The Chicagoland Jewish High School boys basketball is only two wins away from heading to the Class 1A state semifinals.
If they make it, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) has agreed to tweak the schedule so the team can observe the Sabbath. The IHSA made its first schedule change when it moved the Tigers' Sectional title game against Newark from 7:30 p.m. today to 7:30 p.m. tomorrow.
Should they win the next two games, the state semifinal match, originally scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Peoria, will be rescheduled for Saturday evening. That way, the Deerfield team can observe the Jewish Sabbath, according to a press release issued by the Illinois High School Association.
The Class 2A games would be played during the first session (12:15 p.m., 2:00 p.m.) on Saturday, March 9, according to the release. The 1A games would be played in the evening. The revised schedule would accommodate Chicagoland Jewish High School, which would be unable to play after sundown Friday until after sundown Saturday.
"It's a unique situation," Chicagoland Jewish athletic director Joshua Gleicher told the Chicago Tribune. "We knew we had a very good team and a good shot at coming out of regionals, so I tried to be upfront with the IHSA in the event that we made it this far. The IHSA has been very accommodating."
The IHSA made its first move to accomodate CJHS right after the Tigers defeated Mooseheart in the Sectional semifinal to advance to Saturday's title game originally slated at 7:30 p.m. today.
The game was moved to 7:30 p.m. Saturday so the team and its fans can celebrate the Sabbath, according to CJHS Marketing and Communications Manager Tara Seymour.
Since the Tigers cannot travel from their homes to the school and on to Mooseheart after sunset Saturday in time to be ready for the Newark contest, they will leave school today for a Naperville hotel, acording to Seymour. They will observe the Sabbath there tonight and Saturday before head to the game.
The winner of the Mooseheart Sectional advances to Tuesday's Super-Sectional at Northern Illinois University, with the Super-Sectional winner advancing to the state tournament in Peoria.
Marty Dello, the team's basketball coach, is excited about how well the team has performed this season.
"I am very proud of the team because they hung in there and fought from the beginning of the game and didn't stop until the final whistle," he said about the team's win this week. "It is a great victory for the team, the coaches and parents, the school, and our community."