Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 10

February 18, 2020

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

The countdown has begun.

Five days until we announce District brackets with the top two teams on separate sides for the first time. Just under three weeks until the regular season ends. Five weeks from today we’ll be packing for the Breslin Center and this season’s Boys Basketball Semifinals and Finals.

It could go by in a flash. But in the meantime, there are tons of moments to savor – especially at the local league level. We turn a lot of our focus to those in this week’s report.

“Breslin Bound” is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at Send corrections or missing scores to [email protected].

Week in Review

The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results: 

1. Detroit Cass Tech 66, Detroit Douglass 41 – The Technicians (17-1) repeated as Detroit Public School League Tournament champions with a commanding win over the Hurricanes (15-4).

2. Wyoming 62, Grand Rapids Christian 61 – The Wolves’ only loss this winter was by two Jan. 17 to the Eagles (14-1), and Wyoming (14-1) taking the rematch eventually could result in them sharing the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold title.

3. Marquette 68, Escanaba 64 – The Redmen (15-3) locked up their fourth-straight Great Northern Conference championship by avenging their lone league loss, to second-place Escanaba (11-6).

4. Belleville 53, Westland John Glenn 49 – The Tigers (13-3) earned a share of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East title with a second win over the second-place Rockets (11-5).

5. Ann Arbor Skyline 53, Ann Arbor Huron 40 – The Eagles (11-5) not only avenged a Jan. 24 defeat but handed the first this season to the rival River Rats (14-1).

Watch List

With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each division making sparks:


Hudsonville (14-1) The Eagles already have clinched the O-K Red title outright as no other league team has fewer than four losses. The championship was Hudsonville’s second straight after going just 10-12 two seasons ago. The lone loss this winter came against another Division 1 contender, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 65-47 on Feb. 1 – and the Eagles will get another major test tonight in Wyoming (14-1) as they prep to build on last year’s Regional Final run.

Ypsilanti Lincoln (13-2) The reigning Division 1 champion has taken the first step toward another memorable finish, clinching a share of the Southeastern Conference White title Friday with a 68-45 win over second-place Dexter. The Railsplitters and sophomore phenom Emoni Bates also have impressive wins over Okemos (12-3) and Detroit Edison (10-4), and the losses look pretty great too – to Division 2 contender Benton Harbor and on opening night to River Rouge in a preview of a possible playoff matchup.


Bridgeport (16-1) A loss two weeks ago to Frankenmuth was the only trip-up as Bridgeport has moved within two wins of clinching a share of the Tri-Valley Conference East title for the fourth-straight season. The Bearcats are second in Division 2 MPR with wins also over Linden (14-2), Skyline (11-5), the Eagles (12-2) and Flint Southwestern (13-2) among 10 total against teams with double-digit victories. That also includes a pair against Alma (12-4), which handed Bridgeport its only loss of last season in a Regional Semifinal.

Carrollton (14-0) The Cavaliers already have tied their most wins for a season since 2014-15, and they’ll be in line to claim the Tri-Valley Conference West title if they can finish a season sweep Friday of second-place Hemlock (14-1), which Carrollton defeated the first time 64-46 on Jan. 17. The Cavaliers also own a 77-70 win over Greater Thumb Conference West leader Reese and will close the regular-season with another nice test in currently-unbeaten Kingston.


Detroit Loyola (12-2) The Bulldogs are Detroit Catholic League AA champions and a pair of back-to-back five-point losses to Hamtramck and Dearborn Divine Child from a perfect record. They avenged that defeat to Divine Child with a 17-point win Feb. 11, and they’ve also handed Macomb Lutheran North (12-2) its only defeats this winter. The league title was Loyola’s second straight, and it also reached the Regional Finals last season.

Oscoda (15-0) The Owls have run their regular-season winning streak to 35 and remain the pacesetter in the North Star League Big Dipper thanks in part to a pair of double-digit wins over Mio (11-4). Oscoda also has a 30-point win over Posen (11-4) and a 21-pointer over Hale (14-2) with the rematch against the latter coming up Friday. They’ll also hope to build next month on last year’s Regional Finals run.


Bellevue (13-2) The Broncos have won 10 straight as they pursue what would be a fifth-straight Southern Central Athletic Association West championship. Bellevue has a slight edge on Battle Creek St. Philip after defeating the Tigers last week for the second time, this time 54-41. The Broncos have more to aim for as well – they’ve won seven straight District titles and reached the Quarterfinals a year ago.

Dryden (11-4) Despite trailing Kingston and International Academy of Flint in the North Central Thumb League Stars, Dryden is ahead of IAF and No. 4 statewide in Division 4 MPR. The Cardinals split with the Phoenix, winning the second meeting 49-34 on Jan. 31, and Dryden’s only losses of calendar year 2020 are two to Kingston. New Lothrop (14-2) in the regular-season finale will be a challenge, but winning out would push Dryden past its 15-win totals of the last two seasons before the playoffs start.

