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Anoka, Chisholm 1973 basketball teams reunite 50 years after State Tournament

Anoka, Chisholm 1973 basketball teams reunite 50 years later
Anoka, Chisholm 1973 basketball teams reunite 50 years later 03:10

MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Minnesota high school basketball teams just enjoyed a reunion 50 years in the making.

The year was 1973 - Chisholm had won the Class A tournament and Anoka won the Class AA title. Then they played each other the Monday after to keep some of the big-school, small-school charm.

Last week, the two teams returned to Wiliams Arena.

Chisholm, Minnesota was becoming synonymous with basketball in the 1970s. With head coach Bob McDonald in charge, they made regular visits to the state tournament, winning the Class A tournament.

In 1973, that meant they would play the Class AA champion on a Monday night and Anoka was ready, winning the game, but both were considered state champions.

Fifty years later, they would meet again at Williams Arena. This time to re-live the game and to re-live their youth.

"You know...It really, really brings back a lot of great, great memories," Bryan Rohs, the Anoka All-State Guard, said.

The only known video is grainy now, but those memories are crystal clear - of the entire tournament.

"From the time we left Chisholm - we left on a Wednesday, get back on a Tuesday. What kid gets to come down, stay at the Curtis and play hoops," Tim Casey, the 1973 Chisholm Team Captain, said.

They may not be in game shape anymore, but they remember when they were - that magical week five decades ago.

"The next quarter I scored 14 points, and we got a lead and we did lose it," Loren Erickson, the Anoka Center, recalled.

Chisholm would return the next two seasons and win it again in 1975.

Anoka's tall and talented senior class moved on, but on this day, they were allowed to feel young again. As life takes all of them on twists and turns for all of them, it cannot take away that team, that title, that bond.

"Everybody sat in like a little 'U' so we could see each other, and everybody got up and just talked about memories. And it was fun...It was special, very special," Rohs said.

While you never lose the sting of defeat, it was a good day to be with each other.

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