Written by Corbett Smith
Yavneh Academy faces defending state champs Lubbock Christian for trip to TAPPS state tournament
It's been a triumphant return for Dallas' Yavneh Academy, coming back into the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools after a 12-year hiatus.
Yavneh's boys basketball team will face defending Class 3A champion Lubbock Christian on Tuesday night in Tuscola Jim Ned for a trip to this weekend's TAPPS state tournament.
"It's been a really great year for us," Dallas' Yavneh Academy boys basketball coach and athletic director David Zimmerman said.
Yavneh (32-4) has only one loss to a team from Texas (a 13-point road loss to St. Mark's), rolling through a tough District 4-3A unscathed - with season sweeps of First Baptist and Bullard Brook Hill.
Lubbock Christian (28-4), ranked No. 1 in the TABC small private schools rankings, will be "unquestionably the toughest game we've had all year," Zimmerman said. Yavneh, No. 2 in the TABC rankings, has managed its successes largely without their best scorer, guard Adam Karnett. Karnett - Yavneh's top scorer in 2013 - has been out since early January, breaking a finger in a win over Celina. Zimmerman said that the rest of his senior-laden line-up picked up the slack, including point guard Sam Kleinman (10.2 points and 5.9 assists) and post Adam Schor (10.8 points, 8.5 rebounds).
Zimmerman added that Karnett was cleared by doctors to return to play this week, and should see action on Tuesday.
When TAPPS changed it bylaws in 2012 to accommodate religious observances for schools that observe the Sabbath, Yavneh jumped at the chance to get his school's programs back into the state's largest private and parochial organization.
The Modern Orthodox Jewish school - located in north Dallas, not far from US Highway 75 and I-635 - was well aware of the problems that TAPPS had with its only other participating Jewish day school, Houston's Beren Academy. In March 2012, parents of Beren boys basketball players had to threaten legal action in order to get TAPPS - comprised nearly exclusively by Christian schools - to switch its state semifinal game so as to not violate the Sabbath - from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
But once the controversy settled down and the rules had been changed, TAPPS became a very desirable option. Yavneh - which has a tradition-rich basketball program - could have a chance at better schedules, post-season games and all-district recognition, Zimmerman said.
"It was a no-brainer for us, really," he said.