Can't-Miss Contests

Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:  

Tuesday – Okemos (12-3) at East Lansing (13-1) – The Chiefs lead the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue by a game over the Trojans thanks to a 69-51 win in their first meeting Jan. 14.

Tuesday – Canton (11-5) at Howell (13-3) – The Highlanders can clinch the Kensington Lakes Activities Association West title outright with a win over second-place Canton; their first meeting went to Howell 50-48 on Jan. 24.

Thursday – Cadillac (13-2) at Petoskey (10-4) – These two are tied for first in the Big North Conference, and the winner of this game wins a share of the league title – and the whole thing if Traverse City Central loses to Gaylord this night or another of its final three league games.

Friday – Blissfield (14-1) at Onsted (11-4) – The Royals lead Onsted in the Lenawee County Athletic Association by a game, but lost the first meeting with the Wildcats 55-53 on Jan. 7.

Saturday – Benton Harbor (15-1) at River Rouge (16-1) – Last season’s Division 2 runner-up Rouge hosts the 2018 Class B champion Tigers in a matchup of teams that could both end up in MHSAA Finals next month.

Second Half’s weekly “Breslin Bound” reports are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO: Flint Beecher, here against Burton Bendle on Feb. 7, leads Division 3 MPR with three weeks remaining in the regular season. (Photo by Terry Lyons.)

Little Provides Major Stride as 1st Woman to Officiate Boys Hoops Final since 1995

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

April 13, 2023

Delonda Little was already a trailblazer to many before this year’s MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals.

Greater DetroitBut what happened last month at Breslin Center made her even more of one on a statewide level.

A referee and assigner for 20 years in the Detroit area, Little is a female boys and girls basketball official who mentors both male and female referees – no matter the gender or level, as she officiates high school and college games.

Officials often go to Little for guidance, direction and assignments, which has made her respected for years throughout Metro Detroit in the prep basketball community. Then, her status as a trailblazer grew even more.

Little was assigned as an official for the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis, and she became the first female referee to officiate an MHSAA Boys Basketball Final since Traverse City’s Barb Beckett 1995.

“It was a very good feeling to know I was the one selected,” said Little, who officiated the Final with Matt Olson and Zach Porritt.  

In fact, while attending a Semifinal game the Friday before the Final, Little received a phone call from an area code she didn’t recognize.

She answered, and it was Beckett.

“At first I didn’t know the name,” Little said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t know you, but that’s fine.’”

Beckett then explained she was the first female referee to be assigned a Boys Basketball Final, and just wanted to offer support to Little.

At that point, Little became excited and thankful she answered the call.

“It was very nice to hear from her because she wanted to reach out and if not pass the torch, to congratulate me,” Little said.

Little, 51, said she found out she was going to be refereeing the Division 3 boys championship game just before the start of the postseason when she received an email from the MHSAA.

“I’m looking at the email and I’m like, boys?” Little said. “I was shocked.”

But she was shocked in a good way, and obviously excited for the honor.

Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.Little didn’t find out until a couple of days before the St. Francis/Beecher contest that she would be officiating that specific championship game, but the Monday of boys championship week was when she really started to receive congratulations from friends and colleagues.

That’s when an article came out in the Detroit News detailing her selection, which led to countless calls, texts and congratulatory messages on social media.

“I couldn’t even (keep up with the comments),” she said. “That’s how overwhelming the actual tags were. It came from all across the state with officials, men and women, because I do women’s college (games). Some of the college ladies were reaching out. I was getting all the hoopla before the game.”

Little said she normally doesn’t get nervous for games, but not having some nerves became a bit harder once so many people knew of her achievement.

However, she settled into a normal routine quickly once the game started.

“I wanted to get it done, get it over with and do well,” she said.

Little did do well, which is no surprise to everyone who knew her before she officiated on the boys championship stage.

It was just another feather in the cap for Little, who in 2016 became the first woman to officiate a boys Detroit Public School League championship game.

“Delonda is one of the top officials in the Detroit area, and our staff doesn’t look at Delonda as a female working a boys game – we see one of the top officials in Detroit working a basketball game,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “There are females officiating in the NBA and female officials in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The aspect that made Delonda’s selection for this MHSAA championship game nearly unique will soon be the norm at all levels of athletics.”     

Little graduated from Detroit Osborn in 1989 and starred on the basketball court at Wayne State, earning induction into WSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Her day job is as an officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, but her passion is officiating. She’s been an MHSAA-registered official for basketball for two decades and also was registered for volleyball for four years. This past fall she registered for football for the first time.

“I get something from it because it keeps me in shape, I love the people I work with and I like the kids,” Little said. “You are always teaching, and I like training the newer officials. I just enjoy it. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t refereeing.”

Going forward, Little hopes her championship game assignment will now be an inspiration for other female referees.

“There aren’t very many women who would like to work boys basketball or feel comfortable,” Little said. “If that’s something they desire, I’m hoping more women are selected to work the games if they feel comfortable.”

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) Delonda Little takes her position on the court during the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final on March 25 at Breslin Center. (Middle) Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.