Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Writing. Photography. Video. The home of Jesuit High School student journalism.

Jesuit Chronicle

Potter’s Crusaders prepare for stacked Metro League, seek first Chiles Center appearance since 2019

Margo Delaney
Junior Patrick Kilfoil and freshman Isaac Bongen headline a high powered Jesuit offense.

Seeking their first Chiles Center berth since 2019, the Jesuit Crusaders feel confident as they enter Metro league play with an 8-4 record and are ranked as a top 10 team in the state. The Crusaders also have played one of the toughest schedules in Oregon, playing games against top ranked Central Catholic, two time defending state champion Tualatin, and nationally recognized Perry from Arizona.

With the Crusaders looking to make a deep run in the playoffs and end the Chiles Center drought, playing high level competition early in the season will pay off and prepare the Gene Potter led Jesuit for their Metro League run and late season push.

As the Crusaders enter Metro League play, they will face some of the best teams in the state as Metro is one of the strongest leagues in the entire state.

Last season, Southridge, Beaverton, and Mountainside concluded the regular season with a three-way tie for the league’s top spot. This year, the Skyhawks maintain their entire starting lineup, while the Mavericks welcome back Brayden Boe, last season’s Metro League Player of the Year. Although Beaverton and Jesuit graduated first-team players, both teams still have impressive rosters with Jesuit welcoming some new faces that we did not see last season.

Isaac Bongen
Bongen is the first freshman to play on Potter’s varsity squad since Ryan Bay over a decade ago. Potter may not be one to put a lot of freshmen on varsity, but when he does, you know they are a special talent. Kyle Wiltjer and Mike Dunleavy who both played in the NBA are also on the shortlist of names who played for Potter as freshmen.

It is pretty clear to everyone in the state that Potter has found something special in Bongen. Arguably the best player on a very talented Jesuit team, Bongen has been nothing short of fantastic.

An extremely athletic guard who stands at 6’2, Bongen still has room to grow and could add another two to three inches to his build. He shoots the three at as high of a level as anyone in the state and also plays great defense. He is hyper athletic and his potential is through the roof.

Bongen currently ranks as the number one player in Oregon in the class of 2027 and ranked 26 in the nation.

Patrick Kilfoil
Kilfoil undoubtedly is the captain of the Crusader offense and brings Potter’s scheme to life. Kilfoil, now a junior, made varsity last season as a sophomore but did not see the court due to a foot injury. He did come back at the end of the season but only played a limited role.

This season, Kilfoil has gotten off to a monster start, having multiple 30 point games in the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational. He shoots the ball very well, can get to the basket and can also dish to the corners and out of the pick and roll game.

Pay attention to Kilfoil as he could also be a dark horse candidate for Metro player of the year.

Nico Rafalovich
Rafalovich rounds out the Crusaders “Big 3” and possesses a taller and lengthier build than both Kilfoil and Bongen. Rafalovich has been nothing other than reliable for Potter on both sides of the ball.

He has an uncanny ability to shoot the mid range jumper and can get the hoop at an extremely high level. Using his length and size, Rafalovich is a skilled defender, often responsible for the opposing team’s top offensive threat.

Rafalovich has the task of guarding 5 star forward Koa Peat from Perry in the LSI and held him to only 11 points. Rafalovich scored 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in a matchup that the majority of people thought Peat would win.

Tyler Curvy and Hudson Rommel
Every great team has elite scorers and Jesuit has that in Bongen, Kilfoil, and Rafalovich, but Jesuit has a pair of very experienced role players that have proven to be vital to the team.

Seniors Curvy and Rommel have been extremely reliable on both sides of the ball. Curvy, a shifty, athletic point guard rarely turns the ball over and dishes out multiple seemingly impossible looking assists each game. Curvy has started to heat up in the scoring department and has started to put up more shots.

If Curvy can continue growing confidence in his game, he could turn into a huge problem for other teams.

Rommel brings a defensive presence that the Crusaders can lack at times. Using his strong, athletic build he rebounds and plays defense very efficiently. He has also become a serious threat from the beyond the arc and has become a trusted three point shooter for all of his teammates.

