  3. 1 passes to 3 in the corner.
  1. As the pass occurs...

    4 goes up the lane and seals Defensive Player 5 by posting up.
    2 sets a screen on Defensive Player 3.
    5 curls around the screen and goes to the hoop.

    As soon as 5 clears the screen, 2 needs to get out of the lane to avoid a 3-second violation.
  1. 3 passes the ball to 5 for an easy lay up.

    This is a simple play, but timing is crucial for this play to work.

Related Pages and Helpful Resources

Shallow - Basketball Play that Work Against 2-3 and Other Zone Defenses
Dynamic Zone Offense Plays Against Any Zone Defense
Zone Out of Bounds (Inbounds) Plays
Basketball Plays and The Art of Running Set Plays and Scoring More Points
Beating the Zone - 75 Set Plays to Score Against Zone Defense

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


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Adam says:
7/1/2016 at 11:12:01 AM

Really? Putting the ball in the corner against a 1-3-1 is daft, if they trap hard you are screwed. If its not a trapping zone you're fine but if you are trapped this play is giving the defense exactly what they want. The movement within the guy by the bigs would have to be so quick or else 4 and 2 have got your 3 trapped in the corner. Running basic motion offense before this to establish how they play the corners is crucial if you want the play to work. I run a hard trapping 1-3-1 and would be fuming if we were beaten by this play because 3 shouldn't have the time in the corner to find that pass


Gavin says:
2/27/2014 at 8:02:25 AM



RichmondRob says:
1/20/2014 at 6:48:25 PM

At the start Def5 should be covering Off5 in the highpost and Def3 should be in the middle of the lane since there is no one else for him to cover on the weakside of the court. Def5 is taught to get to the ballside block once the ball is below the freethrow line but conceiveably could get screened. Def3 at least would be in a position to deny a layup.


Ben says:
1/14/2013 at 1:50:45 AM

I haven''t run the play with my group yet, but I''m not sure about the positioning of the defence in the diagram. I''ve always taught the defender in the middle of the zone to be in a straight line between the ball and the basket, so I couldn''t see him getting caught that high when the ball goes to the corner.


Coach Poer says:
3/24/2011 at 1:38:28 PM

If D2 covers O1's corner pass to O3, O1 immediately sets up at the arc looking for a return pass for a jump shot. This will force D5 to slide out to pick him up. While O3 is giving a quick pass fake to O1, O4 posts up on D4 and receives O3's pass. O2 simultaneously screens D3 so O5 can cut OUTSIDE the lane and receive a drop pass from O4 for a lefthanded layup. This takes D1 completely out of the play (the worry is D1 might be quick enough (and savvy enough) on the rotation to break up a pass to O5 cutting the lane. O1 backs out to cover the break.


julio says:
6/24/2008 at 3:24:31 AM

is it not the variation of 1-3-1 is 1-1-3 just incase offence try to breake the set deffence. like deffender 1 should
stay along tha arc of the 3 point line. defender 2 slide to the corner to defend offender 3 who should be receiving the ball and deffender 5 slide on the opposite corner to help.and deffender 3 stays on the 15 footline and that case no offence player is free for a shot.if ever offender 4 post up in the mid post deffender 4 is just near besides to guard him. I think offence will wave the ball then reset again a new plan.

guys what do you think am just amateur for this...try to figure out what am trying to say


supernova says:
6/16/2008 at 5:41:01 AM

it wont hurt, if offensive player 4 or 5 is a decent close range shooter.. that way,if defender 2 does go to the corner, offender 5 shall not go to the hoop but to screen defender 2 if he''s blocked off by defender 4, offender 4 sets up the screen,pick and roll, leaving him open for a quick lay up or drop to player 5, in case defensive player 1 drops down, under the hoop.then offensive player 5 now takes a quick shot.. either ways, there is now some one to collect the rebound, if the need arises..


Xkwizit says:
6/13/2008 at 11:01:54 AM

if defender 2 does decide to cover the corner and defender 4 thus stays in the key. Then offender 1 must be guarded by defender 5, otherwise offender 1 will have an open shot around the arc. Thus providing more space for offender 4 to post up around the midPost. As a result it should be possible for offender 3 to feed him the ball. If that happens, defender 4 must choose for offender 4 on the midpost or stay center to cover offender 2. The key is to get the ball at midpost, it will create a 2 on 1 for defender 4.

What do you guys think? Perhaps I overlooked something..


Joe says:
6/13/2008 at 10:44:15 AM

Good question. This play is designed for the 131 defense that has the bottom player (Player 4 in the diagrams above) cover the corner.

If that does not happen, this play can be ineffective.


Xkwizit says:
6/13/2008 at 9:34:03 AM

What if defensive player 2 decides to cover down to the corner so defensive player 4 can stay in the key?


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