Crossroads Shootout starts Thursday

Nobody could have blamed Mike Bauer if had just put an end to the Crossroads Shootout basketball tournament.

In fact, he nearly did.

Bauer’s friend Mark Hoffman helped Bauer start the tournament, which is a benefit for Mariah’s Challenge. Hoffman died of a heart attack last August.

“He was my best buddy and I almost canceled this tournament,” Bauer said. “But I knew he would be mad. He did so much work for this event and spent a lot of time on it.”

So, the Seventh Annual Butte Depot Crossroads Shootout will start Thursday in Butte.

The tournament drew 42 teams. That was short of the tournament goal — the event drew 64 team last year — but Bauer is unfazed.

“We didn’t do a junior high (division) this year so we lost teams for that,” Bauer said.

Bauer also said the tournament coming a week after the Wayne Estes tournament in Anaconda cut into entries. There is also a big tournament in Augusta this weekend.

The action this weekend at gyms throughout the Mining City will be solid.

Bauer said two-time Frontier Conference MVP Marcel Towns from the University of Great Falls is bringing a team to compete in the tournament.

Former Montana Tech player Jeff Bellach will also play on a 30-and-over team along with Bauer, a former head coach of the Montana Tech men’s basketball team.

A group of 20 to 25 officials will once again donate their time for the good of the tournament. Bauer said refs are rewarded by local business who donate hotel rooms, gas cards and other gifts.

“The refs have a blast,” Bauer said.

This year’s tournament will also honor the memory of Hoffman, who worked so hard during the first six years of the tournament.

Hoffman’s wife, Pam, lives in Billings now. She will be in town for the weekend, Bauer said.

Click the links below for the schedules for each division.

2014 Boys High School

2014 COED

2014 Mens 30 & Over

2014 Mens B

2014 Mens Open

2014 Womens Open