SPRINGFIELD -- Inspired by their late coach Stephanie Phillips, the Lady Chiefs dressed in pink on Thursday night when they took the court.
"She always told me, she said, 'What do you think about getting pink uniforms? I'd really like to do that,' and we were able to make that happen. She's looking down on us tonight smiling," said Jim Pendergrass, the girls' head basketball coach at Kickapoo.
Coach Phillips passed away nearly a year and a half ago after battling cancer for three years.
She started the Lady Chief Invitational, so it was only fitting that it was renamed this year to the Stephanie Phillips Classic.
Before the game, the team honored Stephanie's family.
"She would have been really probably overwhelmed by it like she was for a lot of the attention she got," explained Scott Phillips, Stephanie's husband.
She may have been overwhelmed, but the attention was well deserved say those who were moved by her and her brave fight against colon cancer.
"At practise sometimes she would pull me off to the side and say, 'as long as you are going your hardest all the time that's all that matters. Just go as hard as you can all the time and always have fun with it.'" said senior Lauren Rowland.
She was their coach, but she was so much more.
Phillips' taught her girls how to play, though the lessons didn't end with basketball.
"She always told us to cherish the moment. Especially this being my last year and all the seniors last year, we go out there and we cherish every single moment we have together," said senior Zoe Allen.
Coach Phillips is a reminder that we lose people, but they never leave us.
"She's here everyday. When somebody is in your heart and your soul, they're never going to leave," said Pendergrass.