Cloquet, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Three Northland schools will play this week at the MSHSL boys' basketball tournament, and it is somewhat amazing the proximity those schools have in this area.
Cloquet, Esko, and Fond du Lac Ojibwe are all located within 10 miles of each other, but all have boys' basketball teams that will all head to Williams Arena this week for the state tournament.
"All these kids know each other, and they grew up together," Cloquet head coach Steve Battaglia said. "You'd find them in the summer in the same gym. It's just a great group of kids."
"The community has really taken off," Fond du Lac Ojibwe head coach Earl Otis said. "I've gotten so many calls today just to congratulate me, and the kids are really embracing it."
Going to state, though, doesn't seem to be enough for the players --- they want to try and prove the northern part of the state produces good basketball teams.
"I think [these three teams going to state] shows that teams from the north are better than people describe them as," Esko senior Kory Deadrick said. "All our teams have a chance to win down there and maybe win more than one game."