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

#8 Jesuit faces #24 South Eugene in hopes of state run

Julius Christensen

As the spring season starts, the OSAA basketball playoffs begin. The Crusaders, standing at 16-8, face the South Eugene Axe to begin their hopeful state championship run.

Despite falling in an intense matchup on senior night in the Metro League final to Beaverton, the Coach Potter led Crusaders finished the season 5-2, building confidence and momentum in just the right time of the season.

Led by seniors Nico Rafalovich, Hudson Rommel, and Tyler Curvy, leadership and poise will be a determining factor in Jesuit’s run to get past some of the top teams in the state.

While beating multiple strong teams throughout the year such as Southridge, Lincoln, and Mountainside, they’ve also shown a lack of discipline at times, taking poor losses to Westview and Jefferson. The Crusaders will look to stretch the floor and improve in the rebounding department because of a lack of size against bigger teams throughout the playoffs.

“We’re one of the highest three point shooting teams in the state, and we all believe in our shots no matter if it’s falling or not,” Rommel said. The Crusaders are shooting the ball at a great clip, 47% for the year and 38% from beyond the arc.

Freshman Isaac Bongen has been a bright spot for the Saders all season long, averaging 13.5 points per game on 45% shooting. He’s also been the Crusaders go -to defensive stopper when facing up against larger shot creators.

For the majority of the year, the offense has begun with starting point guard Curvy. Curvy’s decision-making and playmaking along with strong perimeter defense is expected to be crucial in controlling the pace of the game in the playoffs, along with trusting his teammates.

“We feel like when we are moving the ball well, playing solid defense, playing with confidence, there is no one that can beat us,” Curvy said. “If we can trust each other throughout the playoffs, we like our chances.”

Despite strong production from the seniors, the factor that seems to differentiate decent basketball to contending basketball is the play of junior Patrick Kilfoil, and sophomores Ryan Barone and Joe Stimpson. Kilfoil’s spark plug play has been the offensive boost Jesuit has relied on, along with elite level shot creation from Nico Rafalovich.

Since his season high 35 point outing against Sunset, Kilfoil is averaging 12 points a game, and hasn’t seen the same efficiency numbers as he was in the beginning of the year. South Eugene isn’t known for their defense, and the big moment in the playoffs will provide Kilfoil the opportunity to have a big night.

South Eugene is regarded as a strong shooting team, so the Crusaders will have to rely on strong perimeter defense from guards and effort on the glass. If the Crusaders win, they either face Cleveland or South Medford, but would have home court advantage until the quarterfinals if they were to end up playing #1 seeded Central Catholic.

The Crusaders will start their OSAA OnPoint Community Credit Union State Championship in the first round on Tuesday night at 7:00.

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About the Contributor
Jack Harrington
Jack Harrington, Staff Writer
A hardworking and determined junior who is willing to listen to many ideas that others have to offer, Jack Harrington is willing to share knowledge on the sports world beyond his high school experience. Harrington is excited to be a main factor in JCTV and the broadcasting program. Harrington has seen first hand professional sports with his uncle and Jesuit alum, Scott Harrington, playing pro golf on the PGA Tour.  Developing an interest in sports journalism through listening to podcasts produced by ESPN and The Ringer, as well as being an NBA superfan and learning more about broadcasting and writing in the sports world through his sports experiences. Some of Harrington’s interests include golf, traveling, and hanging out with his three dogs. Driven to elevate Jesuit’s sports broadcasting program, Harrington is looking forward to showing up on JCTV productions as well as writing articles on the Jesuit Chronicle. With a passion for learning more about the journalism world, he strives to have a successful career in professional golf and the sports industry.