Joe Stimpson and Ryan Barone

Sophomores Stimpson and Barone bring a nice presence off the bench that past Potter teams have not had.

Stimspon often steps in and plays starter type minutes during a lot of games. He is a skilled and athletic guard that can facilitate along with Kilfoil and Curvy and also score the ball, when the Crusaders need a bucket.

Barone brings more of an off ball, “3 and D” type style to the table. He can get himself open at a high level and is very effective as a catch and shoot scorer.

Southridge is a team that should be on everyone’s radar as they boast a 12-1 record with their only loss being against nationally ranked Harvard-Westlake (CA). The Skyhawks also have an extremely high powered offense, even scoring a mind blowing 116 points in an early season game against South Eugene.

Keep an eye out for senior guard Carter Fortune, a fourth-year starter and a Metro League first-team pick last year and senior Kaden Groenig the Skyhawks other first team all metro selection.

Freshman guard Elijah Thompson and sophomore guard Drew Groenig both come off the bench for this deep Southridge roster and provide a fresh element of scoring to the Seahawks offense.

Interior defense and rebounding will go a long way toward determining Southridge’s success. Junior wing Alonzo Hoff (6-7) and senior post Dante Scott (6-4) – both returning starters play big and provide a much needed defensive presence.

If this Southridge team is as good as their record shows, the Skyhawks could be as good as the 2017-18 team that went 25-4, won the Metro title and advanced to the 6A quarterfinals.

Ranked inside the top 5 according to OSAA, the Beaverton Beavers have a roster with lots of varsity experience. With impressive wins against Tualatin and Barlow, the Beavers could be right behind Southridge as the favorites to win the league.

The Beavers are led by senior guard Aidan Rice who seems to be an early contender for metro player of the year. Partnering up with Rice to complete the high level backcourt is senior Max Elmgen who has proven to be very effective from beyond the three point line.

Another key piece to this experienced Beaverton team is Senior Chance Winter who stands at an impressive 6’11 stature. Winter was the state’s leader in the blocked shots last season.

When talking about this year’s Mountainside team, there is nowhere better to start than with junior Brayden Boe. Last year’s metro league player of the year and first team all state selection, Boe very well could be the best player in the entire state.

Boe led the Mavericks to a share of the metro title last season and with the role players around him, the mavericks could very well contend for the Metro title again. They will have a tall task as Jesuit, Beaverton and Southridge all have revamped rosters.

Keep an eye out for junior guard Peyton Reyes to be paired with Boe. Reyes can be described as a hard nosed defender that can also shoot from range.

It is pretty clear that the Metro league is stacked this season and an argument can be made that it is the best league in the entire state. This Jesuit team shows similarities to the 2019 crusader team that won the state championship.

The Crusaders have both the scoring fire power and the role players they need to run the table and make a deep run in both the metro league and state playoffs.

Jesuit will begin Metro league play tonight when they face off against the Sunset Apollos at Knight Gym with a 7:00 tip off.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Luke Bayne
Luke Bayne, Sports Writing Editor
Luke Bayne is a senior at Jesuit High School. He is interested in writing about sports specifically analyzing the competition, game plan and personnel for each team. Luke loves playing lacrosse and golfing in his free time. Along with those hobbies, he attends most Oregon Duck home football games. Luke got interested in journalism from watching sports and reading articles on ESPN and Sports Illustrated, he is super excited to interview Jesuit athletes and coaches and learn how they prepare for each game. Luke hopes to publish many articles for Jesuit athletics and provide insights about the crusaders to people all around the pacific northwest.
Margo Delaney
Margo Delaney, Co-Director of Photography
Margo Delaney is a senior at Jesuit who previously took Photography and Graphic Design, and now is a first year student with Advanced Media. Margo was born in Portland Oregon, then just three weeks later, her family and herself moved to Asia for nine years. She now lives in North East Portland with her family and her very hyper English Sheepdog. Throughout this year, Margo is interested in writing about Jesuit’s Social Media platforms, wanting to analyze the type of content that resonates with Jesuit’s audience, gathering feedback from students and faculty. Outside of school, Margo enjoys being part of the Women’s Ski Team, working at her 4-9 job as a server, working out, and spending time with friends and family!