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

Preview: Crusaders seek revenge against Beaverton in Metro League dual on senior night

Mr. Falkner
Niko Rafalovich drives in a Metro League game against Mountainside.

Friday night brings a rematch between two Metro League foes – the Jesuit Crusaders and Beaverton Beavers. However, the Crusaders have more on the line as they continue to fight for a share of the Metro League title and will look to bounce back after a 59-50 loss against the Beavers earlier in the season.

The Gene Potter led Crusaders are coming off of an impressive win against Westview on Wednesday, a game that Jesuit needed to win. The Wildcats handed the Crusaders a shocking loss in Knight Gym a month ago, so there was some uncertainty traveling to Westview for the second matchup of the season.

Jesuit would go on to win 69-43.

Now, with hopes of claiming a piece of the Metro title still alive, all attention now turns to a very talented Beaverton team. The Beavers are headlined by arguably the best backcourt in the entire state led by seniors Max Elmgren and Aidan Rice.

Rice scored a seemingly casual 15 points during the last matchup against Jesuit, and Elmgren along with seniors Max Campbell, and Aidan Gellaty scored in double figures. The Beavers led Jesuit for the entirety of the game, and although the Crusaders went on multiple late runs, the combination of the beaverton shots from beyond the arc, and multiple Jesuit offensive fouls proved to be too much of a deficit to overcome.

Another big aspect of tonight’s game is the return of Beaverton 6-foot-11 senior Chance Winters. Winters has been out since the final game of the Les Schwab Invitational that took place in late December with a broken wrist.

With Winters recently making his return and expected to play tonight, his 6 ’11 frame will be a whole new variable that Potter and the Crusaders will need to prepare for.

The keys to the game for the Crusaders are simple: making shots and rebounding.
In the last matchup against Beaverton, Jesuit failed to make shots and when they did make shots, they were often called for an offensive foul. Rebounding will also be a key to the Crusaders success. With the return of Winters, who will make his presence known on the defensive side of the ball, Jesuit’s ability to block out, and rebound efficiently will be crucial.

Although undersized compared to Winters, look to Hudson Rommel, Nico Rafalovch, and Treynor Cleeland as the workhouses near the rim.

Patrick Kilfoil and Rafalovich will be very important for Jesuit on the offensive side of the ball. As the two facilitators, expect both big games out of both them and a high volume of shots. Sometimes it takes Kilfoil a few shots to get into his groove, but when he is making shots, he is easily one of the most dangerous players on the floor. With Rafalovich, it is simple. He is 6’6 and if he is able to get to the basket and get his mid range jump shot going, he is nearly unstoppable.

Lastly, the Crusaders will need to clean up the defense in order to compete with a potent Beaverton offense. Allowing four players to score in double figures will not result in a successful game for Jesuit. With Winters back in the fold as well, it adds to an already skilled Beavers offensive system.

This game is also personal. Not only are these two teams Metro League rivals, and fighting for a piece of the Metro Title. The Beavers also have some familiar faces. Senior guard Will Shields attended Jesuit for two years before transferring to Beaverton. Elmgren grew up going to a Catholic school, but elected to attend Beaverton. Both these players have personal ties to Jesuit as they grew up playing youth basketball with a lot of the Jesuit players.

The stakes in this game are high, two league rivals, both fighting for a piece of Metro, Jesuit looking for revenge on senior night. We couldn’t ask for a better matchup on a Friday night in Knight Gym. Tip off is at 7:00 PM at Jesuit High School.

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About the Contributor
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.