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Simply Perfect: Kennedy Catholic’s Backdoor Play Leads to Momentum-Building Points During Title Run

Monique Vincent looks to pass during Kennedy Catholic's PIAA championship game win. Photo by Paul Burdick

HERSHEY, Pa. – It’s a play as old as basketball itself.

See: Kennedy Catholic 65, Homer-Center 45Championship a Family Thing for Golden EaglesFields, a Woman Among Girls

But it needs near-perfect execution and players with high basketball IQs.

It’s the backdoor play leading to easy layup baskets, and it’s a play that helped Kennedy Catholic take home state gold in girls’ basketball for the first time since 2001.

As important to the Golden Eagles offense as feeding Layke Fields in the low post or Hayden Keith, Monique Vincent, and Bella Magestro knocking down long shots, the backdoor play was championship play.


‘“That backdoor cut always works for us,” Keith said. “It gave us a lot of momentum. It is something a lot of teams don’t even expect. It is always one of our go-to plays.”

Keth feeds Magestro with a perfect backdoor cut during the PIAA championship game against Homer-Center

Kennedy Catholic head coach Justin Magestro credits the play’s success to the disciplined nature of his players.

“I think for the most part we are pretty disciplined,” Magestro said. “We will run our set and call something out in order to make it go back door. We have several different variations. It’s off five variations. We probably run 60 or 70 sets. We are fortunate enough to have kids in our program who are able to remember them, execute them, and run them.”


Monique Vincent, who has been both the facilitator of the pass and the receiver at different times believes its the complete buy-in from all the Kennedy Catholic players that make the play go.

“I really think it’s successful because on every backdoor cut you have to commit,” Vincent said. “I think the girls on our team really commit to everything. So, I am able to throw the pass and be confident that my team is going to get it.”

Vincent scores on a backdoor play during the semifinal win over Greensburg Central Catholic

Senior Isabella Bianco said the more the team worked on the play the more it found its way into games.

“We work on it every single day,” Bianco said. “It just made its way in because it kept working in games. We just kept doing it and it kept producing pretty good offense, so we are going to keep doing it. It worked out pretty well.”

Bianco scores on a backdoor play in Kennedy Catholic’s semifinal win over Greensburg Central Catholic. Video courtesy of NFHS Network.

Bianco feeds Magestro during the PIAA championship game


Vincent believed the play brought the Golden Eagles a lot of momentum.

“Obviously scoring and having it be wide open plus a good pass, everybody is happy,” Vincent said. “It brings us momentum on defense.”

Magestro said a big part of the play was that it wasn’t predictable.

“Each game we put in three or four new sets,” Magestro said. “By the end of the season, it’s something new all the time. With Hudl and films and stuff like that, it’s pretty easy to know what you are going to do. Our coaching staff is huge in watching film, watching other players, other teams. As each game moves along we put in different inbounds plays different zone plays, everything. That is what we do.”


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