Beat a 1-2-2 zone

From Willie Graham, head boys coach at McMinnville High Oregon

Working best against a 1-2-2 zone, this play uses ball reversal and a well-timed inside screen to allow the point guard to sneak behind the bottom defenders for an easy layup.

Why use it

A 1-2-2 zone is vulnerable at its lowest points. The hard part is moving the ball around the perimeter against an extra high defender, but if you navigate that part successfully, then inside options abound, including this set for a sneaky point guard.

Set up

1 is dribbling at the top of the set. 2 and 3 are stationed on opposite wings. 4 and 5 are positioned on opposite blocks.

Beat a 1-2-2 zone

How to play

1 dribbles at 2, which sends 2 through to the opposite corner. 3 moves a bit higher and 1 passes back to 3 [1].

5 flashes to the open area on the ball side, which brings that low defender with him. 3 passes to 2 in the corner. The backside wing defender drops and is screened by 4. 1 runs low toward the baseline [2].

1 cuts along the baseline and receives a pass from 2 for the layup as 5 should have the defender sealed so 1’s layup is uncontested. A left-handed layup is ideal in this situation as 1 is on the left side of the hoop and there is a better chance a right-handed one is blocked. [3].


If you are facing a 2-3 zone, stack 4 and 5 on the right side and go through the same motions where 4 still picks off the right-low defender and 5 occupies the middle defender by coming through the lane to the left side.

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