With spring upon us, we're reaching one of the best times of the sporting calendar, where the final throes of the basketball playoffs intermingle with the start of baseball, lacrosse and track season. That's not to mention other spring sports like softball, spring soccer (different states play soccer in different seasons) and tennis.
Until the sport wraps up completely, it's hard not to lead with basketball, particularly with a wealth of high school slam dunk contests being held in conjunction with all star events. The highlights don't get much better than those, that's for sure.
• Joel Haywood, Denver (Colo.) Lutheran vs. Peyton (Colo.): What better way to kick off the weekly highlights than with a hand-in-the-face buzzer beater that earns one team a spot in the state title game? We all have Denver Lutheran point guard Joel Haywood to thank for that, just in time to settle in for another evening of March Madness magic.
• Malachi Nix, Niles North (Ill.) vs. Lake Park (Ill.): Sometimes there are so many amazing hoops highlights from the Chicago area that truly terrific clips get lost in the shuffle. That's rarely been more true than this clip of sophomore Malachi Nix, who came off the bench to help fill in for foul-prone star Abel Nader in Niles North's victory against Lake Park earlier in the state playoffs. Now those are some handles ...
• Deonte Haynes, Silverado (Calif.): This might be one of the better ways we've seen to win a senior dunk contest: Throw down some typically sick aerial dunks, then just leap directly over a pair of trash cans two-thirds of the way to the free throw line. Done and done.
• Daaron Flagg, Sulatana (Calif.) vs. Oak Hill (Calif.): This slam isn't as new as some others, but it was new to us. And as far as thunder slams go, it's on the list.
• Keanon Lowe, General Chappie (Ohio): The National Christian Home School Basketball Championship might not strike many people as a dunkfest, but Keanon Lowe and a few of his compadres helped bring the slam dunk sauce to the Missouri Ozarks nonetheless.
• Colby Jorgensen, Timpview (Utah): Jorgensen is off to play football at BYU, in his hometown of Provo, Utah, but if really fancies it, he might just be able to slide in and try to fill some of the void left by Jimmer Freddette's impending departure from the BYU basketball court. After all, if his arm-through-the-rim dunk proves one thing, it's that he has more hops than Jimmer already.
• Michael Haueisen, Bolles (Fla.) vs. Atlantic Coast (Fla.): Yes, the lacrosse season is well under way in Florida, and some teams are already engaging in midseason-level chicanery. Just check out this bounce pass from Bolles attackman Chris Lewis to teammate Michael Haueisen for a sick goal against Atlantic Coast.
• Andres Zuluaga, Melbourne (Fla.) Central: What, you thought we were done with football highlights? Well, we thought we were until fall 2011, too, until we tripped across this clip of Zuluaga's nifty spinning ball field goal trick. To be honest, we have no idea how difficult that truly is, but we're willing to bet that it isn't as simple as it looks ... even when it's filmed sideways.