Breslin Bound: Boys Report Week 5

January 9, 2017

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

How quickly can a lackluster season become a distant memory?

Ask a few of the teams we’ve highlighted in this week’s Breslin Bound Boys Report, powered by MI Student Aid. 

Two of the eight on our “Watch List” this week have already won more games this winter than in all of 2015-16, and a third team could equal last season’s total by the end of this week. 

Week in Review

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

1. Clarkston 60, Flint Carman-Ainsworth 47 – The Wolves remain undefeated at 8-0 after handing Carman-Ainsworth its first loss (and later in the week doing the same to Walled Lake Western).

2. Detroit U-D Jesuit 71, Romulus 58 – The Cubs finished nonleague play at 5-2 and with one more solid win over a Class A power heading into the Detroit Catholic League schedule.

3. Ann Arbor Skyline 74, Belleville 71 – Skyline is tied for the lead in the Southeastern Conference Red, but handing Belleville its first loss may have surprised a few even though Skyline has broken 70 points five of the last six games. 

4. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 55, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 51 – This neighborly rivalry game hadn’t meant this much in a while, with both now in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White and Central handing Northern its first loss of the season. 

5. Holt 59, Okemos 49 – This gave the Rams an early co-lead with East Lansing in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue and added to a 4-2 start with those losses by a combined seven points.

Watch List

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


Davison (6-1) – After watching the football team make a nice jump in the fall, the basketball team is doing the same coming off a 5-16 finish. The only defeat was to one-loss Carman-Ainsworth. 

Bloomfield Hills (6-1) – The Black Hawks are two wins better than at this point a year ago, with their only loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. They should provide a nice challenge to Clarkston in the Oakland Activities Association Red.


Hillsdale (6-0) – The Hornets are always in the mix, and got off to another fast start this winter after ending last year’s 18-win campaign with a three-point loss in their first District game. Last week’s double-overtime win over Onsted might be the best so far.

Wyoming Kelloggsville (5-0) – The Rockets could be in the midst of another of the most significant turnarounds in the state this winter, going 7-15 a year ago but most recently handing a one-point loss to reigning Class C runner-up Grandville Calvin Christian.


Maple City Glen Lake (5-0) – The Lakers opened this season by avenging last year’s season-ending loss to Traverse City St. Francis, and since they’ve played to a first-place tie in the Northwest Conference with rival Frankfort. Thursday opponent Buckley will provide another major test.

Munising (6-0) – After finishing 11-10 and falling in its first postseason game last winter, Munising is more than halfway to a better finish. This start included an avenging of that season-ending loss to Rock Mid-Peninsula and three victories total by five or fewer points.


Bellevue (4-0) – The Broncos have been riding a nice run the last few seasons, winning 18 games a year ago. They already own a win over Climax-Scotts, the team with which they shared the Southern Central Athletic Association West title last winter.

Marcellus (4-1) – The Wildcats also are on the rebound, having already surpassed last season’s three wins. The lone loss was a three-pointer to Constantine during the season’s first week.

Can't-Miss Contests

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

Tuesday – Grand Rapids Christian (4-0) at Wayland (4-1) – These two and Wyoming look like the contenders in the O-K Gold, with Christian one to chase both in the league and Class A statewide.

Tuesday – Bellaire (5-1) at Gaylord St. Mary (5-1) – These two are contenders in the Ski Valley Conference, but also stand to be among Class D’s best from just below the bridge. 

Friday – Saginaw (6-1) at Saginaw Arthur Hill (4-2) – One of the oldest rivalries in state history remains one of the best, with this and the Feb. 3 matchup likely to decide the Saginaw Valley League North title winner.

Friday – Holt (4-2) at East Lansing (6-0) – The Trojans have high hopes in Class A this season, but first comes taking care of the CAAC Blue and a strong field including the Rams (also mentioned above). 

Saturday – Detroit East English (5-0) vs. Kalamazoo Central (5-0) at Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills – Arguably the top matchup of the Floyd Mayweather Classic, this one pits two of the best in Class A.

PHOTO: Grand Rapids Christian, driving to the basket, downed Holland West Ottawa on Dec. 28 as part of its 4-0 start. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)

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.