- Upper Division
By Matan Halzel, Varsity Assistant Coach
On Monday morning, March 8, 2021, the Denver Jewish Day School Varsity Boys Basketball Team eagerly waited on the edge of their seats for the 24-Team Class 1A State Tournament Bracket to be released. In a matter of minutes, a room full of serious faces turned to smiles as the Varsity Boys secured their first-ever 1st Round Bye in the Round of 24 in school history. The Tigers locked up the #8 Seed and secured a spot in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season.
In a basketball season unlike any other - within a school year unlike any other - the DJDS Varsity Boys Basketball Team worked hard, persevered, and had an incredible season, finishing with an 8-2 overall record. Not even two months ago, it was uncertain if a season would even be able to be completed, but here we are. Fresh off a Sweet 16 berth last season, the Tigers are right back in the mix with the top 1A teams in Colorado, and with a very unique opportunity.
In a normal basketball season, the Round of 24 and all games beyond would be played at neutral sites. However, this 2021 pandemic-shortened season is unlike any other, so all games until the State Championship will be played on the home court of the higher-seeded team. You can take a look at the full 24-team Class 1A State Bracket below. You can also download or print the whole bracket by clicking here.
As you can see, our Tigers will either play the #9 Seed, Briggsdale, or the #24 Seed, Rocky Mountain Lutheran. Briggsdale is the favorite to win in this matchup, which will take place tonight at 7 PM. If Briggsdale wins, this would lead to a Sweet 16 showdown and a rematch of last year's closely contested Sweet 16 matchup where Briggsdale narrowly defeated our Tigers.
"What an incredible and exciting time for our Varsity Boys basketball program," said Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach, Michael Foonberg. "I truly could not be happier for this group of young men, and I know they will be ready come Thursday night."
Our Varsity Boys have a great chance to make school history. There has never been a basketball team in DJDS history to advance to the Great 8, and these boys are fully aware of this unique opportunity. Five players from last year's Varsity Boys Basketball Team carry experience from their playoff run, which will undoubtedly be valuable heading into the playoffs this season.
"I have been thinking about this moment and opportunity for nearly four years," said Senior and Team Captain, Emmett Wechsler. "All I can tell you is that I'm ready. Our whole team is ready."
Thursday night's game will be taking place at the Strear Family Gymnasium at 5 PM, and it will be livestreamed in HD quality on our Athletics YouTube Channel. The game will appear on the stream at approximately 4:45 PM, and you can watch it by clicking here. Go Tigers!