Oyster Press Breaker

  • Contributor

Dave Nichols

Oyster River High School
New Hampshire Class I State Champions

  • Strategy

This is a reliable press break scheme that helps you get the ball in safely and push it downcourt to beat the pressure.

We’ve also included a great counter that can help you take advantage of an overly aggressive defense.

  • How It Works

  1. 1 and 5 should be on the ball side and after 1 cuts off 5’s screen to either side, 5 pivot seals and cuts back toward 3 with her hands up as a target.
  2. The guards, 1 and 2, should be open unless there’s been a switch.  If the defense switches it puts the point guard defender on 5 and she will be open to receive the inbounds pass.
  3. If 1 has the ball, 2 cuts diagonally across toward the division line and 3 uses 5 as a screen to also cut downcourt. You can also clear out and let 1 advance the ball, with 5 nearby as a safety.

Diagram 1

Diagram 2

  • Option

  1. If the inbounds pass goes to 2, 5 screens 3, who will cut into the middle and then off to either side, then 5 screens 1 cutting into the middle.  Again, if 5’s man switches to deny either guard, 5 will pivot, seal and cut to the ball with her hands up as a high target.
  2. Only give the ball to 3 if she is wide open.  Instead, look for 1.  3’s cut often clears out the middle for 1 to follow, almost like a moving screen.
  3. If the inbounds pass goes to 5, 2 will cut down court, 1 screens for 3, who cuts down the near sideline, and 1 pivots, seals and cuts toward 5 for the pass and 1 advances the ball with 5 as a safety.
  4. Since 1’s defender is often their best defender we find that she will work hard to deny the pass to 3 as 1 sets that screen, and she will either help or switch, either of which gives 1 a good chance to be open.

Diagram 3

Diagram 4

  • Counter

Sometimes a team will put five real quick defenders in to deny hard, often in the final seconds of a close game where we are up one or two and the opponent needs to get the steal or foul immediately.

  1. In this situation, call out a name, usually number 4, “Name, Take It Out!”  3 picks up the ball but then makes a nod of acknowledgment that she hears the instruction.
  2. 3 passes it over to 4 who has stepped out of bounds as well, and then takes a step away.
  3. 1 and 2 cut hard toward the baseline, 5 normally is setting a screen for 1 but instead sets a screen on 3’s defender.
  4. 3 sprints toward our basket and 4 throws a baseball pass to her for an easy layup.  We almost always score on this play.
  5. If 3 can’t score but she does catch the pass she can hold it and draw the foul or dribble out the clock with a lot of open space.
  6. If 3 is not open, 1 and 2, who are now on the baseline, both break hard downcourt, and 5 is still available as a safety release or 4 can call timeout.

The players love to run this play, and enjoy the play-acting, and fans love to see it.

Diagram 5: Counter

Diagram 6: Counter