Beren Academy’s boys basketball team lost in the state finals, but at least they got to play.
Beren, an Orthodox Jewish Day School in Houston, won the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class 2A state semifinals Friday, beating Dallas Covenant 58-46. The school was almost denied that chance when earlier this week when an eight-member board voted not to change the schedule of the championship tournament to accommodate players who observe the Jewish Sabbath.
Houston Chronicle sports columnist Jerome Solomon believes that would have been a mistake.
“Especially at this level, it should be about the kids playing and enjoying themselves, not about adults fighting over silly things,” Solomon said.
Three players and their parents filed a lawsuit to require a change in the tournament schedule on Thursday. Under legal pressure, TAPPS quickly changed the time of the games on Friday and Saturday.
Solomon said that should have been the solution all along.
“The Texas Christian Athletic League, another private school league which has Christian in its name, unlike TAPPS, faced the exact same situation for its championship game last year. The game was scheduled for 4:30. They moved the game to 8:30 that night and played it. It was no big deal.”
With their win over Dallas Covenant, Beren Academy advanced to the finals against Abilene Christian. Beren trailed by 12 before closing the gap to 2 in the final minute, but eventually lost 46-42.