Class A Division I boys: Mount Vernon 48, Paideia 40

The Mount Vernon boys won the 2024 Class A Division I championship by beating Paideia 48-40 on March 9, 2024 in Macon.

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

The Mount Vernon boys won the 2024 Class A Division I championship by beating Paideia 48-40 on March 9, 2024 in Macon.

MACON — All the Mount Vernon boys needed to get over the hump on Saturday was a big dose of Xavier Shegog.

The 6-foot-6 senior scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half to help the No. 1-ranked Mustangs beat No. 6-ranked Paideia 48-40 and win the Class A Division I championship at the Macon Coliseum.

“He struggled in the first half, and in the second half he found himself and he got right to it,” Mount Vernon coach Tarrik Mabon said. “When he plays like that and he’s not second-guessing, he’s a pretty good basketball player.”

Shegog, who signed with West Georgia, scored the final eight points of the third quarter to turn the momentum in favor of Mount Vernon. That run included a three-point play and a rim-rattling slam dunk off an alley-oop pass from point guard Gabe Alterman.

Shegog finished 6-for-9 from the field and 6-for-9 from the line, with seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

“I recognized the mismatch, and I just went to work,” Shegog said. “This is my second one. I got one back home (Goodpasture Christian in Madison, Tennessee), so all glory to God.”

It was the third meeting of the year between the two schools. Paideia won the first game 61-58 on Jan. 23, but Mount Vernon prevailed 66-48 in the Region 6 championship game.

The Mount Vernon boys celebrate their Class A Division I championship win over Paideia at the Macon Coliseum, March 9, 2024.

Credit: Stan Awtrey

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Credit: Stan Awtrey

Paideia finished the first half strong and led 23-18. But Mount Vernon won the third quarter 17-4 and led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs limited Paideia to only 21.1% field-goal shooting in the second half, zero 3-pointers and produced 18 points in the paint.

“They settled down on offense and ramped it up on defense,” Mabon said. “They stopped second-guessing themselves and stepped on the gas and took off. Those Mustangs started running.”

Mount Vernon (23-9) also got 10 points and eight rebounds from Region 6 Player of the Year K.J. Garris, 10 points and six rebounds from Sha’Yah Goba and nine points and four blocks from Dennis Scott III.

Paideia (17-13) was led by freshman guard Tristan Mitchell with 16 points.

The victory also was a personal milestone for Mabon, who guided the school to its first state championship.

“This means everything to me,” Mabon said. “I’ve come a long way, been through a lot to get to this point. That’s why I was so emotional. Thirteen years ago I was living a lifestyle I wasn’t proud of. I quit everything and I leaned on God and now I’m here. That’s what this whole thing is about, giving God the glory. I try to sacrifice everything to live for him, and now I’m leading young men, and we won a state championship. I’m very blessed.”

Click here to see the official box score.