Beren loses quadruple overtime thriller


NEW YORK (JTA) — Beren Academy, which made international headlines last year with its battle to avoid a forfeit in the Texas state boys’ basketball tournament over a Sabbath scheduling conflict, lost in quadruple overtime in the state semifinals.

Beren fell to Boerne Geneva, 68-67, on Friday afternoon in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools 2A tournament — for schools with enrollments of 55 to 120 students — in Fort Worth. A last-second layup to win the game for the Stars rimmed out.

The Houston Jewish day school had forced a fourth overtime with a running three-pointer from 30 feet at the buzzer. Senior Zach Yosser, the only returning starter from last year, scored 30 points for Beren.

Supporters said Beren would have been the first Jewish school to win a state championship.

Beren lost in the 2A title game last season after initially being forced to forfeit its semifinal because the game, scheduled for Friday night, conflicted with the Sabbath. The academy fought TAPPS to have the game rescheduled to Friday afternoon and eventually won the battle.

Following the controversy, TAPPS instituted a new policy, posted on the association’s website, stating that religious accommodation “shall be the standard as TAPPS prepares for state competitions that are accessible to all member schools and the students that they serve through team activities.” The new policy went into effect for the 2012-13 school year.

Meanwhile, Chicagoland Jewish High School lost on Saturday night for a trip to the Class 1A state semifinals in Illinois.

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