DEXTER -- After a very successful premiere, the Rib City Shootout will make another appearance.
Basketball teams from all over the area took part in one of the biggest shootouts Southeast Missouri has ever seen last year and it continues to grow.
The Rib City Shootout has dramatically increased it's team turnout from 62 teams last year to 158 this year, with possibly more to come.
"As the shootout went on last year, all the coaches were saying they like ours so much better because of having certified referees and the format that we were using," Tournament Director Chad Allen said. "The games went smooth and everything went well."
The Rib City Shootout's main goal is to emphasize a competitive, off-season environment for middle school, junior high and high school basketball teams to develop against teams of similar skill.
Each team will play a minimum of six games with eight games possible for some.
The structure of the shootout will closely resemble that of last year. Each team will play five games of round robin within their flight. Following the round robin, teams will then be placed in a bracket. Each division will have a chance to become a Rib City champion.
The shootout will utilize the luxurious Bearcat Event Center as their main hub. The BEC has three, full courts at it's disposal which will provide most fans with action.
Allen, who is also the Dexter Lady Bearcat head basketball coach, said they will also use the Dexter Middle School gymnasium as well as the Dexter Parks and Recreations gym. The Dexter High School gym is currently out of order.
Mostly, teams from Missouri makeup the teams scheduled to participate, but teams from Arkansas and Tennessee will be present as well.
"We definitely have a lot of great teams from outside the area and local teams with a lot of tradition," Allen said.
Local teams that are slated to play are Sikeston, Dexter, New Madrid County Central, East Prairie, Scott City, Poplar Bluff, Notre Dame and Jackson as well as the Scott County Central and Oran varsity boys teams.
Teams that are scheduled to appear that basketball fans from around this area may be familiar with will be Soldan International Studies and Imagine College Prep. Both teams, Allen said, are interested to play the defending Class 4 state champs -- the Sikeston Bulldogs.
Sikeston defeated Imagine College Prep in the quarterfinals during their trek to the state title while Soldan finished third after losing to St. Francis Borgia in the semifinals.
"A lot of those teams want to play Sikeston," said Allen. "I think Sikeston has helped the shootout in their own way because of the success they had last year. A lot of the bigger teams from the St. Louis area are interested to see what Sikeston has."
And, as their name states, teams and fans alike are invited to try some of Dexter's famous barbeque restaurants while enjoying top-notch basketball as well.
"I think it helps the ecomony for Dexter. It's a win-win situation," Allen said. "I'd like to have tons of people come out and watch some of the best basketball around and have some of the best barbeque around as well."
The boys portion of the shootout is scheduled for June 9-10 as well as July 22-23. The girls shootout will be June 17-18 and July 28-29.