Chisholm Wins State Hoops Title, 1991

March 1991

Chisholm boys basketball players (back to front, left to right) Joel McDonald, Ted Krize, Mike Rupar, David LaCoe, Joe Amic and Brian Thompson, with their coach, Bob McDonald, are state tourney-bound. Photo taken March 19, 1991. (Steve Stearns / News-Tribune)

The state tourney-bound Chisholm Bluestreaks pictured above went on to become the state champion Chisholm Bluestreaks that season. Here is the News Tribune story about the Class A state title game, held on March 23, 1991:


By Kevin Kotz, News-Tribune staff writer

Chisholm’s mission is complete.

Bluestreaks boys basketball coach Bob McDonald prides himself as being as stoic as the Ironworld miner statue in his town. Tears welled in the eyes of the Chisholm tin man, though, as he watched the final seconds tick off the St. Paul Civic Center scoreboard Saturday.

The Bluestreaks lived up to the expectations of their coach and fans by bringing home the Minnesota Class A championship. Chisholm defeated Westbrook-Walnut Grove 77-61 in the title game before 9,585 fans.

“For some reason, I felt this was preordained — I woke up this morning with a feeling that we still could lose, but I sensed that we would be on top when everything was over,” said McDonald. “This is sheer ecstasy. It was a great feeling to win in 1973 and ’75, but nothing compares to this.

“In ’73 we came in as unknowns, so we really didn’t know how to react to winning it. In ’75 everyone expected us to win it, so the feeling wasn’t the same. This is the fulfillment of all the frustrations of losing in the tournament in ’81 and ’82 and not making it last year.”

The Bluestreaks, who trailed by as many as eight points in the first half, saved their best effort for the fourth quarter. …

Clinging to a 56-54 lead with 6:21 to play, Chisholm took off on a 14-0 run, with senior Ted Krize scoring eight of his 24 points. …

Chisholm guard Joel McDonald finished with a game-high 30 points and closed the book on the state’s most prolific scorer. The 6-foot-4 senior guard completed his high school career with 3,282 points. …

“I think what makes this even more special for me is that it was my last son’s last game,” Bob McDonald said. “There’s been a lot of pressure on Joel this year with all of the records and everything. I was afraid to talk to him. It’s been a pretty silent household, but now I can finally talk to him like a father should.”

Coach McDonald turned to Joel and said, “Son, you did a great job, and I think you’re a wonderful person.”

Chisholm’s Scott Ciochetto (14), Dave LaCoe (20) and Mark Olson celebrate the Bluestreaks’ high school boys basketball Class A state title on March 23, 1991. Chisholm beat Westbrook-Walnut Grove in the title game at the St. Paul Civic Center. (Clara Wu / News-Tribune)


No other Northland high school basketball team has won a state title since the 1991 Chisholm boys team; Chisholm is also the last Northland girls basketball team to win a state title, in 1984. Bob McDonald continues to coach the Bluestreaks — he’s now in his 48th season at Chisholm, 54th overall — and earned his 900th career win earlier this year. Joel McDonald — whose state scoring record has since been surpassed — is now the boys basketball coach at Hibbing.

1 Response

  1. tiger

    nice to look back. i was wondering if there were any photos of the minnesota north stars visit to the hockey hall of fame that same year? i believe they were thare in 1991. . .

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