The girls varsity basketball team beat Globe 59-25 in their first game on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Globe.
“Globe looked tired, our whole team outran them. The coaches had us run hard in practice,” said Katelyn Curtis, a team captain who plays point.
As a senior, this is Curtis’ last year to play for Payson High School.
The Globe game confirmed the offense read-and-react tactic head coach Jennifer White has initiated this year. She felt proud of Tiana Lopez’s defense and she said Lanie O’Donnell couldn’t miss the basket.
“The girls moved the ball down the court really well. Our points were evenly spread amongst team members,” said White.
Curtis felt the team took care of the ball and played a really good offense, especially after focusing on those tactics in practice after the Winslow game.
“We practiced our offense instead of playing jungle ball,” said Curtis.
While the Globe game went well, as a new coach White won’t take any team for granted.
“Our scrimmage with Winslow was tough,” said White.
The young team’s embrace of the read-and-react offense promises a potentially interesting season, since it has gained more and more adherents in basketball programs since its development some 15 years ago.
The offense has particular promise for high school programs, since it builds on practiced teamwork rather than keying off a superstar.
Essentially, the system relies on drilling into players certain basic rules, that tell them how to automatically react to the movement of their teammates. In theory, the system creates a pattern of constant movement, trying to create the opening for a shot.
For instance, the system establishes five, evenly-spaced positions around the shooting perimeter. Seeking to set up a shot at the basket, the players occupy these positions. As soon as a player passes the ball to a teammate in the adjoining position, she makes a break for the basket.
If the player with the ball can pass it back to the teammate making that break for the basket, she will. Otherwise, she passes to a different teammate on a different spot on the perimeter, then makes her own break for the basket.
That’s just one small example of how the offensive system trains players to make constant movements according to a pattern their teammates can anticipate.
The system relies on teaching all the players to master the sometimes complex rules and to constantly read the positions of their teammates on the floor and react automatically to their movements.
So it puts a significant demand on the intelligence and adaptability of every player on the team, which works well without a super-star player to build the offense around.
However, the system also requires a lot of training drills and relentless practice, which makes it challenging for a young team and a new coach.
However, the system got a big boost with the lopsided win over Globe.