5th grade girls travel season

Discussion in 'Game Reports' started by coachmt34, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. coachmt34 New Member

    Last year was our first travel season. 4th grade. We finished 18-13. We played in 6 tournaments, with 1 championship, 3 runner-ups and 2 3rd places. The growth was outstanding. Much of my offensive philosophy is to just teach them how to play together, meaning spacing, cutting, how to get open, how to use footwork to help you make a pass, etc. It lets us spend a ton of time on individual development.

    We got together for a 3on3 tournament in the summer, with 4 of our girls finishing 2nd in the BOYS division. Then we played in a fall league against some pretty good competition and finished with a record of 6-2. We met at the community center about once a week from late summer through fall and worked on shooting, playing 1on1, 3on3, ballhandling.

    The official travel season began in November. We added 1 new girl to the fold who has never played basketball before. She's really improving. We played a preseason tournament that included 1 6th grade team so that we could have a four team format. We ended up losing to them twice (once by 1 point) and they went on the win the tournament. We have continued to grow with strong fundamentals. We defeated a 6th grade team that beat us pretty bad last year. We took the championship in a holiday tournament against some of the toughest competition around and we got to avenge 3 losses from last year all in that one tourney!

    Our town hosts its own regular season travel league and the director asked me if I wanted to play our own 6th graders or a 6th grade team that was undefeated, winning every game by 20, had a girl that is probably abut 5'9" and drains three's.........we opted to play them. We played tough, team basketball and led by two points with under 2 minutes to go. It was tied with 40 seconds left, but their star just made a couple more plays and they pulled out the win.

    Our season record sits at 13-4 and we'll be playing in the league championship next Sunday. We have 9 players and every one of them has scored. Our shooting is really starting to improve. The basis of our offense is pass and cut or pass and screen away. We introduced them as two separate calls, but now we are trying to get the girls to run them as one whole offense. I know the screen away is not a true R&R action, but it's working for us. We also stress backcuts and the read-line and those are starting to be used a lot more. We've added a couple quick hitter plays and I think it has been much easier to install those because the girls understand the basic concepts of passing, cutting, screening and spacing. Defensively we are all man to man. We'll press full court man to man when we are allowed to and that is one of our deadliest weapons. Teams have tried pressing us but again, because of all of our fundamental work I think we have an easy time beating presses.

    I'll try to update with more game specific info and maybe some film eventually, as I'd love to hear your thoughts on where we can improve (compared to my own thoughts on the subject).
  2. coachmt34 New Member

    I guess my first game story will be now.....

    Yesterday we played a team that we have played 4 times already this season. The first game was a come from behind 1 point victory in the final minute. The rest we have won with much more ease.

    We had a bit of a slow start with some stagnant offense, but once we got attacking things started to flow. Our girls like to play fast, but in the first half when we're not allowed to press we get caught in a "walk it up the floor" game. I'm not saying we just have one player who runs the floor and dominates. When we press and play fast it's still a team game that involves multiple passes to reach the open player for a shot.

    Yesterday we weren't playing very enthusiastic defense early and we weren't hitting the boards, which were the two big reasons we weren't getting out and forcing our tempo. This team we played runs about 3 set plays and we typically shut them all down. But we still got trapped into the "walk it up" game early. We hit a buzzer beater at the end of the 1st and 2nd quarters and that seemed to get our energy up. We led 10-6 at halftime.

    In the second half we didn't open with our press. It was slow going back and forth again and I think it was 13-10 us halfway through the 3rd. Then we jumped into our m2m fullcourt, forced our tempo and blew things open. In the blink of an eye it was 21-10. The final score ended up being 29-13. We moved the ball much better once the press got our blood flowing. This team we played likes to try a 3-1-1 halfcourt trap and we've developed a really nice counter to it. They ran it one time, our girls heard their coach calling the name of their trap D, so our girls started yelling out the name of our counter to it. 4 passes later we hit a wide open elbow jumper, hopped into our fullcourt press and the game was over from there.

    We had some really good help D and for the 3rd game in a row we had a player take a charge. And it's been 3 different players. There were a couple really nice back cuts that we hit, but just didn't convert the layup (5th grade girls, what can I say!? LOL) and one of our bigger girls finally used the up and under move we've been working on. We've been focusing on individual attack moves and secondary moves to beat the help defender and it was good to see those being put to use by several girls.

    Looking at our stats, we were averaging 9 made field goals per game and 4 assists per game. So we average an assist on almost half of our made baskets, which to me is really good. Lots of room to improve though.
  3. Coach Dennis Moderator

    Thanks for sharing coach!

    The screen away is an action in the R&R if the screener cuts to the basket after a screen. Have a look at X-cuts, which basically is just a screen away followed by a cut to the basket.

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