LITHIA — Newsome's players had a request for Wolves coach Jon Mackey shortly before Saturday's Class 5A, District 8 final.
Could they cut down a net if Newsome won, they asked.
Such an act usually is performed when a team clinches a state final four berth, but given that his 7-year-old program had never claimed a district title, Mackey gave them the go-ahead.
Two hours later, the Wolves produced a 70-53 win over Tampa Bay Tech. As one player after the other climbed a ladder with scissors in hand, Mackey, the only coach the program has had, looked on with a smile with no concern about the net's cost.
"I've got about 20 of them in the equipment room," he said.
Newsome (20-8) led just 44-40 entering the final quarter but turned it on down the stretch against TBT (12-12), which had just one senior contributor.
"They had a nice run, and part of it was because of our youth," TBT coach Adrian Johnson said.
The Wolves entered as the third seed but were aided by hosting the tournament and because many players were on the 2009 district runnerup squad. "Every year, we've improved," Mackey said.
Forward Samal Shepherd led Newsome with 24 points, 11 coming in the third quarter as answers to TBT scores.
Titans guard Lacarlton Nelson led all scorers with 22.