Lady Jaguars win game 24 hours after losing beloved coach

LAKE CITY, S.C. (WCIV) It was a bittersweet win for the Kingstree High School Lady Jaguars Tuesday night after losing their head coach, Sonya Burgess, in a tragic car accident just 24 hours earlier.

The team traveled to Lake City where they played{} the Lady Panthers. Kingstree won the game 57-44. The win now sends them to the Lower State Championship Game.

"We want Coach Burgess to know that we love her and we're going to play for her no matter what," said player Ayanna Fulmore.{}"I told her (Coach Burgess) to watch over us and make sure we play as hard as we can and not just get on the court and cry because she's gone."

With heavy hearts, the girls gave it their all to win Tuesday's big game.

"Ms. Burgess was with us tonight and we done that for her and we ain't stopping now," said interim coach Theotis Faison.

Burgess' absent was noticeably felt by everyone who crossed her path. Before the game, there was a moment of silence held in her memory.

State Troopers say a car pulled in front of her SUV on Monday night going the wrong way on Highway 52 in Kingstree.

"Somebody just took a chance and failed to stop and even check on them," said Marcus Burgess, the coach's husband.

Troopers say Burgess was able to get out of the SUV but was then hit by another vehicle that also fled the scene of the accident.

"If they would have took the time to check on them, I really think my wife would still been here today," said Marcus Burgess.

Although gone in flesh, those who loved and admired Coach Burgess say she was at the game in spirit.

"Angels on the court when God's for you, there's nothing no man can put anyone against you," said Marcus Burgess.

"She always told us not to give up like no matter how much doubt, we fight to the end. That's why I miss her," said Fulmore. "Nobody is going to care about us like she cared about us."

Burgess leaves behind three children. They were in the accident with their mom but are said to be doing okay.

The funeral for Burgess will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Kingstree High gym.

Highway Patrol says a person of interest in the case was identified and is being interviewed. They say the investigation is ongoing.

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