Orthodox school makes Texas basketball tourney semis


NEW YORK (JTA) — A Modern Orthodox school in Houston has reached the semifinals of the state AA boys’ basketball tournament in Texas for private and parochial schools.

The Robert M. Beren Academy advanced last Friday afternoon with a 27-point victory over Our Lady of the Hills Catholic High School of Kerrville. The AA tournament features schools with enrollments of 55 to 120 students.

Shortly after the win, Beren head coach Chris Cole credited Our Lady of the Hills for agreeing to play in the early afternoon. The game had been scheduled for Friday night, after the start of the Jewish Sabbath. Without the accommodation, Beren would have been forced to forfeit.

“They were very accommodating,” Cole said of the Catholic school. He added that it was unclear if the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, which runs the tournament, would be willing to reschedule the semifinals and finals, both of which are slated to take place during Shabbat on March 3 and 4.

Both games will be played in Mansfield, about 45 minutes from Dallas.

Cole said the Beren student athletes are “very excited.”

“It’s beyond their wildest dreams,” he said. “The community is very supportive. More and more people are coming to the games, and people have been nothing but supportive.”

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