By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Staying focused on a basketball game might not have been the top priority for Robert Sigala Saturday night at the Green House.
A year ago, Southwestern Heights was preparing for a homecoming game when the word reached the school that eighth grade student Tony Sigala had lost his battle with cancer.
While the games continued that night, Homecoming festivities were moved. The Saints basketball team went to the Corral to watch the games and offer their support.
Saturday, one year after the tragic loss, Robert Sigala stepped on the court to play for his younger brother.
In a tie game with less than 20 seconds to play, Sigala and Marky Nolen trapped Colby’s Aireus Stephenson and forced a turnover.
Nolen took the ball and sprinted to the goal. Sigala went with him, and Nolen made the pass, Sigala made the shot, was fouled, and Seward earned the win.
“Coach came out of the time out and said we wanted to get the trap,” Sigala said. “One of our most aggressive players is Marky Nolen. He got the ball, and the first thing that came to my mind was run with him. He gave me the ball, and I had to finish.”
Before Sigala could take his free throw Colby called a time out. But it didn’t ice the Saints sophomore. Instead, it gave him a chance to get a confidence booster form his coach.
“Coach put all the confidence in me,” he said. “He said, ‘After Robert hits this free throw and puts us up by three, let’s get a stop.’”
The Saints were able to keep Colby from getting a clean look in the final seconds to preserve the 67-64 win.
Sigala came out of the locker room wearing a shirt that said “Remembering Tony,” a clear indication that there were emotions running during the game.
“This was the one year anniversary,” Sigala said. “He was in my mind the whole night. The first thing came to my mind was do it all for him.”
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