The quiet could only be described as eerie as Frankford senior Shafee Cosby stepped to the foul line with 3 seconds left and the score knotted at 56 on senior night.
The home crowd on Tuesday at Frankford had been raucous, and even supporters for Simon Gratz had made their presence felt, so when a hush fell over the crowd as Cosby prepared for glory, it may have been unnerving to some — just not Cosby.
“It got real quiet,” Cosby said with a smile. “It felt like I was by myself.”
The solitude helped.
The 5-9, 160-pounder calmly sank both free throws and gave the Pioneers a 58-56 victory after the Bulldogs’ last gasp went begging.
Cosby, who had been daydreaming of the game in class all day, said the silence was like being at the park at 8th and Duncannon where he grew up.
“It helped,” he said, “because when you’re by yourself, you don’t have to worry about nothing but just focusing on these free throws and knocking ’em down.”
In addition to his late-game heroics, Cosby, who played last season at Olney, led all scorers with 23 points.
He scored 17 first-half points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the three-point line and 4-of-4 from the foul line.
Fellow senior Kureese Rogers also added 16 points for Frankford.
Gratz was led by Quadri Blount’s 17 points, including five in the fourth.
The Pioneers (12-9, 8-3) jumped out to a 21-11 lead early in the first quarter before Gratz got within 35-29 at the break.
Frankford sprinted out again, taking an 11-point lead early in the third quarter, but the feisty Bulldogs (12-8, 7-4) eventually tied the game with a layup and a foul with 43 seconds left.
Gratz couldn’t, however, convert on the go-ahead free-throw attempt.
On the Pioneers’ ensuing possession, Cosby, who said he’s made game-winning shots before, got fouled en route to the basket.
“I’ve been told all my life that when I’m at the line, just block everything else out,” he said.
“It’s an amazing feeling, especially to win a game off two free throws,” he said. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Gratz 11 18 10 17 56
Frankford 21 14 11 12 58
G: Quadri Blount 17, Yasir Stover 10, Jaron Flowers 8, Malik Green 8, William Moore 7, Kyrey Ryan 3, Breon Pinkney 3.
F: Shafee Cosby 23, Kureese Rogers 16, Stavin Tukes 4, Steven Martinez 4, Jayquan Williams 6, Seydou Ndiaye 4, Izayiah Adams 1.