Basketball is just a game, but it can also a bond.
"We were like best friends... He was awesome," said Newcastle senior Sara Hamilton.
For one shooting guard in Newcastle, it is a bond between brother and sister. This is Sara Hamilton's senior year and her 23-year-old brother Matthew never missed a game.
"He would always be in the stand cheering and stuff," Hamilton said.
But on December 14, Matthew was on a ski trip with friends in New Mexico, unable to attend Hamilton's game. So immediately after the game, she texted her brother about the big win.
"He was like ‘you keep working baby sis,'" Hamilton said.
And that text would be the last time Hamilton spoke to her brother.
"She held us and said, ‘Matthew was killed in a car accident this morning,'" Hamilton said.
That Monday morning, Hamilton's mom told her Matthew had been involved in a single car accident, and was thrown from the vehicle.
"We both just dropped and screaming and crying on the ground," said Hamilton.
The very next day, Newcastle was taking on Purcell, and Hamilton knew her brother wouldn't want her to grieve at home.
"Just knowing the last thing we talked about was basketball is what pushed me to play," Hamilton said.
So that night, basketball became much more than a game.
"I switched to #22 for Matthew because that's what he always wore," Hamilton said.
The entire game was tough for Hamilton. But with seconds to go, it was about to change. Before the game, Newcastle Coach Brett Sanders has conspired a plan with the Purcell coach without Hamilton's knowledge.
"Would he mind giving the last shot for her brother, and he said no, he wouldn't mind at all," said Coach Brett Sanders.
So with 15 seconds left, Hamilton was put into the game.
"He looked down at me and said ‘are you ready to do this Sara?' and I said ‘I'm ready,'" Hamilton said.
Hamilton went oh for three on her first three attempts at a shot for Matthew, so coached called one final time out.
"This is for Matt. And the goal is this big," Hamilton said.
"Go put the thing in for your brother," Sanders said.
Then, right before the buzzer...
"And I just shot it, focusing Mathew, Matthew, Matthew," said Hamilton.
"You could just tell it was going in when it left her hand. It was beautiful," said Sanders.
Hamilton made her final shot, was awarded the game ball alongside her other brother, and together they stood wept and held each other, for Matthew.
Monday was also Matthew's birthday.