The Newsome High School boys’ varsity basketball season came to an end after a 76-42 state quarterfinal loss to Winter Haven on February 24. With a final record of 26-4, which is a win-loss record for Newsome basketball, this season was an astounding success for head coach Barry Jacobs and his team.
“I am really proud of the team, they have put in the work, and it was great for them to see it pay off with this season,” Jacobs said.
The team started hot from the jump, racking up a record of 22-1 to start the season, winning 15 of those games by a double-digit margin or greater. Newsome went on to win the district championship over Sumner High School before beating them again in the first round of the regional playoffs, eventually winning four playoff games in total.
While this season was a success, it was not necessarily a surprise, as the same core of players achieved an 18-8 record and notched two playoff wins and the district championship before being eliminated in the regional round. The pandemic put a strain on the team, as players quit the team during the difficult times, but the players who stayed with the program and put it in the work the last two years were rewarded.
“They are an experienced bunch, so that helps. When you have seven seniors that have mostly been in program for four years, they know the grind that this is. The practices, games, tournaments, you have to embrace it and put in extra time. You gotta love it, and make sure that you embrace the grind, don’t fight it if you want to find success,” Jacobs said.
Newsome has developed an impressive culture that is set to continue into next year and beyond as well. Though they are losing some key seniors, like team captain and 2023 FACA District 15 Player of the Year Jonathan Moore, two of the team’s leading scorers will be returning along with other key role players. Supplementing the loss of the seniors with JV players, there are high hopes for next year, as the team sets their sights on winning their third straight district title and hopefully avenging last year’s playoff loss.