Kash is King, at least at Mt. Pisgah Christian.

Kasheem Grady, known around school by his abbreviated first name and his bright Carolina-blue shoes, will forever be known as the guy who made the winning shot to give his school its first state championship.

Grady came up with a steal and knocked down the winning basket as time expired to give Mt. Pisgah Christian a 43-41 win against Holy Innocents’ in the Class A Private championship game at the Macon Coliseum. The shot capped a dramatic comeback that saw the Patriots score the game’s final six points and stun the Bears, who led by eight with 2:11 left.

“They call me Kash,” Grady said, clutching the game ball and state championship trophy in his right arm. “I lived up to the hype tonight.”

Mt. Pisgah Christian cut the lead to 41-37 on a pair of free throws by Nate Gordon, then JoJo Peterson stole the inbound pass and scored. The Patriots tied the score after Holy Innocents’ turned it over on traveling – one of three turnovers in the final 1:03 – and Gordon’s jumper in the lane rattled around and fell through to even the score at 41-41 with 27 seconds left.

“Our backs were against the wall,” Mt. Pisgah Christian coach Matt Hixenbaugh said. “Our guys didn’t give up. They realized we had to make some plays, and we made a string of them.”

That set up Grady’s heroics. A Holy Innocents’ player tried to dribble through the defense, and Grady came away with the steal. With time running out, the junior pulled up and connected on the mid-range jumper, then ended up on the bottom of a huge celebratory dogpile.

“Our guys made a great play,” Hixenbaugh said. “He has such a high basketball IQ. To get the steal and to not panic, to realize he had four seconds left and couldn’t get to the rim, and pull up and get the shot off shows his feel for the game. The fact it went in is a dream come true.”

Mt. Pisgah Christian (27-8) was led by Gordon, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Peterson with 11 points. Grady scored eight. The Patriots finished the season with a 13-game winning streak.

Holy Innocents’ (16-4) got 14 points from Landon Kardian and nine from Walker Wolf. Garrison Powell had a game-high 13 rebounds.

Holy Innocents’ used a 10-3 run – five of those points coming on free throws by Kardian -- in the quarter to take the early 12-6 advantage. The Bears never gave up the lead, which it held for all but 21 seconds, although Mt. Pisgah Christian made it a 23-22 game at the half on a follow by Gordon.

Mount Pisgah Christian took the lead with a 7-0 run and made the score 29-26 on Peterson’s basket. But Holy Innocents’ responded by scoring nine consecutive points, the last on a fast-break basket by Wilson for a 35-29 lead at the 2:47 mark.


Holy Innocents’– 16-7-14-4—41

Mt. Pisgah Christian – 13-9-10-11—43

Holy Innocents’: Garrison Powell 7, Justin Wilson 6, Harrison Verlander 5, Landon Kardian 14, Walker Wolf 9.

Mt. Pisgah Christian: Chase Tucker 7, JoJo Peterson 11, Garret Sutherland 3, Nate Gordon 14, Kasheem Grady 8.