1-4 High “Sonic” has 2 options

From Bill Liley, the head boys coach at Newton High, Iowa.

Starting from a 1-4 High, create action on the left side, then attack the right off a ball screen and either hit the roller in the lane or the shooter flaring to the corner.

Why use it

1-4 High plays are tricky to defend in that so much focus is on the perimeter, you are left with high-percentage scoring opportunities near the rim and in the corners if you properly attack the defense.

Set up

Place your guards on the outside of the 1-4 High and your forwards at the elbows. The point guard is dribbling on the left side of the set.

1-4 High "Sonic" has 2 options

How to play

1 starts the action with an entry pass to 4 at the left elbow. 2 pulls his or her defender low, then pops back toward the perimeter as 1 shifts a bit lower after making the pass [1]. 1 screens 2’s defender and 2 moves toward the baseline. 4 pivots to the right and dribbles in that direction and uses a ball screen from 5. 5 begins to roll to the hoop. 3 relocates to the corner [2]. 4 attacks the right side and either has 5 rolling to the hoop in the empty lane or passes to 3 in the corner as the defenders collapse 4’s dribble [3].


With the ball entering on the left, and 1 and 2 moving on that side of the floor, defensive attention is pulled in that direction. Instruct 5 to seal the defender he screens, then he has an open roll through the lane for a possible layup. 3 must space to the corner to force his or her defender into a decision as 4 comes free on the right.

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