Beren Academy Loses in Motzoei Shabbos Final of Texas Basketball Tournament


beren-academyHouston’s Robert M. Beren Academy, which successfully appealed a scheduling conflict that nearly forced it to forfeit its place in a Texas basketball tournament this week, lost to Abilene Christian, 46-42, on Saturday night in the state championship game.

Only days ago, it appeared Beren Academy would not play in the tournament at all.

Beren Academy is an Orthodox Jewish school, and its players are shomrei Shabbos. [See’s earlier reports here, herehere and here.] The school was prepared to forfeit its semifinal game against the Covenant School of Dallas, which had been scheduled for 9 p.m. on Friday, unless the starting time of the game was moved up.

Beren officials appealed to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, the group that organizes the tournament, but the association said it would not change the starting time, citing its bylaws.

But on Thursday, after a group of Beren Academy parents and students filed a lawsuit, the association, known as Tapps, announced that it would comply with Beren Academy’s request. It rescheduled its Class 2A semifinal game for Friday afternoon, and also agreed to reschedule the championship game until after sundown if Beren Academy advanced.

The final, originally set for Saturday afternoon, was played at 8 p.m. at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth.

Beren Academy (24-6) trailed for much of the first two quarters before tying the score at halftime, 19-19. But Beren failed to keep pace with Abilene in the second half, trailing until the final buzzer.

“We’re just happy they had a chance to play,” Beren Academy Coach Chris Cole said.

{The New York Times/ Newscenter}


  1. I don’t understand how they were able to keep Shabbos. The game on Friday was 250 miles away from the one last night. 250 miles is a four hour drive (averaging 60 miles an hour… including traffic lights etc. 4 x 60 = 240)

    Shkia in Houston is about 6:23, so there was very little travel time on Friday (game started at 2 PM) and last night (game started at 9 PM – 2 hours max after Shabbos). I’m curious to know how they did it.

    I still respect their decision not to publicly desecrate Shabbos – it was a big deal for them. May they be rewarded for it.

    [On the other hand, once they filed that lawsuit, we should see the whole picture, lest we want to emulate that…]

  2. Both the Friday game and the Motzai Shabbos game were in Fort Worth. They traveled on Thursday.

    Mr. Anonymous should be ashamed of himself.

  3. To number 1:

    Please do a little research before you comment. The games on Friday and last night were in two high school gyms in Dallas, about 15 minutes away from each other. The boys went from Houston to Dallas on Thursday night and stayed in a hotel a few blocks form the site of last nights game. They had a very nice Shabbos in Dallas with friends and family and were able to get to the game last night 30 minutes before tip off.

  4. Anon 7:09 – Not sure what you are talking about. From the reports I have seen, the game on Friday was in Dallas and the Motzei Shabbos game was in Fort Worth, which is right next to Dallas. I assume that they didn’t go back to Houston (250 miles away) for Shabbos, but stayed in Dallas.

    Where is the problem?

  5. actually, maybe I should be dan lekaf zechus. #1 you probably did not realize that both games were in Dallas and the team stayed there for Shabbos.

  6. Hey Anonymous, how long do you think it takes to play a basketball game? Do you realize that the game was probably over by 4, leaving some travel time. In regards to your closing statement maybe you should analyze the circumstances surrounding the lawsuit before making g assumptions. There was nothing wrong with what they did and they made a tremendous kiddush hashem.

  7. Anonymous I am not their spokeperson and I have no idea, but let me say two words: Civil Aviation. In this case, in fact, there’s also Scheduled Flights. While we wait for the details, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

  8. To no. 1 you should be ashamed to even think that they would be mechallel shabbos before opening your mouth to find out where and when and how they got there, prior to your statements, when I want to hear your advice first I will flush::::::: DEI BECHEKIMAH UBIRMIZAH