T.J. Cosper didn’t want to leave the Grain Valley locker room Wednesday night.

That’s because the senior guard knew it would be his last time to walk across the court, meet his family and talk about an Eagles basketball game.

T.J. Cosper didn’t want to leave the Grain Valley locker room Wednesday night.
That’s because the senior guard knew it would be his last time to walk across the court, meet his family and talk about an Eagles basketball game.
Despite a solid all-around game from Cosper – who came up with back-to-back steals to give Grain Valley a 42-38 lead with 2:04 left in the game – Pleasant Hill rallied for a 46-42 win in the Class 4 District 14 semifinals at Grain Valley High School.
“That kid left it all on the court,” Grain Valley coach Andy Herbert said, pointing to Cosper, who finished with 11 points. “All our guys left it all on the court all year. It’s tough to think about the good things now. It’s always so hard to say goodbye to the seniors, especially kids like T.J., who mean so much to the team – but we did a lot, and no one really expected much from this team.
“We really wanted to make it to the championship game Friday night. The game was just 2 minutes and 4 seconds too long.”
Following his first theft, Cosper was fouled and hit both free throws. He then picked another Rooster’s pocket and drove for a layup.
“I thought we had it won, I really did,” said Cosper, tears welling in his eyes. “But we didn’t finish. And that’s what we’d been so good at all season. This one is going to hurt for a long time.”
Following the layup, the Eagles missed two free throws and turned the ball over on five consecutive possessions.
“That was so unlike this team,” Herbert said. “We got off to the horrible start, which was unlike anything the team has been doing, and we had to fight back the entire game.
“When we finally take the lead, we just can’t hold it.”
The Roosters, who lost both regular season games to the Eagles, grabbed a quick 10-0 first-quarter lead. But Grain Valley scored the next six points of the first quarter to trail by four going into the second quarter.
The Roosters took a 25-13 lead into halftime, but Derreon Parker provided a third-quarter spark, scoring seven points to help the Eagles outscore the Roosters 20-5 and take 33-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Pleasant Hill, though, hit two 3-point bombs to open the fourth quarter, only to see the Eagles storm back to take the lead on Cosper’s defensive gems.
“No one even knew who T.J. Cosper was at the beginning of the season,” Herbert said, forcing a thin smile on his face. “Well, they know who he is now.”
Parker finished with nine points and Greg Spartz added eight.