LITHIA — The underdog card ran out for host Newsome in Saturday night's Class 5A region final.
Not given much of a playoff chance, thanks in part to six previous seasons without a postseason victory, the Wolves came within one game — two points actually — of a state final four berth.
Bartow, a state finalist last season, dashed their hopes with a 60-58 win.
"We were one game away, two points," Newsome coach Jon Mackey said. "I'm proud of how far we've gone."
Newsome, riding a six-game win streak, was outscored in each of the first three quarters and trailed by 11 points before reversing that trend in the final stanza.
The Wolves outscored the Yellow Jackets 27-18 the rest of the way, but sill came up short.
Baskets in the lane by Trent Mackey and Jake Hodges pulled Newsome within three points (58-55) of Bartow with 10 seconds left, but Jerimiah Samarrippas clinched it by making two free throws.
Newsome's Samal Shepherd scored a game-high 19 points, Hodges had 17 and Mackey 11. Samarrippas led Bartow (23-5) with 17 while three teammates each finished with nine.
Newsome (22-9) took an early lead at 8-3, but wound up behind 17-11 in the first quarter and never got within two points again.
"We kind of played up and down and they came back and kept the lead," Jon Mackey said.
"There's times when we played well, then there's times when we went in the tank. If we could have been a little more consistent."