The 25th annual Dick Compton Memorial/South Forks Lions Shootout will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, at Grand Forks Central High School.
It also will be the last Compton Memorial Shootout.
The South Forks Lions Club, which sponsors the boys high school basketball jamboree, has decided to discontinue the shootout after Saturday.
“Everything runs its course,’’ said club member Brad Westrum, who has been recruiting teams for the shootout since 2006. “We’ve talked about how long we could keep it going. If we were going to have to put it to bed, we thought 25 years was just a good number to end it. We felt it had a good run.’’
Since the initial shootout, 47 teams have played in at least one Compton Shootout. The longest distance coming to Grand Forks to play was by Standing Rock High School, located southwest of Bismarck near the South Dakota border.
Six teams played in the event in a season they went on to win the Class B state championship. Several all-staters have played in it.
The most regular participants have been East Grand Forks Senior High (20), North Border (15), the Four Winds/Four Winds-Minnewaukan co-op (15) and Kittson County Central (14).
Finding teams was a big reason for dropping the event.
“It’s just gotten to be more difficult each year to get teams to play,’’ Westrum said. “There are a couple of factors in that.
“With all the school closings and co-ops, there are fewer teams. The Minnesota teams compete (for tournament seeds) in a ranking system and they get no points for playing a North Dakota team. Most of the North Dakota teams in the area already play home-and-home games with region teams; they don’t want to play a team a third time.’’
The Compton Shootout was one of the South Forks Lions Club’s bigger fund raisers. Westrum estimates the event raised $35,000 to $40,000 for the club’s charity account. “Most years, it’s been around $1,300,’’ Westrum said.
In addition, the net gate receipts were shared with participating schools.
“It wasn’t always a big check, but we always sent money to every team,’’ Westrum said.
“And the Central Booster Club did the concessions and got the profits. They’d tell us that it was their best concessions day of the year.’’
Westrum said there was no burnout on the part of the South Forks Lions Club in running the basketball day.
“We averaged about 30 members every year helping with it,’’ Westrum said. “We’ve enjoyed it. We never had to twist arms to get enough volunteers. It’s been a fun day for us. That’s why we kept it going.’’
Could the Compton Shootout resurface in the future?
Westrum said it’s too late to try to schedule teams for the event in 2021.
Beyond that, “who knows,’’ Westrum said. “Right now, I would doubt it. But forever is a long time.
“Right now, we’re still working to make sure everything is run well this year, that the teams and fans have a good experience.’’
11:30 a.m. -- Sacred Heart vs. Larimore.
1 p.m. -- Park River/Fordville-Lankin vs. Warwick.
2:30 p.m. -- Dunk, 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting contest.
3:15 p.m. -- Thompson vs. Four Winds-Minnewaukan.