Skip to main content

Teams should play to their defensive strengths

A lot of coaches will tell you that when they're prepping for playoffs, they try to simply focus on themselves. They aren't worried about what their opponent might run, or what situations to game plan for.

Some coaches, though, will spend hours upon hours studying film, then running specific defenses or offenses to try to combat their opponents.

I can't guarantee which strategy is better, but one thing I do know is running something unfamiliar can be detrimental.

Greencastle-Antrim's boys team tried to use a diamond-and-one defense against Reading and Lonnie Walker, one of the top players in the state. Although the Blue Devils held Walker down early in the game - he had just one field goal in the first half - the defensive scheme was not something G-A could sustain.

"We've seen all kind of junk defenses, and the benefit of that is teams don't run those defenses," Red Knights coach Rick Perez said. "That's not a habit, so we know there's some discomfort in it."

The McConnellsburg Lady Spartans played in uncharted waters Friday when they hosted Johnstown Christian in the District 5 Class A quarterfinals. Spartan coach Brent Seville played with the idea of implementing a junk defense, but thought better of it.

"We were planning to run some junk against Johnstown Christian because they have those two really good shooters," Seville said. "We practiced it, but the girls didn't feel comfortable with it. We ended up playing a normal zone defense against them, and it worked out for us because the rest of their team scored five points. If you get them into a defense they're not comfortable with, they can't communicate well."

Sometimes, it's better just to keep it simple.